The ex line editor serves as the foundation for the screen editor vi. Commands in ex work on the current line or on a range of lines in a file. Most often, you use ex from within vi. In vi, ex commands are preceded by a colon and entered by pressing Return.
You can also invoke ex on its own--from the command line--just as you would invoke vi. (You could execute an ex script this way.) You can also use the vi command Q to quit the vi editor and enter ex.
This chapter presents the following topics:
Syntax of ex commands
Alphabetical summary of commands
For more information, see Learning the vi Editor, listed in the Bibliography.
:[address] command [options]
An initial : indicates an ex command. As you type the command, it is echoed on the status line. Enter the command by pressing the Return key. address is the line number or range of lines that are the object of command. options and addresses are described below. ex commands are described in Section 9.2.
You can exit ex in several ways:
where x and y are the first and last addressed lines (x must precede y in the buffer). x and y may each be a line number or a symbol. Using ; instead of , sets the current line to x before interpreting y. The notation 1,$ addresses all lines in the file, as does %.
|1,$||All lines in the file.|
|x,y||Lines x through y.|
Lines x through y, with current line reset to x.
|0||Top of file.|
|n||Absolute line number n.|
|%||All lines; same as 1,$.|
|x-n||n lines before x.|
|x+n||n lines after x.|
|-[n]||One or n lines previous.|
|+[n]||One or n lines ahead.|
|'x||Line marked with x.|
|/pattern/||Forward to line matching pattern.|
|?pattern?||Backward to line matching pattern.|
See Chapter 6, for more information on using patterns.
Copyright © 2003 O'Reilly & Associates. All rights reserved.