vim -u usevim-vimrc.
Most types of commands can be repeated in Vim. Mastering the basic ways to repeat commands is a good way of building up your skills to prepare for another killer feature: macros.
First, the most commonly used repeat command is probably
n. In Normal mode search for text with
/, then press
n to repeat the search.
N will do this in reverse.
The substitute (
:s) command can also be repeated by typing
&. However, if you just want to see what the change will do at each match, then it can often be more efficient to use the
c flag with a global substitution, like this:
Vim will prompt for confirmation and highlight the match, so it's easy to see if the change is what was intended.
. will repeat the last text changing command. This can be useful when programming -- I find myself using it when I want to append a method call in an unpredictable pattern.
In this example, I want to add
.html_safe to certain places in the file. I've typed it once already, pressed
<Esc>, then used various motion commands to move to other locations where I want to append
.html_safe. This example was inspired by a week of painful Ruby on Rails 2 to 3 upgrades, where I found myself using Vim's macros to perform huge amounts of editing with little effort -- I'll write about macros soon in this series.
All of these commands work with counts as well, so typing
2. will perform a text change twice.
There are more ways to repeat various operations in Vim, but before I start getting too deep for a beginner's introduction, I'll leave you with one more. Typing
@: in Normal mode will repeat the last command-line. That means anything you've typed starting with
: can be repeated very easily.