In my file containing LaTeX source code, I wish to comment out all the lines matching a pattern (specifically, the pattern that I am interested in is \draw, including the \ character).

I have magic mode enabled. I think a potential solution would be to use the global command i.e. something along the lines of


I am unsure of the command that achieves my task. I would like to seek your help through either of the methods below:

  1. I have Tim Pope's commentary plugin which provides the gc mapping, which works in normal mode. However, this does not work in ex mode.

  2. Maybe use the normal mode I command and use the comment character for LaTeX (the percent % character) on those lines matched by the global command.

Please let me know if a simpler alternative exists in addition to the ones mentioned above, I am of course glad to learn about it too!

2 Answers 2


You can use g/\\draw/s/^/%/ to insert a percent sign at the start of every line containing the text \draw. s/^/%/ means replace the empty string at the start of the line with a percent sign.

If you want to put the percent sign after any leading white space---which is more similar to how the normal command I works---, use g/\\draw/s/^\s*/&%/ instead. s/^\s*/&%/ means replace a possibly empty string of whitespace characters at the start of the line with the string itself, followed by a percent sign.


Try using :g/\\draw/norm gcc

From :help norm:

Execute Normal mode commands {commands}. This makes it possible to execute Normal mode commands typed on the command-line. {commands} are executed like they are typed.

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