I have this line in my .vimrc

nnoremap <C-'> :marks<CR>

and want to use Ctrl-' to show all marks.

Sadly, it never works, be it on ubuntu, cygwin, or windows 10.

After vim 8.0 was launched, type :nn <C-'> echos

n  <C-'>       * :marks<CR>

Thus I wonder, is it possible to reliably remapping <C-'>? or I missed something?


2 Answers 2


Due to the way that the keyboard input is handled internally, this unfortunately isn't generally possible today, even in GVIM. Some key combinations, like Ctrl + non-alphabetic cannot be mapped, and Ctrl + letter vs. Ctrl + Shift + letter cannot be distinguished. (Unless your terminal sends a distinct termcap code for it, which most don't.) In insert or command-line mode, try typing the key combination. If nothing happens / is inserted, you cannot use that key combination. (For <C-'>, I get a ' in GVIM.) This also applies to <Tab> / <C-I>, <CR> / <C-M> / <Esc> / <C-[> etc. (Only exception is <BS> / <C-H>.) This is a known pain point, and the subject of various discussions on vim_dev and the #vim IRC channel.

Some people (foremost Paul LeoNerd Evans) want to fix that (even for console Vim in terminals that support this), and have floated various proposals, cp. http://groups.google.com/group/vim_dev/browse_thread/thread/626e83fa4588b32a/bfbcb22f37a8a1f8

But as of today, no patches or volunteers have yet come forward, though many have expressed a desire to have this in a future Vim release.


If you're on a mac, download https://karabiner-elements.pqrs.org

This will let you turn any ctrl-key combination into a real character which you can then map. Use the "Complex modification" feature to do so. You can download modifications that others have submitted to a central repo or you can roll your own with a simple-to-use json file. See documentation for guidance.

I'm sure similar programs exist on windows and linux. Anyone?

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