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Vim stands for "Vi IMproved". It used to be "Vi IMitation", but there are so many improvements that a name change was appropriate. Vim is a text editor which includes almost all the commands from the UNIX program vi and a lot of new ones.

Commands in the vi editor are entered using only the keyboard, which has the advantage that you can keep your fingers on the keyboard and your eyes on the screen, rather than moving your arm repeatedly to the mouse. For those who want it, mouse support and a GUI version with scrollbars and menus can be activated.

We will refer to vi or vim throughout this book for editing files, while you are of course free to use the editor of your choice. However, we recommend to at least get the vi basics in the fingers, because it is the standard text editor on almost all UNIX systems, while emacs can be an optional package. There may be small differences between different computers and terminals, but the main point is that if you can work with vi, you can survive on any UNIX system.

Apart from the vim command, the vIm packages may also provide gvim, the Gnome version of vim. Beginning users might find this easier to use, because the menus offer help when you forgot or don't know how to perform a particular editing task using the standard vim commands.

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