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intermediate Tip #429: Using '< and '> marks

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created:   February 18, 2003 4:50      complexity:   intermediate
author:   Max Ischenko      as of Vim:   5.7

Today I discovered that '< and '> persists even after the selection is gone.
Thus, to repeat an Ex command over a previously selected (via V command) block
just use : history -- no need to reselect block again.

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Additional Notes

cec@NgrOyphSon.gPsfAc.nMasa.gov, February 20, 2003 8:18
gv is even easier!
Max Ischenko, February 21, 2003 6:04
> gv is even easier.
To repeat an Ex command (like :s) you don't have to reselect block at all, so gv is not needed.
That's the point of this tip.
yeti@physics.muni.cz, February 21, 2003 9:52
Most people can type gv: much faster than :'<,'> (just try it :-)

Moreover, gv makes the selection visible. (Yes, I know, it's very non-vi to have a visual feedback for what you are doing ;-)
Max Ischenko, February 24, 2003 1:20

> Most people can type gv: much faster than :'<,'>

I bet typing :<Up> still faster then gv:<Up>.
rickismyid@yahoo.com, March 5, 2003 5:09
I think just pressing the period will work too. Unless I'm missunderstanding what is being done.
jaldri1 at gl dot umbc dot edu, June 6, 2003 12:47
So, I can start a visual block  with <c-v> (win: <c-q> |CTRL-V-alternative|) at the start of some columen and select some text with, say, 4j$.   Now I have a highlighted selection.   I can press y to yank.  If I press :, ex mode starts with :'<,'> already filled in.  If I press !, I get :'<,'>!.  Unfortunately, if I enter an external command such as sort, it operates on the whole lines (^.*$) not just the column of the visual block.  

Anyway, I can yank and move elsewhere, paste, and then return to the original selection with gv (not :gv).  And, that selection will be highlighted just as before.   I can also use '< to move to the first line of the selection or '> to move to the last line of the selection.

Have I explained it well enough, or was there more intended?
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