Vim Basics

Vim style editing uses multiple states for specific tasks, enabling simple keybindings that are consistent and easy to learn through repetition.

Spacemacs States

  • normal - for manipulating and navigating existing text
  • insert - for writing new text
  • visual - for selecting blocks of text
  • iedit - edit multiple regions (i.e. multiple cursors)
  • lisp - structural editing for Clojure & Lisp style languages (e.g. slurp, barf)

First get familiar with normal, insert and visual states. Then when you are comfortable, move on to iedit and lisp states.

Learning Vim

Start learning the basics of Vim in Spacemacs by following the built-in Evil tutorial: SPC h T

Review the Vim quick reference regularly and pick up a few keybindings each time you are using Spacemacs. The more often you use these keybindings, the sooner they will become ingrained.

Other learning resource for Vim include:


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