from within vi, pipe a chunk of lines to a command line and replace the chunk with the result

The vi key sequence !}command will send the file contents from the cursor to the next blank line as STDOUT to the command specified and replace that sequence of file lines with the output of the command. For example: sorting a block of data - !}sort The sequence !{command will do the same but "upwards" (from the current position towards the start of the file.
Sample Output

By: mpb
2009-03-28 00:18:39

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What Others Think

this works in normal mode, not command mode as I first thought.
bwoodacre · 481 weeks and 2 days ago
I think you mean the block will be passed as STDIN to the command... A more useful(for me) variant is to highlight the text/lines in visual mode then type ":!sort"(the colon seems to be optional), leaving out the curly brace. You can also specify line ranges "10,20!sort" to sort lines 10 through 20. You can also pass parameters to the command (":!sort -f" to ignore case).
leper421 · 470 weeks ago
@leper421 No, I mean as STDOUT from using "!}sort" inside vi which is the piped to the sort command. It is, of course, STDIN for the sort command.
mpb · 335 weeks and 1 day ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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