VI(1) General Commands Manual VI(1)
vi, view, vedit - visual display editor based on ex(1)
vi [ -ClLRVx ] [ -c command ] [ -r filename ] [ -t tag ] [ -wnnn ] [
+command ] filename...
vi (visual) is a display oriented text editor based on ex(1). ex and
vi are, in fact, the same text editor; it is possible to get to the
command mode of ex from within vi and vice-versa.
view runs vi with the readonly flag set. With view, you can browse
through files interactively without making any changes.
vedit runs vi with the report flag set to 1, the showmode and novice
flags set, and the magic flag turned off. These default settings are
intended to make easier for beginners to learn vi.
-C Encryption option; the same as the -x option, except that
all input text is assumed to have already been encrypted.
This guarantees decryption in the cases where the -x option
incorrectly determines that the input file is not already
encrypted (this is extremely rare, and will only occur in
conjunction with the use of files containing non-ASCII
-l Set up for editing LISP programs.
-L List the names of all files saved as the result of an edi-
tor or system crash.
-R Edit files in read only state. This has the same effect as
the view command.
-V Verbose. Any non-tty input will be echoed on standard
-x Prompt for a key to be used in encrypting the file being
edited. When used in conjunction with a pre-existing file,
ex will make an educated guess to determine whether or not
the input text file is already encrypted.
-c command Start the editing session by executing the editor command
command. If command contains spaces, it must be surrounded
by double quotess, see EXAMPLES below.
-r filename Recover the named files after a crash.
-t tag Edit the file containing tag. There must be a tags data-
base in the directory, built by ctags(1), that contains a
reference to tag.
+command Start the editing session by executing command. This is
identical to the -c option.
The editor recognizes the environment variable EXINIT as a command (or
list of commands separated by | characters) to run when it starts up.
If this variable is undefined, the editor checks for startup commands
in the file ~/.exrc file, which you must own. However, if there is a
.exrc owned by you in the current directory, the editor takes its
startup commands from this file -- overriding both the file in your
home directory and the environment variable.
The environment variables LC_CTYPE, LANG, and LC_default control the
character classification throughout vi. On entry to vi, these environ-
ment variables are checked in the following order: LC_CTYPE, LANG, and
LC_default. When a valid value is found, remaining environment vari-
ables for character classification are ignored. For example, a new
setting for LANG does not override the current valid character classi-
fication rules of LC_CTYPE. When none of the values is valid, the
shell character classification defaults to the POSIX.1 "C" locale. In
the "C" locale, all 8-bit characters are escaped into an octal repre-
The following command:
example% vi -c ":r test" tested
will read in the file test at the end of the tested file.
Software TAB characters using CTRL-T work only immediately after the
SHIFT-left and SHIFT-right on intelligent terminals do not make use of
insert and delete character operations in the terminal.
The wrapmargin option can be fooled since it looks at output columns
when blanks are typed. When insert mode pushes an existing word
through the margin and onto the next line without a break, the line
will not be broken.
Insert/delete within a line can be slow if TAB characters are present
on intelligent terminals, since the terminals need help in doing this
Saving text on deletes in the named buffers is somewhat inefficient.
The source command does not work when executed as `:source'; there is
no way to use the `:append', `:change', and `:insert' commands, since
it is not possible to give more than one line of input to a `:' escape.
To use these on a `:global' you must Q to ex command mode, execute
them, and then reenter the screen editor with vi or open.
When using the -r option to recover a file, you must write the recov-
ered text before quitting or you will lose it. vi does not prevent you
from exiting without writing unless you make changes.
vi does not adjust when the SunView window in which it runs is resized.
The encryption facilities of vi are not available on software shipped
outside the U.S.
2 October 1989 VI(1)