I've this in my vimrc

let g:currentmode={
            \ 'n'      : 'NORMAL  ',
            \ 'v'      : 'VISUAL  ',
            \ 'V'      : 'V·Line  ',
            \ '^V' : 'V·Block ',
            \ 'i'      : 'INSERT  ',
            \ 'R'      : 'REPLACE ',
            \ 'c'      : 'COMMAND ',
            \ 't'      : 'TERM    '

set statusline=
            \\ %{&filetype!=#''?&filetype:'none'}
            \\ \ %{&fileformat==#'unix'?'U':&fileformat==#'dos'?'D':'N'}
            \\ \ %{expand('%:~:.')!=#''?expand('%:~:.'):'[No\ Name]'}
            \%=\ %3p%%\ \ %l:\ %3c

The character that you see as the key in the currentmode dictionary for the value V.Block is something I inserted by pressing <C-v><C-v, but here it shows up as a box, so I changed it into ^V for the sake of visibility here in the forum. I don't want a keyword like that in my vimrc, is there any way I can change it into something like <C-v>? I've tried \<C-v>, and <C-v>, doesn't work either of these.

  • "...here it shows up as ." Shows up as what? And then, "...any way I can change it into something?" Something? A set of car keys? A top hat? What exactly do you want to change it into?
    – B Layer
    Feb 8, 2019 at 14:09
  • " here it shows up as ." was not my fault. When I wrote the question vi.stackexchange showed me a box, then after posting the question it disappeared.
    – 3N4N
    Feb 8, 2019 at 14:14

1 Answer 1


The problem are the single-quotes you are using. Single quotes enclose "literal-strings", in these strings, the backslash is not a escape character, but just a backslash.

You could use double-quotes like "\<C-v>". Just try the following two commands:

:echo '\<C-v>'
:echo "\<C-v>"

You might want to read :help string and :help literal-string.

  • I knew about literal-strings and strings, but didn't occur to me in this case!
    – 3N4N
    Feb 8, 2019 at 14:24

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