Advanced Vim

Location: Portland 252
Tags: developer, vim
Average rating: ****.
(4.96, 25 ratings)

You use your editor all day, every day. But how much of that editor do you actually use? Vim is a massive and powerful development tool, but most Vim users use less than 10% of its features.

This tutorial explores many of the less widely known but more powerful features of the Vim editor, and explains how developers can greatly improve their productivity by optimizing, automating, or even eliminating the common coding tasks they perform every day. Topics covered include:

  • Advanced navigation
  • Smart search modes
  • Text and filename autocompletion
  • Extended regex syntax
  • Understanding and using the numerous input modes
  • Handy configuration options
  • Using registers and register persistence
  • The text folding mechanism
  • Building your own editing commands
  • Active highlighting techniques
  • Maps, abbreviations, macros, and other short-cuts
  • Calling other tools from Vim
  • Safeguarding and recovering your work
Photo of Damian Conway

Damian Conway


Damian Conway is an internationally renowned speaker, author, and trainer, and a prominent contributor to the Perl community. Currently he runs Thoughtstream, an international IT training company that provides programmer training from beginner to masterclass level throughout Europe, North America, and Australasia. Most of his spare time over the past decade has been spent working with Larry Wall on the design and explication of the Perl 6 programming language. He has a PhD in Computer Science and was until recently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University, Australia.

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Nicole Patton
08/05/2011 5:10am PDT

Great speaker, excellent subject. Would love more talks about vim! Perhaps something about scripting or other more advanced stuff.

Dave Cohoe
07/31/2011 11:17pm PDT

Fantastic talk – one of my favorites.

Elliot Shank
07/28/2011 1:34am PDT

Next time, a couple sessions even more advanced would be appreciated: scripting, plugins, regexes, etc. Hell, a two full day session on Vim would be awesome.

Scott Baker
07/27/2011 12:18pm PDT

Best talk I heard at OSCON this year. I really hope he’s able to do a Vim script talk next year, I think it would very helpful.