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Date:      Wed, 01 Jan 2020 15:44:02 -0800
From:      "Ronald F. Guilmette" <>
Subject:   Substituting horizontal tab characters in vi
Message-ID:  <>

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Yes, I'm a holdout.  After all these years I still use vi.  Why not?
It works!

But ever since "upgraded" to 12.0-RELEASE (from 9.1) I have been hitting
my head on one annoying little problem with vi, and I wonder if anyone
can tell me what the fix or workaround is.

Quiet simply, it used to be possible to use vi to make substitutions for
horizontal tab characters, say for example in the current line, by just
typing : (colon) to get to the vi "command prompt" and then typing "s"
(substitute command) followed by some delimiter, e.g. forward slash,
and then just hitting the tab key on my keyboard, followed by a closing
delimiter and then my substitution text followed by yet another closing

Now this doesn't work anymore.  Now, vi, while in "command mode" won't
even allow me to hit the tab key anymore!  It just sits there and blinks
at me as if I hadn't touched the keyboard at all.  Funny thing though,
I just now checked and realized that I *can* still get it to perform
substitutions for horizontal tab characters, but I have to go through
some rather silly gyrations in order to even enter the horizontal tab
character.  Specifically, I have to type in cntrl-v followed by cntrl-i.

So anyway, is there some way of restoring the old behavior so that I can
go back to just using the tab key in a straiightforward and intutive


P.S.  This is not a big problem, but I really do wish that people wouldn't
break standard tools like vi as they are "upgrading" them.

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