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Part I: Basic and Advanced vi > Introducing the ex Editor

Chapter 5. Introducing
the ex Editor

If this is a handbook on vi, why would we include a chapter on another editor? ex is not really another editor. vi is the visual mode of the more general, underlying line editor, ex. Some ex commands can be useful to you while you are working in vi, since they can save you a lot of editing time. Most of these commands can be used without ever leaving vi.[1]

[1] vile is different from the other clones. Many of the more advanced ex commands simply don't work. Instead of noting each one, more details are provided in Chapter 12.

You already know how to think of files as a sequence of numbered lines. ex gives you editing commands with greater mobility and scope. With ex you can move easily between files and transfer text from one file to another in a variety of ways. You can quickly edit blocks of text larger than a single screen. And with global replacement you can make substitutions throughout a file for a given pattern.


  

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