Evil for Vim Style Editing

Evil (extensible vi layer for Emacs) provides multiple editing states, multi-modal editing, simplifying keybindings by reducing the need for simultaneous key presses.

Spacemacs provides Evil editing states and simplified keybindings throughout all layers and major modes.

Spacemacs - Evil states

  • normal - for manipulating and navigating existing text (default state)
  • insert - for writing new text
  • visual - for selecting blocks of text
  • iedit - edit multiple regions simultaneously
  • 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.

Normal state by default

Evil normal state should be used most of the time, unless you are writing code or creating lots of text.

Learn Vim-style editing

Vim-style editing is arguably the most effective way to work with text, supporting changes as much through text manipulation as editing text. Once practised, vim-style editing is far faster than uni-mode editing.

The recommended way to learn vim style editing is to practice and ideally use it for everything you do.

SPC h T v starts the build in Vim tutorial. This provides the basic movement of vim and provides an interactive way to practice your skills

To help make Vim style editing become a sub-conscious act you should learn to speak Evil

Vim Adventures is a web-based game that is an alternative to practising Vim.

Vim Adventures - learn VIM while playing a game

Learning resource for Evil

A focused on learning Vim and understanding why its so powerful. Transcript and exercises are also available.

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