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I want to mimic the functionality of bash readline in vim. Is there an easy way to do that? Currently in vim Ctrl+W "cuts" from cursor back to special char or whitespace.

ie. In bash Ctrl+W "cuts" from cursor back to whitespace (paste with Ctrl+Y).

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bash readline defaults to emacs key bindings. You're using the wrong editor :). – jordanm Mar 1 '13 at 18:33
I never knew that! I'm so used to everything else in vi though hahaha – h3rrmiller Mar 1 '13 at 18:43
@jw013 d'oh.. :inoremap <c-w> <c-o>dB – Kevin Mar 1 '13 at 20:46
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In a comment to your question you say that you are so accustomed to vim.

In this case you probably don't like working with long statements in vim's command-line mode. I don't like it either.

Thankfully we can edit command's not only in the command line but also in the command-line window. You can open it with q:. After the window opened you have access to the whole modal power of vim to enter/edit a new command and execute it with a simple <CR>.

It took some time to get used to it, but in the meantime i use it regularly and i don't want to miss it anymore.

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Also, while already in the command-line, you can switch to the command-line window with <C-f>. – Ingo Karkat Mar 2 '13 at 11:44

If you're a die-hard VIM user you can try this plugin for VIM that provides emacs keybindings in edit mode:


(never tried it myself)

But you might just want to consider making the switch to emacs:


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Ctrl-w deletes backward following the definition of a word as the active filetype plugin may see fit. If you want to change a word meaning, just append the special characters you consider to be part of a word into the iskeyword option as below.

:set iskeyword+=;

-1 for everyone telling to change the editor, this does not help the issue at all.

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Changing the definition of word will have far-reaching side-effects and consequences. So many other commands in vim use this definition that I could not tell you the changes in behavior to expect. What the OP really wants is a way to tell i_Ctrl-w to use a Vim WORD instead. I don't know of any way to do this unfortunately as there is no insert mode command that I know of to do that. – jw013 Mar 1 '13 at 20:39

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