Front End

Develop faster with these quick Vim + VSCode tips

This post was originally posted on my personal blog at jwbaldwin.com

When I started Flowist.io, I decided: I want to learn vim. And I want to be fast.

Learning Vim can be hard at first. But combining it with VSCode can make that a bit easier - and you get the best of both worlds!

Here are some of the most useful tips and tricks that instantly allowed me to work faster! P.S.: great resource for starting out: devhints.io/vim

Vim secret: It's not hard. Just learn what the letters mean, combine them, and see what happens!


First of all, to install vim in vscode:

1. Open Visual Studio Code
2. Go to Extensions
3. Search for vim
4. The first plugin named Vim is the one you want
5. Click install
6. Boom!

1. vim-surround

This plugin lets you surround with or remove surrounding elements (think: "'{}(), etc.)

This is a must-have plugin for Vim. I don't believe in immediately installing tons of plugins, but some of them are just necessary.

ve S<tag>

2. vim-motion

Press the keybind and then use the letters to move through your file. Another must-have. Not a replacement for other Vim movements, but incredibly useful for moving quickly and being more productive.

My keybind and config to jump-start you :)

    "vim.easymotionMarkerFontFamily": "FiraCode-Retina",
    "vim.easymotionMarkerBackgroundColor": "#7e57c2",
    "vim.easymotionMarkerWidthPerChar": 8,
    "vim.easymotionMarkerFontSize": "14",
    "vim.easymotionMarkerYOffset": 4,
    "vim.normalModeKeyBindingsNonRecursive": [
            "before": [" "],
            "after": ["leader", "leader", "leader", "b", "d", "w"],
    "vim.easymotion": true,
    "vim.hlsearch": true,

> <space>

3. jj

Hitting <esc> sucks. I didn't realize I wasn't the only one who felt this, and everyone knew a better way. Map something simple to <esc> instead (I use jj, but anything easy works.)

    "vim.insertModeKeyBindings": [
            "before": ["j", "j"],
            "after": ["<esc>"]

> jj

4. cmd + p

Open files super quickly. Don't use the mouse!

> cmd+p

5. V

Visual mode (think highlight and select) but for a whole line at a time.
Didn't know this existed either.

> V

6. yip, yap

Here's where things get expressive!

Helpful for grabbing functions or methods and quickly copying them to paste elsewhere.

y = yank
i = inner (in)
p = paragraph


y = yank
a = a
p = paragraph (including newlines)

> yap

7. cit, yit

Great for editing HTML. 10x faster then navigating inside of the tag and editing or copying it.

c = change
i = inner (in)
t = tag (YES, html tags!)

Bonus tip: Use ", and { to speed up html and javascript editing too!

y = yank
i = inner (in)
t = tag

> cit
change in tag

8. dw, df

Easily remove words faster.

d = delete
w = word


d = delete
f = find
= item to search for and include in the delete

> dw dfs

9. ci", ci{

Change class tags, hrefs, strings and edit function bodies way faster.

c = change
i = inner (in)
" = item to change inside of


c = change
i = inner (in)
{ = item to change inside of

> ci{
change in {

10. f_, F_

Super useful for moving to specific items. Way faster than lllllll or even 8l...h

f = find (ahead of cursor)
_ = anything to search for


F = Find (behind cursor)
_ = anything to search for

> f2 F3

BONUS: u, r

Some bonus must-haves!

u = undo the last change


r = replace (r + thing to replace with)

> <space> dit ... u


Since I started working on Flowist.io I made a serious effort to get proficient with vim. Hopefully, this helps you boost your vim speed too!

Thanks for reading :) Catch me on twitter @jwbaldwin_

Guest Blogger

Special thanks to our guest blogger James Baldwin, a Full-time Software Engineer currently working on flowist.io. for his contribution to the Ronald James Blog this week.

Visit the original link for this blog here.


Who Are Ronald James?

We are a leading niche digital & tech recruitment specialist for the North East of England. We Specialise in the acquisition of high-performing technology talent across a variety of IT sectors including Digital & Technology Software Development.

Our ultimate goal is to make a positive impact on every client and candidate we serve - from the initial call and introduction, right up to the final delivery, we want our clients and candidates to feel they have had a beneficial and productive experience.

Contact our Team

If you’re looking to start your journey in sourcing talent or find your dream job, you’ll need a passionate, motivated team of experts to guide you. Check out our Jobs page for open vacancies. If interested, contact us or call 0191 620 0123 for a quick chat with our team.

Let's be Friends!

Follow us on our blog, FacebookLinkedInTwitter or Instagram to follow industry news, events, success stories and new blogs releases.



Back to Blog

</Follow Us>