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Learning the vi Editor, Sixth Edition by Linda Lamb, Arnold Robbins

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10.8. Improved Editing Facilities

This section describes the features of elvis that make simple text editing easier and more powerful.

10.8.1. Command-Line History and Completion

Everything you type on the ex command line is saved in a buffer named Elvis ex history. This is accessible like any other elvis buffer, but is not directly useful when just viewed in a window.

In order to access the history, you use the arrow keys on your terminal to display previous commands and to edit them. Use and to page through the list, and and to move around on a command line. You can insert characters by typing and erase them by backspacing over them. Much as when editing in a regular vi buffer, the backspace does remove the characters, but the line is not updated as you type, so be careful!

When entering text into the Elvis ex history buffer (i.e., on the colon command line), the TAB key can be used for filename expansion. The preceding word is assumed to be a partial filename, and elvis searches for all matching files. If there are multiple matches, it fills in as many characters ...

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