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I am trying to create a vimL script where, among other things, I need to copy the text between two markers such as in

:'a,'by

however, I want to copy between columns of the marker positions (characterwise). I have read several times I can use backticks as

:`a,`by

But is returning "Not an editor command". Even simple

:`

returns "Not an editor command", although :' goes to the correct line.

Am I missing anything?

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Yes, ex-commands always work linewise. There is an open issue in the todo list about it, however until now it has never been implemented. For :s command you can make use of the /%V and /\%c regex atom to make sure it matches within a certain area. Other ex commands don't work on columns. In that case, simple use the normal mode command. That should work without problems.

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  • yeap, executing exe normal! (backtick)a,(backtick)by'."\<cr>" works (i don't know how to write my answer because backticks format the answer. I used (backtick) to mean the backtick instead) – manolius Jun 9 '17 at 15:59

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