This problem started because I want to run a command in visual mode with

:silent! '<,'> command here

however if I do a mapping

vnoremap ,a :silent! '<,'> command here

then in vim runs like

:'<,'>silent! '<,'> command here

the same happens if i use

vnoremap ,a :exe "silent! '<,'> command"

that it is converted to

:'<,'>exe "silent!...."
  • 1
    On a side note, prefer to exclude the select-mode -> :xnoremap <silent> ,a :<c-u>silent! exe.... Apr 26, 2018 at 11:48
  • interesting point. I will have a look. Thank you
    – manolius
    Apr 27, 2018 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


Putting aside mappings for a moment, what do we do when we're manually entering commands and find a range on the command line that we don't want? Hit Backspace five times? Well...yes...that's one possibility but there's something better than that:

CTRL-U      Remove all characters between the cursor position and
            the beginning of the line. ...

Since a mapping is essentially the same as the equivalent manual command we just need to translate Ctrl+U to something that works in Vimscript. That would be the equivalent keycode <C-U>.

So add <C-U> at the beginning of your mapping right after the opening :. For example:

vnoremap ,a :<C-U>silent! ..etc..

That will clear any text that happens to currently be on the command line before your command(s) are applied.

  • 1
    I didn't remember the existence of <C-U>. Brilliant
    – manolius
    Apr 27, 2018 at 11:47

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