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“A Byte of Vim” is a book which aims to help you to learn how to use the Vim editor (version 7), even if all you know is how to use the computer keyboard.

Vim editor.gif

The first part of this book is meant for new users who want to understand what Vim is and learn how to use it.

The second part of this book is for people who already know how to use Vim and want to learn about features that make Vim so powerful, such as windows and tabs, personal information management, making it a programmer’s editor, how to extend Vim with your own plugins, and more.

Read Now

Read the whole book online now.

If you find any typos/spelling mistakes, you are encouraged to click on the ‘Edit’ link in the left sidebar and fix it!

Buy the Book

A printed hardcopy of the book can be purchased for your offline reading pleasure, and to support the continued development and improvement of this book.


What Readers Say

Thanks to A Byte of Vim, I have learnt how to use vim. Thank you very much for this excellent book!;)

— Camille L (France)

“Well done!!! I’ve been only using vim for like 2/3 weeks now, and thus I can say that it’s just perfect for beginners like me!!!”


“The book is very good and fun to read too. Thank you for sharing it.”

Yosi Izaq

“Your books should sell like hot cakes for their way of presentation.”


“I’d recommend A Byte of Vim as a good intro for new and experienced users alike.”

James Kovacs, Germany

“Este libro me ayudó muchísimo a sacarle provecho a vim”
(“This book helped me a lot to take advantage of vim”)

Antonio Touriño, Panamá

“Awesome! Thank you for all of your hard work. It is especially nice that the beginning starts the reader off gradually. After using vim for a couple of years I’ve forgotten how weird it seems at first, so I probably wouldn’t explain it that good to someone. I will be sure to share your book to spread the vim propaganda.;-)”

Joseph Sullivan

What I am trying to say is if you have basic computer competency you should immediately get Vim on your machine and improve your life. The best place to learn about is to read Swaroop C H’s awesome eBook A Byte of Vim, it will revolutionize how you think about text editors in the future.

“wooden nickels”

“Have been thumbing through ‘byte of vim’. learning a ton even having used vim for years.”

Josh Nichols

Great Book!! Although I use vim everyday as an editor as well as an ide, the book makes u realise how much more it can do.

Raseel Bhagat

Wonderful! This was one most-required-book. I was a vim user for the past years, but never have seen these much of facilities inside that! Thanks for the Book, Swaroop!

Hiran Venugopalan

What a nice book. I’m a long-time vim user, but never managed to get my head around vim scripting (apart from fixing some bugs in others’ scripts). This is the best introduction to Vim scripting (writing plugins, syntax files, …) I have seen so far. Thanks for putting it online!

Anonymous (

“Thank you Swaroop! I’ve begun reading it and must say it’s very well written. And I have no doubts this great community of us vim users here will improve it through fixes, additions or small corrections — the wiki format is a great idea.”

Eduard Fabra

I have used vi for quite a while and am pretty comfortable with it. But all I do in vi is first get into insert mode and edit the file as if I am using notepad. I started searching for tutorials on vi and found one that is so simple yet so amazing. I thank Swaroop CH, yes the same guy who wrote the book A Byte of Python, for another amazing book A Byte of Vim. It was so amazing and I started using vi like a novice vimmer.”


A Byte of Vim saved my day once again…



License and Terms

  1. This book is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
    • This means:
      • You are free to Share i.e. to copy, distribute and transmit this book
      • You are free to Remix i.e. to adapt this book
    • Under the following conditions:
      • Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of this book).
      • Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.
    • For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this book.
    • Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
    • Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author’s moral rights.
  2. Attribution must be shown by linking back to and clearly indicating that the original text can be fetched from this location.
  3. All the code/scripts provided in this book is licensed under the 3-clause BSD License unless otherwise noted.
  4. Some sample text used in this book has been retrieved from and under the GNU Free Documentation License.
  5. Volunteer contributions to this original book must be under this same license and the copyright must be assigned to the main author of this book.


If you are interested in reading or contributing translations of this book to other human languages, please see Translations.