There are two tags and .

However I'm not quite sure what's the difference?

Is indicates the command-line (ex tool), and means working in Ex mode (vim -E)? Isn't it the same?

If it is, should we remove questions from and stick to only?

As far as I remember, I haven't created so that's why I'm confused.

1 Answer 1

  • ex is an editor; it's the direct predecessor of vi.
  • ex mode is a "mode" in Vim, which emulates ex.

This can be seen by vi(1) for example:

       vi, view, vedit - screen oriented (visual) display editor based on ex


       Vi (visual) is a display oriented text editor based on ex(1).   Ex  and
       vi  run  the same code; it is possible to get to the command mode of ex
       from within vi and vice-versa.

And ex(1) says:

Ex is the root of a family of editors: edit, ex and vi.  Ex is a super‐
set of ed, with the most notable  extension  being  a  display  editing
facility.  Display based editing on CRT terminals is the focus of vi.

In Vim, Ex-Mode may 'emulate' ex(1), but you usually still have many of the Vim extensions (including plugins) and so forth...

The difference is somewhat subtle... But in general, I would recommend:

  • Use for questions about using Vim's ex mode (this will probably be the overwhelming majority of the questions).
  • Use the for questions about ex

If we only had the tag, there would be no obvious way to tag questions about ex...

  • Thanks, my man ex redirects me to man vim so doesn't say anything about it.
    – kenorb
    Mar 23, 2015 at 14:48
  • 1
    @kenorb By the way, I left this question tagged as ex originally, but I just tried the ex commands, I none of them actually work with ex (only with Vim ex mode), so it's not really a question about "ex", as such... Mar 23, 2015 at 14:57
  • 2
    If a question about ex(1) comes up, it would be best to name its tag ex-command or ex-utility or ex-program or something distinctive like this, to avoid confusion. Mar 24, 2015 at 22:32
  • Possibly a bit late to change now, but I would've voted against ex-command for the name and in favour of one of the other suggestions, because the phrase "Ex command" is often used to refer to any of the commands you type into command-line mode. (e.g. see the first sentence of :help user-commands).
    – Rich
    Apr 30, 2018 at 13:04

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