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Improving your Productivity with VIM (+ VS Code Shortcuts)

jgcarrillo profile image Jorge πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»πŸš€ ・3 min read

When my peers see me writing code they think I'm possessed by some kind of dark forze which drives me to use a series of strange shortcuts for them. The reality is that, with practice, I have gained a great ability to put the mouse aside.

But, to be honest, the path was hard. The vas majority Vim's gurus uses such a great amount of shortcuts, macros, and patterns that shocked me out.

The Basics

That's the entry point of this post, bring you a series of most common shortcurts that I use in my day to day as a web dev. Furthermore, there are also great shortcuts for VS Code that will take you to the next level.


  • i -> For normal mode. In this mode you can insert text before the cursor.
  • esc -> Exit insert mode. A fat cursor appears and you will able to move throught the document.
  • Ctrl+v -> Start visual mode (lines).
  • Ctrl+V -> Start visual mode (blocks).


  • h -> Left
  • j -> Down
  • k -> Up
  • l -> Right
  • 0 -> Jump to the start of the line
  • $ -> Jump to the end of the line
  • G -> Go to the last line of the document
  • zz -> Go to the first line of the document


  • :q! -> Quit and throw away unsaved changes.
  • :wq -> Write (save) and quit.

Most used shortcuts (for me)

Insert text

  • I -> Insert at the beginning of the line.
  • A -> Insert (append) at the end of the line.
  • o -> Append (open) a new line below the current line.
  • O -> Append (open) a new line above the current line.
  • gd -> Go to a definition (variable, function...).
  • gf -> Go to a specifil file.


  • r -> Replace a single character.
  • x -> Delete characters.
  • u -> Undo
  • Ctrl+r -> Redo
  • ciw -> Replace the entire word.
  • cc -> Replace the entire line

Cut and paste

  • yy -> Copy a line.
  • 2yy -> Copy two lines.
  • p -> Paste after cursor.
  • P -> Paste before cursor.
  • dd -> Delete a line
  • d$ -> Delete to the end of the line.
  • dw -> Delete the characters of the word from the cursor position to the start of the next word.

Pro commands

  • line-number + G -> Go to this line.
  • /search-term -> Search inside the code. Move witch n.
  • % -> Move to matching character ({}, []).
  • :/s/text-to-change/new-text/gc -> Replaces the indicated text with the new one throughout the document.

VS Code

  • Ctrl+n -> Move forward through options in a drop-down panel.
  • Ctrl+p -> Move backwards through options in a drop-down panel.
  • Alt+arrow keys -> Move the current line up or down.
  • Alt+Shift+arrow keys -> Copy the current line up or down.

I hope you will find it useful for your projects. Honestly in my case I have notably improved the way I write code πŸ˜‰

Cover photo by NihoNorway graphy on Unsplash

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