I was trying to remap some keys to switch to the next buffer, but something doesn't work, I have these lines on my .vimrc file:

" Cambia tecla lider a <Space>
let mapleader="<Space>"

" Switch to next buffer
nnoremap <Leader>l :bn<CR>

" Switch to previous buffer
nnoremap <Leader>h :bp<CR>

" Split the window
nnoremap <Leader>k :split<CR>

Are those lines okay? or Is there something wrong?

An observation: when I change <Leader> to <Space> it works.

  • 1
    Try let mapleader = "\<Space>". Note the back slash inside the quote.
    – zundarz
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 0:04

2 Answers 2


Inside :map commands, the special :help key-notation needs to be used, especially for space, because whitespace separates the arguments of :map. The mapleader is a built-in variable, and as such requires no escaping. You can simply use

:let mapleader = ' '

Alternatively, if you'd like to stick to the same notation, the keyword needs to be escaped and put in double quotes (cp. :help expr-quote):

:let mapleader = "\<Space>"

The problem was a missing \

let mapleader = "\<Space>"


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