The topic has been in my mind for a while. I planned to have a talk about it within my company, but procrastinated for quite long time. The sections’ order is probably quite unconventional, but I hope that the content makes sense for you.



Getting Started

You mainly have two options:

  • Typing vim (or nvim) within your terminal (1)
  • Installing a Vim emulating plugin within your current IDE/text editor (2)

I highly recommend (2) for a better learning curve. If you start with (1), apart from the key binding itself, you also have to deal with:

  • Configuring Vim/Neovim
  • Finding a plugin manager
  • Choosing the plugins for your purpose

If you are not to familiar with the terminal nor how to work efficiently with it (installing shell suggestion, using tmux for tab management), you are going to have a bad time living within the terminal.

More specificly, within JetBrain’s IDEs, you can install a plugin called “IdeaVim”. Within VSCode, there is another plugin named “VSCode Vim” for you to try. I am not too familiar with other IDEs/text editors, but I am pretty sure you can find good Vim emulating plugins within them.

Vim versus Neovim?


I am bullish on Neovim for a few reasons:

  • Built-in LSP, and
  • Lua for plugin writing, both lead to a
  • Flourishing community
  • Backwards compatible with VimScript (Neovim plugins are not usable within Vim, but Vim plugins that are written in VimScript are usable within Neovim)


  • set nu: display line number
  • set rnu: display relative line number
  • set nohl: display search highlighting within Neovim
  • set sb: split below
  • set spr: split right


  • packer.nvim: for plugin management within Neovim
  • vim-commentary: to quickly add comments
  • vim-surround: surrounding magic
  • vim-repeat: to make vim-surround and complex chords “repeatable”
  • vim-exchange: a rarely used but useful plugin
  • vim-ReplaceWithRegister: another rarely used but useful plugin


Too bad, I had some idea for my talk, but did not figure it out how to do it within text form.

The Art of Text Editing

A few other perks of being familiar with Vim is often listed as:

  • Be universal (most bare-bones servers have them installed following POSIX standard)
  • Boost your text editing productivity
  • Help you to be less scared of editing configuration files

But for me, the reason is using Vim makes text editing more enjoyable, and less of a chore. In its purest sense, Vim works following this model: “verb” + “adjective” + “noun”. Sometimes, you can also combine “verb” with “verb” to make the command work on one line:

  • dap means “delete a paragraph”
  • yiw means “yank in word”
  • dd means “delete a line”
  • yy means “yank a line”

The combination is sometimes called “chording”, which reminds us of… playing a musical instrumental, or something art-related, does it not?

Typing “art definition” in Google gives us

The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

Which intersects my definition at the word “beauty”. I simply think that, “art can be useless, but is something that makes our living more enjoyable and beautiful”. You are able to draw the conclusion yourself on Vim and text editing, are you not?


I had a kind of “unconventional” outline in the hope that it is going to make the content less boring (in the talk, I planned to include short demonstration sessions within the talk to make it a bit more interactive). The journey was short, but hopefully enjoyable and sparked an interest in you on Vim and makes text editing less tedious.

I did not touch Emacs here, since I am not too familiar with it (I dabbled a bit into Doom Emacs, but a few small fixes here and there on key binding of Emacs’s evil mode repelled me out of the editor completely). Let us hope that I can overcome it in the future, and write something even more compelling.