To use the Spanish layout one has to remap an accent like the one over o: ö to : in Normal Mode. How can I do this in my .vimrc? I have to handle the accent only, not a character; I have no idea how to approach this task.

  • Do you mean insert mode? You dont want to lose : in Normal mode. May 27, 2019 at 13:42
  • Sure I don't want to loose colon in Normal Mode. I want to keep it, because in Spanish layout it is stolen by an umlaut. I want to catch half a character (umlaut) and map it back to colon. All in Normal Mode, yes. May 27, 2019 at 14:19
  • Take a look at help langremap May 27, 2019 at 14:24
  • Already taken :) . I don't need a character. I need just an umlaut. Half a character, that is. May 27, 2019 at 14:25
  • Depends on how youre entering the umlaut (or tréma) then. If it’s at the OS level, you might be stuck (and need to fix it at that level) May 27, 2019 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


Open vim. Enter insert mode (i), then type Ctrl-V (<C-V> in vim notation) and hit your umlaut key. That should give you the key that vim sees, if any. You can map that key by

nnoremap <umlaut> :

Where <umlaut> you enter via the Ctrl-V as above.

If that method doesn’t produce a distinct key, but instead waits at another level (the terminal emulator, keyboard, window manager, OS, &c.) then you’ll need to fix it at that level somehow.

  • We are almost there :) . After <C-V> umlaut shows all right. On Esc it disappears. May 27, 2019 at 17:00
  • When you hit the umlaut normally does it show the umlaut while waiting for the next key? May 27, 2019 at 17:02
  • Yes, it does. Probably, it still does not count as a complete character. May 27, 2019 at 17:21
  • @AlexeyOrlov my guess as well. Somebody will need to show you how to map that key at a higher level to do the right thing. Do you have a colon somewhere else on the keyboard? May 27, 2019 at 17:27

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