ci(, ci{, ci<, etc. work but ci" and ci' do nothing. The text inside the speech marks is not deleted and I am not put into insert mode.

I have a Dell laptop running Ubuntu OS with the standard British English key mapping.

edit: I think the problem may have been that I was trying to edit curly quotation marks aka smart quotes rather than regular quotation marks. The text I was practising on was copy&pasted from the internet whereas when I type the quotes for myself the commands do then work when I want to edit what's inside.

  • An example, perhaps?
    – romainl
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 23:39

1 Answer 1


There are two things to watch out for:

  1. Make sure you're not using a keyboard layout with "dead keys"; i.e. does pressing a single ' or " actually insert that character, or do you need to use "<Space>? If it's the latter, your keyboard layout has dead keys, and you must use ci"<Space> for Vim normal mode commands as well.

  2. Make sure that the characters are actually ' (0x27) and " (0x22) and not (U+201C or 0xe2 0x80 0x9c in UTF-8) or (U+2018, 0xe2 0x80 0x98) or any other quote variant.

    Check it by using the g8 or ga command, or for more information use the unicode.vim plugin (also see See the Unicode code point of the current character).

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