I assume this is common operation but can't find any information about this. When in copy mode (Ctrl+[) Is there a shortcut to copy the word under the cursor without manually creating the selection?

I've tried to switch to vi-mode and use yw but it doesn't look like it works (in fact, I'm not entirely sure what vi-mode does besides mapping the arrow keys to hjkl).

Any idea how to achieve this?

  • I know it does not answer your question but if you have a mouse with a wheel, double-clicking the word then middle-clicking will paste the word. Temporary work-around, of course.
    – user86969
    Jul 4, 2017 at 10:15

1 Answer 1


I assume you're talking about text mode? In that case, I don't think it exists with the default settings.

In mouse mode ("set-option -g mouse on"), double-click is mapped to select the word.

If you want to bind a new shortcut, you could do something like (in your .tmux.conf, or test it out via 'Ctrl-b :') :

bind-key -T copy-mode-vi C-y send-keys -X select-word

This will allow control-y to select the word. In this case you will still have to press [Enter] to copy the word and exit copy-mode. If you wanted to do the copy and exit as part of the selection, you can do something like:

bind-key -T copy-mode-vi C-y send-keys -X select-word \; send-keys -X copy-selection-and-cancel

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