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I have this idea of binding b pressed after control (which would preserve original C-b behaviour to Denite buffer and C f to Denite file_rec. But nnoremap <silent> <C>f :Denite file_rec<CR> doesn't work.

Oh, and I know all about leader key. I don't need any workaround.

  • I am not sure you can use Control as a standalone key. Sorry for bothering you with a workaround, but you can do something like <C-B>b. This way, when you press Control+b it will wait for the second 'b', if time goes out you'll get the original control+b function. – lsrdg Mar 18 '17 at 7:51
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The answer is no, you can't. That is because Ctrl on its own is not mappable. Ctrl key works by substracting some value from the key code that is pressed with it, so for example Esc has same value and meaning in Vim as Ctrl[.

  • Not even in GUI versions? – user1685095 Mar 18 '17 at 8:10
  • Nope, there are hacks to remap it to capslock to ctrl and or ctrl to esc: github.com/mhinz/vim-galore#map-capslock-to-control . But nothing as free as you want. The closest I could find was the <C-b>b on the other comment. – lsrdg Mar 18 '17 at 9:02
  • I would need to think about it, but since I never use C-b and C-f I've decided to remap them for now. However on my main keyboard ergodox control pressed without other keys acts as ESC already, so maybe with right delays I can use <Esc>b. Interesting idea. – user1685095 Mar 18 '17 at 10:17
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While Vim (or the Terminal) do not support this, you can get this effect by using something like Karabiner (Mac) or Autohotkey (Windows).

You would use it to map a single control press to some key you are not using (like F12) and then use that for the mapping in Vim.

  • you can add hammerspoon to that list instead of Karabiner, because Karabiner Elements can't map control tap to escape on sierra. – user1685095 Mar 18 '17 at 14:00

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