20 years ago, whatever vi I was using used to leave the file contents on the terminal after you quit. This meant you could exit and then copy and paste some of the content you'd just created. With small files, the entire content would still be in the terminal after quitting.
Here I'm using vim 8.1, but happy to use another vi if necessary. When I quit, it resets the terminal (not sure of technical term for exactly what it's doing), so that the shell session resumes where it left off. Is there a configuration option to get the behaviour I described above, instead?