Sometimes n (next instance of a search) starts moving me up in the file instead of down. Could this be caused by a bug in a plugin?

  • What does verbose map n report?
    – muru
    Feb 8, 2017 at 3:24
  • 1
    verbose map n said no mapping found.
    – SU3
    Feb 8, 2017 at 6:35

1 Answer 1


'n' by default moves in the same direction as the last normal mode search command. So if you used ? to search backwards, n will also search backwards. Until you use / again to search forward, in which case n will then again also move forward again. The same is true for N.

Here is a mapping that I use to have n always search forwards and N always continue searching backwards:

nnoremap <expr> n (v:searchforward ? 'n' : 'N')
nnoremap <expr> N (v:searchforward ? 'N' : 'n')

See also this answer where I explain that in more detail and also how those maps work.

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