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Yank and Push - copy and move in vi

If you want to copy a number of lines, Yank them into your paste buffer, move the cursor to where you want the copy, and Push the duplicate copy.

Example ....
10Y (yank 10 lines - the current followed by the next 9)
move cursor
P (push those lines into their new position)

Alternatives / variants of yanking.

1. You can use yy rather that Y (two lower case Ys not one upper case) and it will do the same yank.

2. You can use yw to yank a word, y$ to yank to the end of the line, y0 to yank back to the beginning of the line, yb to yank back to the beginning of the current word ... (and that's just a selection!)

3. You can precede your yank by naming a buffer to use double quote command) so that you can keep more than one set of lines available to push at the same time. For example "a10Y - "Using buffer 'a', yank 10 lines".

4. If you delete lines with dd or any of the alternatives such as dw or d$, your text is also stored in the yank buffer, and can be pushed back to a new position.

Alternatives / variants of pushing.

1. P pushes the text in front of the current cursor position, but p (lower case) pushes it after.

2. You can use a names buffed (with double quotes) to push from a named buffer rather than from the default - "aP means "push the text in buffer 'a' before the current cursor position"

More buffers are available than you could possible want - use any of the letters (upper or lower case) and almost all of the special characters!




Markers are also named in a similar way, but are a different facility. If in vi you type ma, you're setting a marker called "a" and later on in the session you can type 'a - that's "single quote, a" to jump you to that position - a very useful trick for getting back to somewhere you've already been without having to search again, or note a line number!

Note - in ex mode in vi, you have copy and move commands available too ...

:10,20copy5 - duplicate lines 10 to 20 inclusive in front of line 5

:.,.+3move0 - move the current line and the next 3 to the very beginning of the buffer
(written 2008-08-21)

 
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