How to Effortlessly Remove Alternate Lines in Vim – Get Rid of Unnecessary Code Now

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Opening a file in Vim
  3. Entering "ex" mode
  4. Deleting alternate lines with a single command
  5. Saving the edited file in Vim
  6. Removing blank lines alongside alternate lines
  7. Undoing the changes made in Vim
  8. Conclusion


In Vim, it's not uncommon to come across code that has extra lines or whitespace, especially when copying and pasting from other sources. These unnecessary lines not only clutter up the code, but they can also make it harder to read and edit. Fortunately, Vim offers a simple solution to this problem – the ":g" command can be used to remove alternate lines quickly and easily. By using a combination of regular expressions and pattern matching, you can effortlessly clean up your code and make it more manageable. In this article, we'll explore how to use the "g" command to remove alternate lines in Vim and get rid of unnecessary code once and for all.

Opening a file in Vim

To open a file in Vim, you will need to use the command line. First, open the terminal and navigate to the directory where the file is located. Once you are in the correct directory, type "vim" followed by the name of the file you want to open.

$ cd /path/to/file
$ vim filename.txt

This will open the file in Vim's normal mode. From here, you can navigate through the file using the arrow keys or Vim's movement commands. Pressing the "i" key will enter insert mode, allowing you to edit the file.

If you want to make changes to the file, you can save your changes by typing ":w" followed by enter. To exit the file, type ":q" followed by enter. If you have made changes to the file and want to save them before exiting, you can type ":wq" to save and exit the file at the same time.

Once you become more familiar with Vim, you may want to explore its advanced features, such as macros and plugins. Vim is a powerful text editor that can greatly improve your productivity once you become comfortable with its commands and functionality.

Entering “ex” mode

in Vim is a powerful feature that enables you to perform advanced text manipulation operations with ease. In "ex" mode, you can use a host of commands and operators to delete, substitute, and reformat text in your document. This mode provides a more efficient way to make changes to your code and can save you a lot of time in the process.

To enter "ex" mode in Vim, you need to press the ":" key from normal mode. This will bring up a prompt where you can enter commands to manipulate your text. For example, if you want to delete every other line in your document, you can type ":g/^/+d" and press enter. This will delete every line that matches the "^" pattern, starting from the second line.

Using "ex" mode can take some time to get used to, but once you become comfortable with it, you will find that it is a powerful tool that can help you perform tasks quickly and efficiently. The key to mastering "ex" mode is to become familiar with the commands and operators available and practice using them on a regular basis.

Deleting alternate lines with a single command

is a helpful feature that can save time and effort. In Vim, this can be achieved with the use of the 'g' command followed by the 'd' command. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open the file you want to edit in Vim.
  2. Press the ':' key to open the command prompt at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Type the command ':%g/.*/norm! J' and press Enter. This will delete every other line in the file.
  4. Save the file by typing ':w' and pressing Enter.

The 'g' command is used in combination with a pattern to specify which lines should be selected. In this case, the pattern is '/.*/', which matches every line in the file. The 'norm! J' command is then used to join each selected line with the one below it. By running this command preceded by a percent sign, we're telling Vim to apply this command to the entire file.

can be a useful time-saver, especially when dealing with large files. By using Vim's powerful text manipulation capabilities, you can easily remove unnecessary code and streamline your workflow. Try it out the next time you need to tidy up a file!

Saving the edited file in Vim

After making edits to your file in Vim, it's important to save your changes before closing the program. Saving in Vim is done using the :w command. Simply type :w followed by Enter to save your changes. If you want to save changes and exit Vim, use :wq.

If you've made changes but don't want to save them, you can use :q! to exit without saving. Sometimes you may forget to save and accidentally close the program. In this case, you can recover your changes using Vim's recovery feature. When you reopen Vim, it will display a message saying 'recovery' and ask if you want to recover your file. Simply press Enter to confirm and recover your changes.

It's a good idea to save frequently while working in Vim, especially if you are making complex edits or working on a large file. You can also automate the saving process by enabling auto-save in your .vimrc file. This will save your changes every few seconds, ensuring that you don't lose any work in case of a crash or other issue.

In conclusion, saving your edited files in Vim is a simple process that can be done using the :w command. By saving frequently and enabling auto-save, you can ensure that you don't lose any work and can recover your changes in case of an unexpected shutdown.

Removing blank lines alongside alternate lines

in Vim is a quick and easy task that can be done effortlessly using a few simple commands. This is a great way to tidy up your code and get rid of any unnecessary gaps between lines. Here are the steps to remove blank lines alongside alternate lines in Vim:

  1. Open your file in Vim
  2. Press : to enter command mode
  3. Type g/./-1d and press enter
  4. This will remove all blank lines that are next to non-blank lines

Alternatively, if you want to remove all blank lines, you can use the command :g/^$/d. This will delete all lines that are empty (i.e. contain no characters).

Using these commands can help make your code look cleaner and more organized. It can also make it easier to read and understand, especially if you are working with large files. Taking the time to remove blank lines alongside alternate lines in Vim can be a great way to optimize your workflow and improve the efficiency of your coding process.

Undoing the changes made in Vim

Undoing changes in Vim is simple and straightforward. The u command is used to undo the last operation that was performed. If multiple changes have been made, using u repeatedly will undo each operation one at a time, in reverse chronological order.

To undo all changes made since the last save, use the command :u all. This will undo every operation that has been performed since the last save, including any changes made by plugins or external scripts.

If changes have been made to multiple lines, the :undo command can be used to view a history of changes and select which ones to undo. For example, if changes have been made to lines 10-15, the command :undo 10-15 can be used to undo those changes specifically.

Finally, it's worth noting that Vim also supports redoing changes that have been undone. The ctrl+r command can be used to redo the last undone operation, and multiple redo actions can be performed in the same way as undo actions. Overall, Vim's undo and redo functionality is robust and flexible, allowing users to easily make and undo changes as needed.


In , knowing how to remove alternate lines in Vim can greatly improve the efficiency and readability of your code. By using simple commands like :g/./norm jdd, you can easily delete every other line in a document or selection. This is especially useful when working with large amounts of code, as it can help to streamline the editing process and make it easier to focus on the important elements of your program. By applying this technique to your own coding projects, you can take your skills to the next level and produce cleaner, more organized code. So why wait? Give it a try today and see the difference it can make!

As a developer, I have experience in full-stack web application development, and I'm passionate about utilizing innovative design strategies and cutting-edge technologies to develop distributed web applications and services. My areas of interest extend to IoT, Blockchain, Cloud, and Virtualization technologies, and I have a proficiency in building efficient Cloud Native Big Data applications. Throughout my academic projects and industry experiences, I have worked with various programming languages such as Go, Python, Ruby, and Elixir/Erlang. My diverse skillset allows me to approach problems from different angles and implement effective solutions. Above all, I value the opportunity to learn and grow in a dynamic environment. I believe that the eagerness to learn is crucial in developing oneself, and I strive to work with the best in order to bring out the best in myself.
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