Using gVim Easy (also known as evim)
Updated 2021-November-2

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2021-October-17  Published this evolving⁠[1] article.


Meta: Why I wrote this

I wrote this because I help a lot of non-technical people with their computers and I want them to be able to use a Vim-encrypted file to store passwords and other secrets. My goal is to be able to point them to Infinite Ink articles that will help them to do that.



In this article, Vim means either terminal Vim (vim) or GUI Vim (gvim).


What is gVim Easy

In regular Vim, you are usually in one of the following modes.

  • normal mode (sometimes called command mode)

  • command-line mode

  • insert mode

  • replace mode

  • visual mode

For people who are new to Vim, this is confusing and often they can’t do anything because they are stuck in normal mode or command-⁠line mode and don’t know any Vim commands.


gVim Easy is a variation of Vim that…

  • uses a GUI,

  • starts in insert mode and hides the other modes,

  • and makes a lot of commands available in the menu-bar menus and right-click context menus.


Launching gVim Easy

To launch gVim Easy, do one of the following.

  • Double click the Desktop icon labeled gVim Easy n.m (where n.m is 8.2 or whatever version is installed on your system).

  • At a command line, run evim.

  • At a command line, run gvim -y.


How to switch to the hidden command mode in gVim Easy

If you need to use a command — for example :X — that is not available in gVim Easy’s menus, you can switch to command mode by doing one of the following.

  • From the Edit menu, choose Global Settings > Toggle Insert Mode.

  • Type Ctrl+L (which is equivalent to Ctrl+l).

  • Type Ctrl+O (which is equivalent to Ctrl+o).



In gVim Easy, you can sometimes get back to insert mode, by pressing the Esc key. This is the opposite of what the Esc key does in regular Vim.



See also


1. Many Infinite Ink articles, including this one, are evergreen and regularly updated.

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