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Practical Vim: Edit Text at the Speed of Thought (Pragmatic Programmers) Paperback – October 11, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1934356982 ISBN-10: 1934356980 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Pragmatic Programmers
  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (October 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356982
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Drew has continued the wonderful work he has done with Vimcasts in this book, a must-read for anyone serious about Vim."

—Anders Janmyr, Developer Jayway

"Practical Vim continues to change what I believe a text editor can do."

—John P. Daigle, Developer ThoughtWorks, Inc.

"I’ve learned more about Vim by reading this book than I have from any other resource."

—Robert Evans, Software Engineer, Code Wranglers

About the Author

Drew Neil is an independent programmer, writer, and trainer. He runs workshops around the world, speaks regularly at conferences, and specializes in making educational screencasts. At vimcasts.org, he publishes articles and video tutorials about Vim.


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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When I received the printed copy it was even better.
Anders Janmyr
Its 121 tips make it a great reference book, even if you read it cover-to-cover (which I have) you'll be wanting to keep it with you to lookup tips when you use Vim.
Mark Kremer
This is one of the best technical books I've ever read: comprehensive but never dry.
Peter Aronoff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mislav Marohnic on October 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
In the past couple of years, you couldn't really get far with learning Vim without eventually bumping into--and going back to--VimCasts. And now the author of the popular screencast series took this experience of teaching people and materialized it in a book far more comprehensible than a collection of bite-sized videos could ever be. With a copy of Practival Vim handy, I now reach for it as a reference instead of returning to VimCasts or searching the Web.

For some, Vim is this daunting program that seems almost impenetrable. Practical Vim completely disarms this mantra by taking a lighthearted approach that makes Vim seem completely unlike that hard, unfriendly editor we once considered it to be. Even if this was the single takeaway from this book--and Practical Vim holds much more--it would be so worth it.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Peter Aronoff on October 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
Vim has such enthusiastic users that you would expect there to be many excellent books about it, but previous books on Vim are frankly mediocre. Luckily, Practical Vim more than makes up for the problem. Saying that it's far and away the best Vim book available is true, but (unfortunately) faint praise. This is one of the best technical books I've ever read: comprehensive but never dry. It's a must-own if you are a serious Vim user.

The book is aimed primarily at intermediate Vim users, and it does a oustanding job leading such users to Vim mastery. (You could use Practical Vim as a way to learn Vim, but it would require a lot of effort initially.) Practical Vim is made up of 121 tips, and the material is divided into six large sections.

* Section I - Modes
Detailed coverage of Vim's normal, insert, visual and command-line modes

* Section II - Files
Managing multiple files at once and opening and saving files

* Section III - Getting Around Faster
Navigating more quickly within files as well as between files

* Section IV - Registers
Copy/paste registers and macros

* Section V - Patterns
Everything you ever wanted to know about Vim's (many) pattern-matching flavors as well as how to use patterns for searching and replacing text; also discusses the :global command

* Section VI - Tools
Covers various external tools (ctags, grep, ack, make, linters) that go nicely with Vim as well as internal tools like Vim's spellchecker.

I was sceptical of the tip-style at first, but it makes the book much easier to dip into as needed or wanted. It also helps to break down the material (which can get dense) into more manageable chunks, even if you read it from cover to cover.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Steven G. Harms on October 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
At the end of the day all text editors serve the following core purposes. They allow you to:

* generate text
* remove text
* navigate through text
* spot-edit text

for this Notepad, emacs, Textmate all suffice. But a *great* editor, in the hands of a master allows you to perform these tasks as efficiently as possible.

Lastly, *great* editors excel in one more criterion:

* it allows you to extend itself with complex, arbitrary collections of the above operations easily

Consider "generate text:" while one *could* type in a word character by character, a vim wizard notes that the line was entered previously and uses autocomplete-line to summon a long line of text back with two keystrokes (tip 115).

Consider "navigate through text:" again, one *could* navigate an editor by arrow keys or some key combination but Vim lets you move by word, WORD (Neil explains what a WORD is), sentence, or paragraph (tips 48-53). If you move by one character more than twice, you're probably missing something.

Consider "spot edit text:" If you need to add titles to several paragraphs and then paste them at the top of your document (say, copying chapter headers from the document and pasting them at the top to make a table of contents), one *could* make the title addition, copy header, scroll up, paste it in a table of contents, scroll back down to next header, rinse-wash-repeat OR, scroll through the document, store the titles and then hop to the top and unload the copies titles all at once, rapid-rapid fire (tips 60, 62).

It is thinking like this that makes watching a bad Vim user (or any other non-wizard editor) such a frustrating experience for Vim pros (which you will be after you grok this book).
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By iynaix on October 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought I was pretty proficient at using vim, but that assumption was completely shattered within a few chapters into the book. Drew Neil, of Vimcasts fame manages to present the dustier corners of Vim in an extremely practical way, complete with real world examples.

If I could give this book 6 stars, I would. If you are interested in becoming more proficient in Vim or are obsessed with Vim, you definitely owe it to yourself to get this book, satisfaction guaranteed.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Yoraf Shiraz on November 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned on my own. After about 6 months, I realized I had stagnated in my use. I bought this book to fill in the gaps, to code faster, and to know what was possible with vim. Turns out, damn near everything is possible in vim, and faster than you usually do it. It also has a curated list of plugins you should use (most by Tim Pope, vim god).

It's the way for those who learned vim informally, to become one a ridiculous edit-at-the-speed-of-thought neckbeards.

Plus, his videos are great. Soothing Irish voice.
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