I need to define LocalLeader for various plugins and I would like to set it to <Space>. If I add this to my vimrc file

let maplocalleader = "<Space>"

typing space in normal mode just moves the cursor by one position (i.e. my command had no effect). Setting the LocalLeader to

let maplocalleader = "\\"

allows mappings to work properly when prefixed by \. What am I doing wrong?

2 Answers 2


You should use this:

let maplocalleader="\<space>"

Note that the mapping is the same for the reguler leader let mapleader="\<Space>"

  • Thanks! I never thought I would need to escape that, it kind of defeats the point of having the <space> specifier. Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 12:05
  • 1
    @PaulIrofti See :h expr-quote actually mapleader and maplocalleader are VIM string variables thus it is not that surprising to escape the special keys. Also you should be able to use let maplocalleader = " "
    – statox
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 12:29
  • 1
    The first thing I did was to try maplocalleader = " ", but it did not work in my case. Thanks for the help reference! Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 13:39

You can use:

let mapleader = " "
let maplocalleader = " "

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