I've the following function and accompanying key-bindings to send texts from vim in one tmux pane to other:

" copy yanked text to tmux pane
function! Send_to_tmux(count) abort
    let _count = (a:count == 0) ? 2 : a:count
    let text = @z
    let text = substitute(text, ';', '\\;', 'g')
    let text = substitute(text, '"', '\\"', 'g')
    let text = substitute(text, '\n', '" Enter "', 'g')
    let text = substitute(text, '!', '\\!', 'g')
    let text = substitute(text, '%', '\\%', 'g')
    let text = substitute(text, '#', '\\#', 'g')
    silent execute "!tmux send-keys -t " . _count . " \"" . text . "\""
    silent execute "!tmux send-keys -t " . _count . "Enter"
    unlet _count
    unlet text
nnoremap <expr> <Leader>p '"zyip:call Send_to_tmux('.v:count.')<CR>'
xnoremap <expr> <Leader>p '"zy:call Send_to_tmux('.v:count.')<CR>'

I basically use this function when I use SQL. Now, SQL has commenting structure of two types: (written in the structure of :h 'commentstring')

  • /* %s */
  • -- %s

I always used the first type of comment, and didn't set up the substitute command for second type of comment. And now I see that I can't send texts into other tmux panes of structure -- texts. I have tried it in bare bash, and MySQL command line, same result. So, I guess bash is not taking string of that structure, or tmux is eating it itself.

I've removed all tmux configurations and tried to do it, same result. So, I don't think it's a problem with my tmux config.

How do I send -- to tmux panes from vim?

1 Answer 1


Looks more like a shell related question than a Vim related question. I would try the following (not tested, so might be wrong):

silent execute "!tmux send-keys -t " . _count . " -- \"" . text . "\""

Add a -- before the text. Most Unix commands stop option processing as soon as they see a -- and everything after it is handled as parameter.

  • It worked! Sorry, I couldn't figure out where to actually post this question, i.e. Unix or Stackoverflow. And can I just change the mapping, i.e. always send ` -- ` before sending the text, irrespective of whether the text has -- inside itself? I'm currently doing that, no problem yet occurred. If you have any comment, please let me know.
    – 3N4N
    Mar 29, 2019 at 15:58
  • 1
    @klaus if, as Ralf describes, the SQL cli youre using is well-behaved under unix, it should work if you just always send -- before your literal input
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Mar 29, 2019 at 16:25
  • In particular, the SQL CLI should conform to Guideline 10 of the Utility Syntax Guidelines (IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Section 12.2).
    – wchargin
    Mar 29, 2019 at 19:35

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