Many ex commands
that perform normal editing operations have an equivalent in vi that does the job more simply. Obviously,
you will use
dd to delete a single word or line rather
than using the
delete command in
ex. However, when you want to make
changes that affect numerous lines, you will find the ex commands more useful. They allow you to
modify large blocks of text with a single command.
These ex commands are listed here, along with abbreviations for those commands. Remember that in vi, each ex command must be preceded with a colon. You can use the full command name or the abbreviation, whichever is easier to remember.
|Copy lines (a synonym for |
You can separate the different elements of an ex command with spaces, if you find the command easier to read that way. For example, you can separate line addresses, patterns, and commands in this way. You cannot, however, use a space as a separator inside a pattern or at the end of a substitute command.
For each ex
editing command, you have to tell ex which line number(s) to edit. And for
copy commands, you also need to tell
ex where to move or copy the text
You can specify line addresses in several ways:
With explicit line numbers
With symbols that help you specify line numbers relative to your current position in the file
With search patterns as addresses that identify the lines to be affected ...