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I've been using Vim for around 7 months now, I mainly code in javascript but occasionally bash or python. I've picked up lot of tricks for using it and often go off the "if i can;t do it, find out how" or "if i think something can be improved find out how". I find it very difficult to do large restructures of files, moving blocks of code from on place in a file to another. I've tried using :vsplitto make things slightly easier. But it still feels clunky. What is the best way, or a way to move relatively large blocks (10-30 lines) of code, around a file?

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The most basic way would be:

  1. cut the block you want to move, either directly (di{ for example) or after a visual selection (vipd for example).

  2. move to where you want that block to be and paste.

And I don't see anything "clunky" about it.

How do you do it right now and why is it clunky?

Anyway, behold the beauty of Ex commands:

:'<,'>m33    <-- move the currently selected text to after line 33
:50,62m19    <-- move lines 50 to 62 to after line 19
:-23,+15m13  <-- move 13th line above to 15th line below to after line 13
:'{,'}m'a    <-- move the current paragraph to after mark a
:?^foo?,'bm. <-- move 1st line matching ^foo upward to mark b to after the current line

Oh god… See :exusage, :help :move and :help range.

Note that Vim has ways to help you navigate around:

  • marks, ma to place mark a, 'a to jump to mark a, see :help mark-motions
  • the jumplist, <C-o> to jump back, <C-i> to jump forth, see :help jumplist
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i was doing something more like V20jd move where I want and then paste, it just didn't seem right i'm not sure why.. i just tried the vip, what exactly does that do, blocks to the same indent? and what was the meaning of di{. Thanks for this answer it's clear and goes beyond what i asked so I appreciate it. I think i'll learn to use marks before Ex commands!! – allouis Aug 27 '13 at 13:33
ip is the "paragraph" text-object, a "paragraph" is made of every line between two blank lines. i{ is another text-object for {} blocks. Read :help motion.txt, it will blow your mind. Direct action (d20j) is better than action after selection (v20jd) but it needs a bit of practice. – romainl Aug 27 '13 at 13:43

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