How To Undo and Redo In Vi/Vim?

The vim editor provides the ability to undo and redo changes. The undo operation will revert back to the recently changed and the redo operation will do the reverse of the undo which means changes will be restored back from undoing operations.

Make Some Changes

For this tutorial we will open a file with the vim and then make some changes in this file. The file is named as test.txt . We will add numbers from 0 to 9 and than make undo and redo operations inthe next steps

$ vim test.txt
  • Press i to change into insert mode and put “0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9”.
  • Then press ESC key.

Undo Changes in Vi/Vim

In Vim or Vi the undo changes operation can be done with the u key like below. Alternatively the :u or :undo commands can be also used to undo changes. Single u key will make single undo for a change and alternatively the number of the changed to undo can be specified like 5u .

  • Press ESC key to change into normal mode which is also called command mode.
  • Type u for a single time. We will see the following screen where the lines from 4 to 9 will be removed. We can also see some information about change like 6 fewer lines which means with the last undo 6 lines are removed.
Undo Changes in Vi/Vim

Redo Changes in Vi/Vim

The redo action is the reverse of the undo action which will simply revert back to the made changes. The redo action can be done with the CTRL+R key or with the :redo command.

  • First the ESC key is pressed first to change to normal mode.
  • Then use CTRL+R to redo last change. You can also revert back for specified of changes by providing the count of the changes before the CTRL+R like 4+CTRL+R .
Redo Changes in Vi/Vim

List Changes with Undolist

During editing a text file there will be a lot of changes which can be done in different times. These changes can be listed for the undo operation with the :undolist commannd like below.

  • First press ESC key for normal mode.
  • Then put the :undolist command like below. Which will list the recent changes with number, count, date information.
List Changes with Undolist
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