I currently have <Enter> mapped to :nohlsearch in normal mode. This allows me to leave search highlighting on for all new searches, but easily turn it off when it (soon after usually) becomes a distraction.

This works great usually, the exception is when I'm using q: to edit the command history to produce a closely related ex command or whatever. The behavior of Enter in that context is to execute the command (or search in search history edit), but the normal-mode remapping overrides that. Consequently, I need to hit enter from insert mode to execute the command.

How can I map Enter to :nohlsearch in normal mode but retain the "execute" behavior of Enter in the command-history edit window?

1 Answer 1


I have the following in my vimrc to force regular behavior of enter in certain situations:

augroup vimrc_CRfix

  " Quickfix, Location list, &c. remap <CR> to work as expected
  autocmd BufReadPost quickfix nnoremap <buffer> <CR> <CR>
  autocmd CmdwinEnter * nnoremap <buffer> <CR> <CR>

augroup END

I cannot remember why I’m using nnoremap and not unmap <buffer>; it’s possible the latter works.

  • Super-awesome, this works! :)
    – scanny
    Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 17:52
  • 2
    Since you are using a buffer local mapping (i.e. <buffer>) it takes precedence over the global <cr> mapping so you do not need to unmap. Another thought: nnoremap <buffer> <expr> <cr> v:hlsearch ? ":nohlsearch\<cr>" : "\<cr>" which will disable the search if the search is active & if there is no search give you the normal <cr> behavior. See :h :map-local, :h :map-<expr>, and :h v:hlsearch for more Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 19:10
  • @PeterRincker i think the second half could be an additional answer; mine is more general because of the way mapping i use for <CR>
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 19:21

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