I have always wanted to learn vim and found it difficult to even work through the tutorials as I cannot touch type. I want to change that and be a good typist and a vimmer.

How can I go about doing that?

4 Answers 4


Touch typing is not the way to become good at Vim. The way to become good at Vim is to use it for twenty years, and even then it will still surprise you (as it does me).

Since Vim is an editor where you can turn the Declaration of Independence into the Magna Carta in about 73 keystrokes, speed of entry is not the primary driver.

On the other hand, the ability to remember the most bizarre esoteric commands is. So, in that sense, it's a good memory that will do you the best good, not speed.

And, if your goal is to become a good touch typist, using an editor where every twelfth keystroke is switching into or out of insert mode is probably not a good idea :-)

  • 8
    :%d | 0r! wget http://www.constitution.org/cons/magna.txt -O - is 63 keystrokes including return
    – Benoit
    Feb 4, 2011 at 12:56
  • @paxdiablo: I was under the impression that they are not mutually exclusive. Thanks for your insight.
    – Animesh
    Feb 4, 2011 at 13:13
  • If you remap caps lock as escape key that won't be an issue
    – prasad
    Dec 8, 2016 at 16:52

If on Windows, try Typefaster portable. On Linux you can try Klavaro, Ktouch, Tipp10, GNU Typist.

  • Good to know that using a typing tutor showing the keyboard is not a good thing (will not make work your memory). This is why using GNU Typist can be recommended, or at least hiding the virtual keyboard when available.
    – smonff
    Nov 10, 2015 at 14:59

Learn a few commands and use them often. When they become second nature, add a few more commands to your repertoire.

Also, when you're fluent enough with a set of commands, don't be lazy and use them to do tasks which have better solutions -- actually take the time to find out what the better solution is, then practice it.


For touchtyping, try http://www.typingweb.com/typingtutor/ and http://play.typeracer.com/

For starting with Vim

Screencasts from PeepCode http://peepcode.com/products/smash-into-vim-i (very helpful), from Derek Wyatt http://www.derekwyatt.org/vim/vim-tutorial-videos/.

Buy Learning Vi and Vim Editor's Book from O'Reilly and Hacking Vim 7.2

That's how I learned

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