Getting to Black Belt in Vim – Part 3 – Green Belt

In previous posts, we covered basic editing and motions. At green belt level, we’ll learn about getting into insert mode faster i.e. moving to a location and entering insert mode in one command. Then, we’ll cover a few more motions. Finally, we’ll look at jumps and navigating through your jump history.

Green Belt

Insert Mode Shortcuts:

  • I (capital i) to go into insert mode at before the first non-blank character on the line1.
  • A to go into insert mode after the last character on the line2.
  • o to go into insert mode on the next line below, O to go to insert mode on the line above.
  • a to go to insert mode after the cursor.
  • s to delete a character, then go into insert mode.
Insert mode shortcuts to “jump” then go into insert mode

Horizontal motions:

  • W to go forwards by a WORD, B to go backwards a WORD.
  • e to go forwards to the end of a word, ge to go backwards to the end of the word.

Vertical motions:

  • <Ctrl> + u to move up by half a screen, <Ctrl> + d to move down by half a screen.
  • <Ctrl> + f to move up a page, <Ctrl> + b to move down by a page.
  • <line-number> + G to go to the line number you want to go to.


  • A jump is a command that moves your cursor several lines away. We’ve come across a few of these already, such as “H”, “M”, “L”, “{” or “}”. You can navigate through your jump history by hitting <Ctrl> + o to go backwards (oldest) and <Ctrl> + i to go forwards through your jump list.

In part 4 at blue belt level, we’ll cover visual mode and more motions.

  1. This is the equivalent of typing ^ followed by i. Once you’re done, you can exit insert mode by hitting <Esc>. ↩︎
  2. This is equivalent of typing $ following by i. Again, you can exit insert mode by hitting <Esc>. ↩︎
Categorized as Vim Tagged