How to enter a tab character in vim with SuperTab plugin enabled?

3 Answers 3


I've not used this extension myself, but I would guess that ^V-Tab might work. ^V in general can be used in insert mode to insert a literal keystroke instead of whatever that key is mapped to do. So you type Control-V, then hit whatever key or key combo you want to insert literally.

  • 1
    In the ^V docs at :help i_^v: "Note: When CTRL-V is mapped (e.g., to paste text) you can often use CTRL-Q instead." See :help i_^q. Apr 5, 2013 at 18:05

If you want to simulate pressing <tab> as if SuperTab were not installed (i.e. you want to insert a tab that respects your :set expandtab settings) then press Ctrl-Tab.

^V-<tab> inserts a literal tab. If you have :set expandtab enabled then this might not be what you want, because it inserts a real Tab character, not a series of spaces.


You could also use the indent functionality by typing >> which depending on your indent settings would use a tab character.

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