If you need to read lines from another file into the file you are currently
editing within the Vi text editor, you can do so by utilizing the editor's
ability to execute an external command, e.g., a Linux/Unix
command, by entering an
exclamation mark followed by the external command. E.g., if I wanted to
read the first 55 lines from the file
~/temp/lincoln.txt, I could e
nter Vi's colon mode by hitting Esc followed by the colon character.
I could then type
r, which is the command used to read from
another file. But, instead of immediately typing the file name, e.g.
:r ~/temp/lincoln.txt, I could use the
head utility to read the
first fifty-five lines of the file by typing
head -55 followed by
the path to the file and the file name. E.g.:
:r !head -55 ~/temp/lincoln.txt
If, instead, I wanted to read the last 14 lines of the file, I could use the tail command.
:r !tail -14 ~/temp/lincoln.txt
If I wanted to include specific lines from the other file into the one I'm currently editing, e.g., lines 10 through 15, I could use the sed command as shown below.
:r !sed -n 10,15p ~/temp/lincoln.txt
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