This is related to this previous question: Numbered register doesn't record most deleted text within a line?

I want to know the rationale for this. I was writing an email and deleted a note in parenthesis (da(), then deleted the extraneous whitespace character with x. When I looked at my registers with reg, the text in parenthesis was not there.

  • You might be interested in this question, asking if it's possible to work around this behaviour.
    – Rich
    Mar 30, 2017 at 8:37
  • 2
    Check out the black hole register. My current vim setup has: noremap x "_x With this I can delete a line/selection/whatever then clean up with x using visual select. Then paste the original deletion. This provides an excellent place to trash unneeded code and will keep from filling the numbered registers up.
    – Shadoath
    Mar 30, 2017 at 22:49
  • makes the feature pretty useless IMO which is annoying when 'delete' also means 'cut'
    – JonnyRaa
    Oct 20, 2017 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


The rational is to avoid the deletes to be shifted out of the numbered registers too soon. Typically, if you intent to re-insert deleted text after a while, you put it into a named register you can remember. If you believe you will not need this piece of text anymore, you don't specify a register.

But if you are like me, every once in a while you will regret having deleted some text. If it has been just a few words, the fastest solution is to re-type it. But if it has been a whole paragraph or a code block, I'm happy to find it in "1 to "9 somewhere. And I wouldn't want it to be kicked out of "9 meanwhile by a couple of deleted single-words.

And why one line, not something like "40 characters" which may be a border when it starts to hurt to lose text? Because you don't count characters. If you are doing deletions inside a line, you are aware: This will soon be gone forever.

In your case you may still undo all changes until your delete, yank it and redo everything. There you have your deletion back.

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