A Tale of Two Selections

One command that's burned into my muscle memory is gv. This starts Visual mode with the previous area selected. I find this useful for shuffling around blocks of text or applying commands to selected regions. Some commands clear a region, so quickly typing gv to get it back is great.

There are arguments to avoid Visual mode for certain classes of operations, but I find it useful for performing refactoring, or stylistic changes. Practice gv if you're not used to it.

I often want to do the opposite as well: after putting (pasting) something I may want to visually select it. This isn't as easy as gv, and it took me a while to figure it out -- `[v`]. It works like this:

  • `[: Move to the first character of the previously changed text
  • v: Enter Visual mode
  • `]: Move to the last character of the previous changed text

This is harder to learn, but user-friendliness is only a nnoremap away. See Selecting your pasted text for more.

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