i want to write a makro and need to know how i can move to the end and to the beginning of a string, respektively i want to visually select the link so that i can surround it with brackets.

my line in vim looks like this

- test test http://www.test.tets/

the cursor is positioned somewhere in the link. this case is somehow special, because the link ends on the end of the line. i need a general solution, which also runs, when the link is in the middle of a line:

- test http://test.test   tset and so on

i want to visually select the link and than surround it with brackets. this is for a markdown file.

i already tried to use the word movements, but they do not work in links.

thx in advance!

  • 1
    Read :help word-motions. Also interesting: :help text-objects. And have a look at the plugin vim-surround.
    – Ralf
    Jan 11, 2019 at 8:55
  • With @Ralf ‘s suggestion, you could easily do ysiW"
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Jan 11, 2019 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


You should probably begin with reading the help topics suggested by @Ralf along with :h word and :h WORD. This should lead you to :h E and :h B.

So without any plugin you macro could use the following commands


which means:

E                  Go to the end of the WORD (i.e. http://www.test.tets/)
 a"                Append a double quote after the word
   <Esc>           Go back to normal mode
        B          Move to the beginning of the WORD
         i"        Insert a double quote before the WORD
           <Esc>   Go back to normal mode again and continue your macro

Also as suggested in the comments Tim Pope's vim-surround is a very good plugin which allows you to use built-in text objects and visual selection to surround some text with different characters.

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