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Grepping for Characters You Might Have Accidentally Added with Vim


Vim makes it kind of easy to add unwanted characters like :w to files you're editing. Let's go over how to find them.

Quick Jump: Going Over Everything

In this video we’ll use grep to quickly identify any accidental cases of adding :w, lines starting with II and lines ending with A. I found a few cases of this in my own blog posts.

Going Over Everything


  • 0:11 – It’s pretty easy to add accidental characters into a file with Vim
  • 1:30 – It’s not just :w that you might accidentally add to a file
  • 3:57 – Using grep to look for 3 things that might be lingering in your files
  • 6:15 – This is a good spot for creating an alias


Here’s the grep command used in the video:

grep -E "(:w|^II|A$)" -Ro .

What are some other characters you might accidentally add? Let me know below.

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