This is just a quick update on how I’m using the enter key in vim. The sticky shift-enter key configuration didn’t work out for me. After pressing shift-enter once, I found that I would press shift-enter again, expecting it to create a newline. I wound up just remapping <CR≫ to <Esc>, and using shift-enter to insert newlines, or pressing enter and then “o” or “O” to create a new line above or below the current line. I use the latter option most. The only time it doesn’t work is when I need to split a line into two. For that I use shift-enter.

Shift-enter doesn’t work when using vim in a terminal, so the remapping doesn’t work quite as well in the terminal. I use it anyway, though. I should remap something to split a line into two, but so far I haven’t. I use vim in the gui (MacVim) most of the time. The couple of times I’ve had to split a line in the command line, I’ve hit:

  • D to delete the rest of the line and yank it
  • o to open a new line
  • Enter to get out of insert mode (since it’s remapped to Esc)
  • p to paste the rest of the line, that I deleted earlier

…which is terrible. If I start using command-line vim more often I’ll add a mapping for it.

This might seem like a pain, but for me it beats reaching for the Esc key. YMMV.

Update: zenzike pointed out in the comments that if you remap CR (the enter key) in the terminal, Control-CR still inserts a newline. So you could use Control-CR to insert a newline if CR was remapped to Esc. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for me in OS X’s terminal or in iTerm by default. It does, however, work in gnome terminal running under Ubuntu on VMWare Fusion. I’m not sure why it doesn’t work in either of the two OS X terminal programs. I would be curious to learn why it doesn’t work and how to fix it, though, as this otherwise a very nice solution.

3 thoughts on “vim and the enter key

  1. After using the “moded” sticky shift-enter, I agree that it isn’t that great.

    However, I use a control-enter to force a insertion where I want one. These mappings work in both gvim and terminal vim:


  2. zenzike,

    Looks like the last part of each line of your mappings got cut off. Would you please try posting again?

    That’s very good to know about terminal vim. I’ll try it and update my blog post.

  3. That’s too bad what happened to zenzike’s post — might’ve come in handy.
    Or maybe it’s some kind of a koan! (o_O)

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