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In vi, I can use o or O to add a blank line and go into insertion mode. But what if I want to stay in command mode, is there a command for this?

In googling, I'm seeing suggestions to add stuff to my vimrc, but it seems like there should be an easier way (that will always work.)

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

According to the VIM FAQ you can use the :put command:

12.15. How do I insert a blank line above/below the current line without entering insert mode?

You can use the ":put" ex command to insert blank lines. For example, try

:put ='' :put! =''

For more information, read

:help :put

but then really it's easier to add:

map <Enter> o<ESC>
map <S-Enter> O<ESC>

to your .vimrc. This way you can press Enter or Shift-Enter in normal mode to insert a blank line below or above current line. Of course substitute <Enter> and <S-Enter> with your preferred keys.

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Part of the allure of using VI is having a command mode for manipulating the text, and an edit mode for adding text. This keeps you from having to hit CTRL-whatever to accomplish things.

The other suggestions may work - I haven't tried them - but they seem to require quite a few characters or manipulating your VI environment too much.

Try using o[ESC] followed by a . for each new line you want to add, or 5. to add 5 lines. This is much faster, and will always work on any install of VI.

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You can use . to repeat,but you can also do <number>o<esc>,example: 5o<esc> – bollovan Jul 11 '11 at 18:42
That would certainly work. But I like seeing how the command will actually impact the document before I have it do it multiple times. I can't tell you how many times I've o'd append a new paragraph in VI, only to find out that the pretty paragraph was actually six carefully broken/word-wrapped lines. – Glorytoad Sep 6 '11 at 19:48

In vim, there's also :normal o or :normal O.

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On Vim 7.3: <number>o<esc> creates only one empty line.

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Well, by adding <esc> you go again from insert mode to command mode. I think he is looking for an answer that do not go to insert mode at all. – Bernhard Apr 7 '13 at 19:40
Oh! I forget to quit insert mode with <esc>. In this case, it will work. It will even duplicate the line edited on all the following lines. – Hakim Benoudjit Apr 9 '13 at 8:11

Both Tim Pope's unimpaired.vim - Pairs of handy bracket mappings and my own LineJuggler - Duplicate and move around lines plugin offer handy short ]<Space> mappings for this.

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