Review – VI emulation for Microsoft products

If you, like me, find yourself using Microsoft products for your daily operations (or are forced to as some) yet you have a background in which you have a comfort level using vi, the *nix based text editor.

The percentage of people that prefer to use vi is probably small compared to the people using notepad, emacs or pico or other simple editor. It takes a certain amount of masochism to plow through the various commands used to move around, edit, replace etc.. inside of vi but for those of you that have that trait as I, vi gives you a productivity increase that is unparalleled, in my opinion.

Now, if only we had that in Windows!

Fortunately we do. For several years now the vi project has had a Windows text editor which I use. It is a very good implementation within the Windows environment. For editing text based files where you do not need any further functionality, I highly recommend it.

Now, on to the fun stuff!

Jon at NGEDIT Software has a few products that have made my life a lot easier.  It falls under the heading of VIEmu, the vi-vim editor emulation for Visual Studio, Word, Outlook and SQL Server.  I can tell you that, after downloading the Visual Studio trial and running with it for a few weeks, I have purchased all 3 (Word and Outlook are combined in 1 package) products.  They are wonderful!

You should not expect 100% vi-vim compatibility, there are some things that just do not work quite the same, however most of the basic and much of the advanced functionality is available.  There are a few quirks as well, such as the need to use Shift+Esc instead of just Esc to get out of some modes, but they are workable once you get use to them.

I should say that this review was not sponsored in any way, nor did Jon or anyone at NGEDIT Software know about my writing of this before publication, I do believe in full discloser of sources and sponsorship when posting (thanks Robert Scoble for the inspiration), this is purely a fan-driven review of these products.

The Word and Outlook version is a bit young, only version 1.0, however the Visual Studio product has been around a while and the SQL product just a bit less time.  So far all have been performing well and my productivity has increased, at least I believe it has.

If you are/were a vi-vim junkie living in a Microsoft world, I urge you to head over and try it out for yourself.  I think you will be happily comfortable again within the embrace of vi-vim!


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