Have You Ever Played
With Your Editor?

Compose your own Vim symphony

Vim was too complicated. It wasn't worth the effort to learn it. Or so I thought.

I tried anyway.

I could write and edit my content after a couple of hours. Why everybody thought it was so hard?

Even better: I was more productive, I could focus solely on what I was writing, and I had so much fun!

The fun never stopped. Even after playing with Vim for almost a decade.

What Will This Book Bring You?

A step-by-step approach to learn easily without feeling overwhelmed.

Practice makes perfect: solve fun exercises and challenges to build your muscle memory.

How to customize your editor for your own specific needs.

Keeping your hands on your keyboard will save your cognitive energy, and improve your productivity.

Would You Like To Know More?

The book is not finished yet, but you can follow its progress.
You'll also receive the first version of the table of content.

Every subscriber will get a discount when the book is out. The earliest you subscribe, the better the discount!

I only send an email when I've something interesting to say or to show.

Your feedback are precious: you can reply to any email to give your opinions, ideas, or to ask questions. I'll reply to you personally.

About The Author

photo of the author of the book Matthieu Cneude

Hi! I'm Matthieu. Nice to see you here!

I've been coding as a hobby for 20 years, professionally for 10+ years.

I've worked from small to big companies, mentoring and leading developer teams.

Teaching is very rewarding to me. That's why I love writing for my blog, The Valuable Dev.


There are many resources about Vim out there: what's different with this one?

  • Each chapter builds on the previous one, to show you more advanced techniques as you progress.
  • Practice makes perfect: each chapter comes with exercises to increase your skills, but also to dive deeper and uncover useful subtleties.
  • The book tries to focus on real-life, practical examples, inspired from my own (and friend's) use of Vim.
  • The book is aimed to be as complete as possible, without going into useless, boring details.
  • Even if you use Vim for a long time, I'm pretty sure you'll learn something in this book. If not, ask for a refund!
  • There's a rich annexe section, to serve as a reference when you're working with Vim.
  • The book is designed to be fun to read (we're here to play!) with a minimum of fluff. I don't want to tell the story of my grandma for 392 pages.

What this book is NOT good for?

This book is not for you if:

  • You're not ready to invest some time on the short term to be more effective on the long term.
  • You want absolutely all details about everything. Vim's internal help will do a better job than this book (or any other).
  • You want to learn the basics, but you're not interested to go further. In that case, most free tutorials out there will be enough.
  • You want to reproduce all the functionalities of your IDE without compromises. Vim is powerful (and can do much more than most people think), but it's not your IDE.
  • You're more interested in plugins than Vim's internal functionalities. Learning to Play Vim is more about the latter.

Why should I use Vim?

  • Vim is a free, mature, and stable editor. It has many useful functionalities you won't find anywhere else.
  • Vim is lighter and faster than most IDEs. It's not a problem to have multiple instances running in parallel, even on old computers.
  • You can customize Vim according to your own needs, to focus on your code (or your writing).
  • Vim is fun to play with! To me, it's like a game. The goal: to use as less keystrokes as possible.
  • You can configure IDE-like features (autocompletion, jump to definition, debugging...) for many programming languages.
    No need to have multiple editors or IDEs anymore!
  • Vim allows you to write and edit using only the keyboard, improving your efficiency.
  • Switching between the keyboard and the mouse costs cognitive energy, and breaks your flow. No need to use the mouse with Vim.
  • There are countless plugins for Vim out there, enabling a more modern experience, similar to an IDE.
  • You can use any shell command directly in Vim, expanding drastically its functionalities.
  • Many command-line tools use some Vim keystrokes. It makes them easier to learn.
  • Popular shells (like Bash or Zsh) have a "Vi" mode, allowing you to use some Vim keystrokes to edit your commands.
  • Vim is sometimes the only option for editing files on remote server or docker containers.

Is it true that Vim has a steep learning curve?

Despite its reputation, Vim is not hard to learn. It works differently than most editor or IDE out there, that's why many people find it difficult. If you accept that it requires some adaptation, you can learn the basics in a couple of hours.

Vim is a good example of a tool easy to learn but hard to master: you'll add new functionalities to your workflow overtime, improving your editing experience and your efficiency.

That's why this book takes a step-by-step approach.

Is this book about Vim, Neovim, or GVim?

This book is exclusively about Vim and Neovim running in a *nix shell (Unix-like shell like Zsh or Bash). This book is not about Vim running in a GUI, like GVim for example.