Vim is one of most popular and extensive text editors in the world of development and sys admins as well. It offers a set of tools and customization that almost every developer would need. Vim enables you to use key combinations to perform all the tasks.
However, Vim does not display line numbers by default. Line numbers are useful especially when working with a large file. It can allow you to jump and navigate to specific lines in a single command, commenting blocks of code, multi-line editing, and more.
Let's delve in into the world of Vim.
Enable Absolute Line Numbering in Vim
Absolute numbering is one of the most common line numbering format. This mode provides line numbering in the traditional chronological format. Each line number is displayed next to the start of the line.
To activate absolute line numbering in Vim, open the file to edit:
- Start by pressing the
ESCkey to enable Vim Command Mode.
- Next, press the
:followed by the command
set numberand press
The command is as shown:
Vim will enable line numbers on the left side at the start of each line. Keep in mind that an empty line is treated a valid line.
To disable absolute line numbering, run the command:
Vim Enable Relative Line Numbering
In some cases, you may need to enable relative numbering mode in Vim. In relative mode, the current line is assigned the value
0 while other lines are assigned a value based on the distance from the current cursor position.
The format is as shown:
0 -- current line
To enable relative numbering, run the command:
As you can see in the screenshot above, each line, before and after, the current line is assigned a value denoting the distance from the current cursor position.
To disable relative numbering, use the commands:
Vim Enable Hybrid Numbering Mode
In recent Vim versions, you can enable both hybrid numbering mode which combines both absolute and relative numbering system.
Hybrid mode works in a similar manner to relative numbering. However, instead of the current line being number
0, it shows the absolute (actual) line number.
To enable hybrid mode, run the command:
:set number relativenumber
This should enable absolute and relative numbering.
As you can see from the output above, Vim, uses the absolute number in the current line.
To disable hybrid number, disable absolute and relative numbering:
Vim Enable Numbering by Default
Instead of enabling line numbering when editing a given file, you can enable line numbering in the Vim configuration file. This will enable Vim line numbering by default =.
Edit the vim config file:
Add the numbering mode to the config file:
Save and close the file.
In this post, we discussed how to enable and disable line numbering modes using various commands. Choose the numbering mode you find comfortable and stick with it.
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Vim over Emacs 😁!!
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