9.0 - Glossary of terms

This glossary will be updated as people suggest terms that they do not understand. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

command mode
Command mode is the mode within vi where the user gives commands to vi. (Including cursor movement commands, editing commands, etc.)

A non-visual editor under unix.

The escape key. A key on a keyboard normally marked by escape. Sometimes ^[ will work in its place. If there is no escape key, sometimes the Meta key will work.

An editor under unix, all commands preceded with : are passed to it.

insert mode
Insert mode is the mode within vi where text is inserted into the document.

A macro is a shortcut key combination. For example, a macro allows one to hit one letter and have it execute a few different commands.

open mode
Open mode is the mode that vi will start in if it cannot determine your terminal type, or if it believes you have a hardware or glass-tube terminal.

regular expressions (RegEx)
Regular expressions, commonly known as "RegEx" are a set of key combinations that are meant to allow people to have a large variety of control over what they are searching for. RegEx is used a lot under Unix, and is common between many programs.

Stream-line editor. An editor that has no interface. All commands are given from the command line.

The editor to which this FAQ is dedicated.

This HTML version of the vi Faq was compiled by Baruch Promislow of Macom Networking LTD.

(C)opyright, E. Larry Lidz, 1994, 1995. All Rights Reserved.