In the text below, if I want to replace book1 and book2 with pen I could yark pen and go to the beginning of the 2 and 3 lines and hit . (dot) to replace the words.


but, how can I replace multiple words with yanked text? For example, I want to replace book 1 and book 2 with pen


book 1;
book 2;
book 3;


book 3;

Is it possible to replace book 1 and book 2 without yanking the word pen twice? Maybe a keybind you think is good?

  • 1
    Using vi to edit is certainly normal and on-topic here. Feel free to delete here and re-ask at vi.SE if you'd prefer, though.
    – Jeff Schaller
    Sep 28 '19 at 20:15

This reddit comment is the best solution I got. Pretty neat.

I defined a command to substitute text without changing default register. Maybe this will serve you too. It might be based on this or this, I don't really remember where I got the idea, but I saw it somewhere before implementing.

nnoremap <silent> cp :let g:substitutemotion_reg = v:register
            \ <bar> set opfunc=SubstituteMotion<CR>g@

" substitute {motion} text with contents of a register function!
SubstituteMotion(type, ...)
    let l:reg = g:substitutemotion_reg
    if a:0
        " visual mode, use '< and '> marks
        silent exe "normal! `<" . a:type . "`>\"_c\<c-r>" . l:reg . "\<esc>"
    elseif a:type == 'line'
        " linewise
        silent exe "normal! '[V']\"_c\<c-r>" . l:reg . "\<esc>"
    elseif a:type == 'block'
        " blockwise-visual
        silent exe "normal! `[\<C-V>`]\"_c\<c-r>" . l:reg . "\<esc>"
        " characterwise
        silent exe "normal! `[v`]\"_c\<c-r>" . l:reg . "\<esc>"
    endif endfunction 

To use it, type something like cpi( which will lead to replacement of the text within closest pair of parenthesis with the contents of default register.


I need this so often, I wrote a plugin to simplify and allow maximum speed: ReplaceWithRegister.

This plugin offers a two-in-one gr command that replaces text covered by a {motion} / text object, entire line(s) or the current selection with the contents of a register; the old text is deleted into the black-hole register, i.e. it's gone. It transparently handles many corner cases and allows for a quick repeat via the standard . command. Should you not like it, its page has links to alternatives. (It works just like @s1n7az's snippet, but as a plugin is more sophisticated and robust.)

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