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Andy Huynh
Andy Huynh

Posted on

create a shortcut to toggle paste mode with Vim

copy cat

Vim has a paste mode you can toggle on or off - :set paste and :set nopaste. What if you can do this with less keystrokes?

Essentially, these commands prevent weird formatting when pasting text into your editor.

I will say - copy/pasting isn't a trivial action. Expect to perform copy/paste tenfold throughout your career. Typing out these commands gets cumbersome. If only we can shortcut this to improve your workflow.

Below is a leader command to which you can add to.vimrc (config file). Leader commands are merely a fancy shortcut native to Vim.

.vimrc

function! TogglePaste()
    if(&paste == 0)
        set paste
        echo "Paste Mode Enabled"
    else
        set nopaste
        echo "Paste Mode Disabled"
    endif
endfunction

map <leader>p :call TogglePaste()<cr>
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No Vimscript knowledge necessary. Just "copy/paste" this snippet to your .vimrc.

Ensure your terminal shell of choice knows about your updates. I either restart my terminal session or source my .vimrc.

Toggle on paste mode: hit the key combination \ + p. If this doesn't work... ensure you're in Vim normal mode (not insert or visual).

Toggle off paste mode: \ + P.

Top comments (2)

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

You can use ! to toggle the state of an option, so I have this:

inoremap <F3> <esc>:set paste!<cr>i
nnoremap <F3> :set paste!<cr>
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It doesn't give me feedback as a message, but I have the PASTE option in my statusbar so it's always visible.
My config has F2 - whitespace and 80-column hint, F3 - paste mode, F4 -indentlines. This is because They're otherwise unused functions between F1 (which is often shadowed by the terminal emulator) and F5 (which is conventionally for debugging).

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andy4thehuynh profile image
Andy Huynh Author

Did not know this! Thank you.

I'm using the newer macs that come w/ a touchbar. I rarely have F2, F3 etc at my fingertips. Will come back to this if I use a different machine.

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