In the previous sections you learned how to create, save, print, and exit a vi file. Now that you have created a file, you'll need to understand the concepts that are required to navigate within it. Open your practice file now, and try each of the commands that are discussed in this section.
When you start vi, the cursor is in the upper left corner of the vi screen. In command mode, you can move the cursor with a number of keyboard commands. Certain letter keys, the arrow keys, and the Return key, Back Space (or Delete) key, and the Space Bar can all be used to move the cursor when you're in command mode.
If your machine is equipped with arrow keys, try these now. You should be able to move the cursor freely about the screen by using combinations of the up, down, right, and left arrow keys. Notice that you can only move the cursor across already existing text or input spaces.
If you're using vi from a remote terminal, the arrow keys might not work correctly. The arrow key behavior depends on your terminal emulator. If the arrow keys don't work for you, you can use the following substitutes:
If you move down when the cursor is at the bottom of the screen, or move up when the cursor is at the top of the screen, you will see the text scroll up or down. This scrolling can be an effective way to display more text in a short file, but it can be tedious to move this way through a long file.
You can page or scroll backward or forward through a file, a screen or a half-screen at a time. To try out these commands on paint, you might want to add text so you have a longer file to work with.
Note that paging and scrolling are fundamentally different. Scrolling actually scrolls the cursor up or down through the text a line at a time, as though it were on a paper scroll. Paging moves the cursor up or down through the text a screenful at a time. On a fast system, you might not notice the difference. However, if you're working from a remote terminal or in any other situation where your system is running slower than usual, this difference can become painfully apparent.