Since I often end up talking about my love of Vim keybindings in reference to any writing app, I figured I’d take the time to simply write it out once and link back in the future.
I use Vim (well MacVim) to write code all day. The highlight of Vim for me, is the extensive keyboard control available. Vim is a modal editor, which means that you type in ‘Insert mode’ and navigate in ‘Normal Mode’. You can highlight text with ‘Visual Mode’. The modes can certainly create confusion when you start using Vim, but once you learn them they become invaluable. Not having to move your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse to control your cursor is not only a huge time saver, I’ve found that it has reduced the issues with my carpal tunnel syndrome.
There is a down side to relying on Vim key bindings, any time I want to edit text I try to use Vim keys. I love Vim for editing code but prefer a ‘minimal’ writing environment for blogging, and really any writing that is not code. It’s not uncommon for me to have ‘:w’ in my blog posts as I try to save the text in a way that is not supported by the writing tool I’m using and I find that annoying.
Sure I could use Vim as my normal writing tool as well but even with a distraction free writing setup I just haven’t found the experience as nice as writing in iAWriter or Byword or OMMWriter.
So every time I’m writing in one of my preferred apps I always find that I’m missing navigation and highlighting modes from Vim. It’s just a complaint I have about using any text editor that is not Vim. Maybe I just haven’t found the right editor yet so I’ll keep looking.