Moving Text In vi(1) To Another File

Rodney Lewis rodney.lewis at
Fri Aug 29 12:00:17 UTC 2014

On 2014-08-29 09:20, Jamie Griffin wrote:

> What is the best way to copy large sections of text in a file and copy 
> it to another file, possibly a new file or not. Is vi even the best 
> utility to do that?
> I have the source file open; I yank the text region then, do I open a 
> new file/buffer first or is there a command to 'redirect' the data to?

There are several ways to do this but I prefer the old ex commands. It's 
just the way my brain works.

First I enable visible line numbers so I know what's where.

:set nu

You can then use the following to write out to a new file.
Select lines 10 to 30
:10,30w ~/newfile

Or append lines 45 to 66 to newfile

:45,66w >>~/newfile

To copy text chunks around a file
Copy line 45,66 and insert at line 90


Or substitute mo to move it


You can also use d to delete chunks of text
Delete line 78 to 88

Hope this helps


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