How to Delete all Text in a File Using Vi/Vim Editor?

Vim is a great tool for editing text or configuration files in Linux. One of the lesser-known Vim tricks is clearing or deleting all text or lines in a file. Although, this is not a frequently used operation, its a good practice to know or learn it.

 

In this article, we will describe steps on how to delete, remove or clear all text in a file using a Vim editor in different vim modes.

 

Read Also: 5 Ways to Empty or Delete a Large File Content in Linux

 

The first option is to remove, clear or delete the all lines in a file in the normal mode (note that Vim starts in “normal” mode by default). Immediately after opening a file, type “gg” to move the cursor to the first line of the file, assuming it is not already there. Then type dG to delete all the lines or text in it.

 

If Vim is in another mode, for example, insert mode, you can access normal mode by pressing Esc or <C-[>.

 

Alternatively, you can also clear all lines or text in Vi/Vim in command mode by running the following command.

:1,$d 

 

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