For a beginners guide to vi, see the online vi tutorial.Your vim configuration is highly customizable. To avoid needing to re-enter your vim preferences every time you start the program, you can save commands in a .vimrc file in your homedirectory. This file is read every time you run vim.
Sample vimrc files can also be downloaded from the vim web pages at http://www.vim.org.One of the more popular features of vim is syntax highlighting. This will colorize keywords and patterns in variety of files. For example, with syntax highlighting on, a C++ file will have all the keywords in one color and curly braces in another color.
To turn on this feature, type ":syn on" in vim or add "syn on" to your .vimrc file. Keep in mind, however, that you will need a color enabled terminal to see the effects. Normal xterms cannot view ansi color. On the Sun workstations you can use /usr/dt/bin/dtterm .The official vim homepage http://www.vim.org contains a great deal of additional documentation (and links to still more documentation).
You can also purchase a copy of The Vim book by Steve Oualline, and simultaneously help orphans in Uganda athttp://iccf-holland.org/click5.html. (Not a joke - check it out.)