Is there a way in Vim to do the following:

let S = '[''123'', ''456'', ''789'']'
let L = parseStringToList(S)
" L is a list containing the string '123', '456', and '789'
  • Not sure I understand. After the let S... line, you have a list that contains only Strings. So what are you trying to do? Dec 14, 2018 at 16:15
  • @ChristianBrabandt, after the let S, it's a string containing a textual representation of a list, not a list. Dec 14, 2018 at 16:17
  • ah, I missed that. Dec 14, 2018 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


You can do this with eval:

let S = '[''123'', ''456'', ''789'']'
let L = eval(S)

Generally, using eval is something you should be wary of. Don't run it on untrusted data. But this does solve your problem.

It's possible there's a completely different approach you should be using, but without context, it's hard to say.

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