I'm trying to write a Vim tutorial and I'd like to start by dismissing a few misconceptions, as well as giving some recommendations.

I don't know if I should dismiss touch-typing as a misconception, or include it as a recommended prerequisite.

At the time I learned the editor, I had already been touch typing for a couple of years, so I have absolutely no idea what would be the experience of a two-fingered typist in Vim.

Are you a vim two-fingered typist? what has your experience been like?


I'm not sure if my question was clear enough. Maybe it's my fault, I don't know. I get mixed replies and other questions (why do you write this? what does one have to do with the other?), instead of empirical info (I don't touch type and it's been (fine|hell)).

Some programmers touch-type others search and peck. In the middle, there's Vim which requires a certain affinity with keys to do various operations. I am a touch typist and I have no clue what my experience would have been like with the editor if I wasn't. I can't honestly picture myself pecking some of these combos. But like I said, I don't know what it is like. Before telling someone to start using Vim, I'd like to know if I should dismiss touch-typing as a misconceived requirement.

So, I'll rephrase the question, have you felt that not being a touch-typist has impeded on your experience with Vim?

closed as not constructive by Simon Sheehan, slhck, Wuffers, studiohack Oct 30 '11 at 23:29

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  • 1
    (I hunt and peck, and used vim for years that way. Don't see how one is related to the other.) – Brian Apr 1 '10 at 17:56
  • I didn't realize touch-typing was different from the 'Hunt-And-Peck' technique. – rlb.usa Apr 1 '10 at 17:57
  • 1
    The tutorial that comes with Vim is pretty good, any reason you want to write your own? That said, I think the biggest misconception is that you have to memorize a lot of commands for Vim to be useful. You really spend the vast majority of your time typing out code, not cutting/pasting, indenting, saving, etc. A cheat sheet + knowing a few of the more basic commands and modes is really all you need to start using Vim effectively. – tixxit Apr 1 '10 at 18:01

I have never been a touch typist and my vim experience over the past 5+ years have been fine.


If you ask for my personal experience (this question is subjective and of an opinion, of course), then I will have to say the following:

  1. VI / VIM are highly expert-tools, and I have yet to see computer experts who are not touch typists.
  2. VI thrives on keyboard shortcuts. If you do not use them (for example if you are using GVIM), then you would be using a mouse to get to the options.

I think there is a lot of sense in teaching people such a tool, which excels in formatting code, for example. However, there are other good alternatives which work more according to the Windows way of doing things, and you may want to check them out.

Overall, as someone who installed GVIM today and experimented with it a few hours ago, I think it definitely is an excellent tool, but its awkward interface and expert knowledge needed, and unintuitive way of working with "modes" will lessen its appeal to GUI users. I guess your readers may have been indoctrinated in GUI environments, and the modal way of VI may just be too awkward for them. But that is my educated guess... ;-)


Yes, I'm a two-fingered typist and I don't see how is it related to Vim.

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