The vi command
is for abbreviating words.
But it's also good for abbreviating ex-mode
commands that you type over and over.
In fact, for ex-mode commands (commands that start with a colon
:)), abbreviations can be better than
That's because you can choose almost any command name; you don't have to worry
about conflicts with existing vi commands.
Here's an example. If you have a windowing terminal or have more than one terminal, you might have vi sessions running in more than one place. Your system might have a way to transfer text between windows, but it can be easier to use files in- especially for handling lots of text. Here are some abbreviations from my file:
ab aW w! /tmp/jerry.temp.a ab aR r /tmp/jerry.temp.a ab bW w! /tmp/jerry.temp.b ab bR r /tmp/jerry.temp.b ...
I use those abbreviations this way. To write the current and next 45 lines to temporary file a, I type this command in one vi session:
To read those saved lines into another vi session, I use:
You can do the same thing in a single vi session by using, but temporary files are the only method that works between two separate vi sessions.