I want to map W to jump to the next keyword of the language


jump to the next interestingly syntax highlighted word


For the following snippet

FROM Fruits
WHERE Fruits.name = 'Apple' AND Fruits.color = 'Red' AND Fruits.taste = 'crisp'

A desirable result when pressing W should go to SELECT->FROM->WHERE->AND or something similar

1 Answer 1


You can do it like this:

    function! MoveCursor(forward)
        let stop_re = 'sql\%(Keyword\|Operator\|Statement\)'
        let curpos=getcurpos()
        while search('\<', 'W'.a:forward)
            if synIDattr(synID(line("."), col("."), 1), "name") =~ stop_re
        if synIDattr(synID(line("."), col("."), 1), "name") !~ stop_re
            call setpos('.', curpos)

    nnoremap W :call MoveCursor('')<cr>
    nnoremap B :call MoveCursor('b')<cr>

Where you want to stop, you configure with the stop_re which is a regular expression, taking the syntax groups on which to stop. You can check with :echo synIDattr(synID(line('.'),col('.'),1),'name') with the cursor on an interesting syntax definition and add it to that regular expression.

The rest is basically, search forward (or backward) for beginning of the next word, check that it matches your stop regular expression and continue or stop.

  • Ok thanks! But this function only works for sql filetypes right? Is there anyway to extend it to any general filetype with syntax highlighting? Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 7:21
  • 2
    depends on what you define as interesting. There is no general approach, for each filetype you would have to define a custom set of syntax groups on which to stop. Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 7:22

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