I am experimenting with default key mappings and am considering remapping the g key entirely. But first I would like to turn off all the existing mappings that g has. For now I am using this kind of hack:

" disable all g maps
let g:netrw_nogx = 1 " allows disabling gx
let s:chars1 = map(range(char2nr('a'), char2nr('x')), 'nr2char(v:val)')
let s:chars2 = map(range(char2nr('A'), char2nr('Z')), 'nr2char(v:val)')
let s:chars = s:chars1 + s:chars2
let s:chars = s:chars+['0','1','2','3','4','5','6','7','8','9','+','-','=','_']
let s:chars = s:chars+['~','`','!','@','#','$','%','^','&','*','(',')','/','?']
let s:chars = s:chars+['[',']','{','}','\','\|',':',';','"',"'",'<',">",'.',',']

for char in s:chars
  execute 'noremap g' . char . ' <nop>'

But this is very messy and g<ctrl-_> maps are still left in.

Is there some cleaner way to accomplish this?

  • I think there is no better way other than to iterate over all combinations. Feb 27, 2018 at 7:55
  • Just out of curiosity: why do you need to remap all of these combinations to <nop>? Also, I agree with Christian that is probably the best way to do it.
    – statox
    Feb 27, 2018 at 12:09
  • 1
    Agree with @statox why not use unmap?
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Feb 27, 2018 at 12:25
  • 1
    @DavidBenKnoble I think what Karolis wants to do is to disable the built-in normal mode commands like gq, gU, etc while unmap would be useful to delete mappings created by the user. What I was wondering is, why does one need to disable all of these built-in commands?
    – statox
    Feb 27, 2018 at 12:32
  • @statox I am just experimenting with making (neo)vim maps more intuitive. For example my current experiment is to only use g prefix for "goto" commands. I.E. gg goes to top G goes to bottom, gf goes to file, gb and gB would traverse buffers, etc. No big reason to disable all g prefix maps, but it would help in a sense that I would be sure pressing g will put me into a goto context and would not do something else by accident. Feb 27, 2018 at 15:27

3 Answers 3


Suppressing the built-in g

Here's a mapping that will suppress all g-prefixed bindings, and only allow custom mappings that begin with g.

function! SuppressG()
  let c = nr2char(getchar())
  if maparg('g'.c, 'n') != ''
    return 'g'.c
    return '\<Nop>'

nnoremap <expr> g SuppressG()

The idea is to make a top-level mapping for g itself that then reads a single character from the keyboard. If a Normal mode mapping to g followed by the input character exists, return that. Otherwise, return <Nop>. It works with chords, too.

The effect is that when you haven't defined any other mappings beginning with g, all of Vim's built-in bindings beginning with g will do nothing. For example, ge, which normally moves backwards to the end of a word, would now be a no-op.

Creating a custom mapping

If you also defined a custom mapping to ge, then your mapping would take effect. Example:

nnoremap ge G

Now ge moves to the last line of the buffer, but all other g bindings still do nothing.

Restoring built-ins

You can also restore the g mappings you want to keep. For example:

nnoremap gg gg

This makes gg once again move to the first line of the buffer.

  • This works really well for "g" and "z" but for some reason I cannot figure out how to make it work for "ctrl". Maybe you have any tips? Aug 12, 2018 at 18:53
  • 1
    Ctrl itself isn't mappable, it's just part of a chord. Vim sees things like Ctrl+x as a single character.
    – tommcdo
    Sep 25, 2018 at 18:44
  • Does it gets called immediately? Not waiting for any longer combination that could surpass it?
    – eyal karni
    Oct 23, 2019 at 21:21

If your version of vim is recent enough, you could obtain all the mappings starting with g thanks to getcompletion('g', 'mapping').

However, you won't know the mode associated, you'd need to filter the list with mapcheck().

Of course, you won't obtain the default keybindings this way.

  • Presumably you'd need to do this in a VimEnter autocommand (to unmap mappings added by plugins)?
    – Rich
    Mar 8, 2018 at 15:02

A small generalization to tommcdo's excellent suggestion:

function! SuppressAllStartingWith(c1)
  let c2 = nr2char(getchar())
  if maparg(a:c1.c2, 'n') != ''
    return a:c1.c2
    return '\<Nop>'

Then you can use it like so:

nnoremap <expr> q SuppressAllStartingWith('q')
nnoremap <expr> z SuppressAllStartingWith('z')

As for motivation, in command mode I'm always fat-fingering 'z' when I'm heading for 'x', or 'q' when I'm heading for 'a', and I'm tired of that.

  • Welcome to Vi and Vim! Does this prevent you from recording macros q{letter} or using the fold and other z commands (zt, etc.)?
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Feb 12, 2021 at 15:18
  • Yes, it does. For certain of my editing jobs, I don't want any accidental keystrokes moving the cursor far away, or changing modes, or turning on anything. I just want local motions and text insert/delete, basically. This gets me partially there. If there's a WYSIWYG mode to vim, or a better way to achieve this, I'd love to hear about it.
    – Charles
    Feb 13, 2021 at 16:26
  • Vim is WYSIWYG if what you get is plain-text, so I don't follow that. But you could look at :help -y.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Feb 13, 2021 at 19:37
  • I was using WYSIWG in the sense of what the nano editor gives you, i.e., exactly what -y gives you in vim, thanks for that tip. But what I'd like to achieve in vim is allowing editing commands that operate on the current line, or a few lines around it, and suppressing commands that take me to other parts of the file when I mistype them. So for example I never use z because I have no use for what it does, and when I accidentally hit it, I don't want what it does.
    – Charles
    Feb 15, 2021 at 15:12

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