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I'm trying to write a golfing library for postscript. But it needs to be condensed itself. So I need a convenient way to type-in arbitrary bytes within mostly ascii text.

I know this can easily be done with absolutely any programming language, but can I do it in vi? (:help octal was no help).

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If Vim is available, this might help –  sr_ Jan 13 '13 at 9:53
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I assume that you use vim, because :helpoctal is a vim's command. On some systems vi is just a symlink to vim which runs it in vi-compatible mode.

In vim:

  • You can enter unicode characters from basic multilingual plane you can use:
    Press ctrl+v and then enter four digit hex unicode code.
  • Another option is digraphs. You can read more about them in vim's help (help: dig).
    Press ctrl+k and then two-character sequence.
    You can list sequences supported in you vim usig command :digraph .

In nvi, vi and elsewhere:

  • Ctrl+Shift and hit U and then enter unicode hex code.
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