Text editing is one of the most common uses of any computer system, and vi is one of the most useful standard text editors on your system. With vi you can create new files, or edit any existing UNIX text file.
This book is designed to get you started using vi quickly, and to follow up with advanced skills that will let you use it effectively. The first two chapters, The vi Text Editor and Simple Editing, present some simple vi commands with which you can get started. You should practice these until they are second nature. You could stop at the end of Chapter 2, Simple Editing , having learned some elementary editing tools.
But vi is meant to do a lot more than rudimentary word processing; the variety of commands and options enables you to shortcut a lot of editing drudgery. Chapters 3 and 4 concentrate on easier ways to do tasks. For a first reading, get at least an idea of what vi can do and what commands you might harness for your specific uses. Later, you can come back to these chapters for further study.
Chapters 5, 6, and 7 provide tools that help you shift more of the editing burden to the computer. They introduce you to the ex line editor underlying vi, and show you how to issue ex commands from within vi.
The appendices provide useful reference material on vi commands, ex commands, and options available to vi.