To run vim from the terminal, just type in “vim” (or sometimes “vi” works).

$ vim hello.cpp

Once vim is open, you can start editing the file immediately.

Basic use

<Esc> is the escape key or use <ctrl>[ sometimes written as C-[

vimtutor : starts vim editing a copy of a tutorial file – very good.
i : insert mode. Next keys typed are inserted into the file.
<Esc> : Escape from insert mode so you can navigate and use edit commands (stop selecting)
h j k l : move cursor ( h: ← j: ↓ k: ↑ l: → )
A : Append at end of line
o : Insert at new line below
u : undo last command, again and again
x : delete character under cursor
dw : delete everything right from the cursor to the start of next word (and put it into the default register)
dd : delete line (and put it into the default register)
p : paste the default register

/myname : search forward for myname

:wq : write and quit
:x : write and quit
:w filename : write a copy of the file you are editing as filename
:q! : quit without saving even if changes were made!
:help : display help
<Tab> : use tab completion to scroll through commands that start with what you typed

COPY PASTE (for CUTting lines use dd as described above)
v : visual mode – use to select text with cursor movement or mouse
y : use to yank (copy) what was selected
<Esc> : esc gets you back to the main mode

^ w e $ : bigger movements: beginning of line, word, end of word, end of line

normal, insert and visual, there are others too
<Esc> takes you back to normal

Enter a number before a command to repeat it, examples:
10w : skip forward 10 words
10dd : delete 10 lines

Commands are case sensitive:
c : starts a change command
C : change to end of line (same as c$)
ce : change to end of word (a complete change command)

Other useful hints : Visit frequently
comp.editors : Vim dominated newsgroup