What to do when you get stuck in a Vim editor

Anybody using Git straight out of the box on the command line is likely to have found themselves suddenly stuck in a Vim editor. If you’re not used to Vim, this can be a highly discombobulating experience. Here’s how to escape!

  • Quick Guide:
    • Type i to get into insert mode
      • (no need for colon)
      • (if it’s worked, you’ll see “– INSERT –” at bottom of screen
    • Type your commit message
    • Click Esc
    • Type :wq to save and quit
      • Or type :q! to quit without saving
    • Hit Enter

Changing your Default Git Editor

  • You don’t have to have Vim as your default editor! You can change to an editor of your choice (eg Notepad)
  • Note that these instructions were written for Windows. I don’t know about other operating systems but I’m guessing it’ll be similar
    • Find and open your .gitconfig file
      • (probably here: C:\Users\[user-name])
    • Add this section to the bottom:
      • [core]
      • editor = ‘C:/Program Files (x86)/Notepad++/notepad++.exe’
    • Save and close the file.
    • When you’re committing with git, just write git commit and press Enter. It will pop open Notepad++.
    • Write your commit message at the top of the file, and save and close the file. Done!
      • …but it doesn’t always work like that, in which case you might have to go back to VIM and just learn the VIM basics
  • More here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2596805/how-do-i-make-git-use-the-editor-of-my-choice-for-commits

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