I'm using Vim in a terminal, so scrolling with the scroll wheel uses the \e[A and \e[B syntax (where \e symbolizes \x1b, or escape).

However, Vim interprets this by moving the cursor up or down a line. The desired behavior is that the screen is moved up or down, like <C-e> and <C-y> do.

How can I tell Vim to move the screen when I used my scroll wheel, while keeping the cursor on the same line? This should work in all common modes (insert, normal, visual select).

I've already tried, for example, :nnoremap <esc>[A <C-e> (replacing <esc> with a literal escape character inserted with Ctrl+V Esc), but this proved to be futile.

I'm using Vim 7.4.52 on Ubuntu 14.04 with GNOME.

  • Could you limit the question to an operating system or windowing environment? Feb 3, 2015 at 23:12
  • @200_success Alright, I've edited my environment into the question.
    – Doorknob
    Feb 3, 2015 at 23:14
  • I think this question should be tagged 'terminal' too. Is it un-editable because it's answered?
    – bsmith89
    Feb 3, 2015 at 23:21

3 Answers 3


As @Doorknob said in his comment, :set mouse=a fixes the problem.

  • 1
    Is there a way to do this without setting mouse=a? I don't want accidental clicks messing up my editing flow.
    – wchargin
    Apr 24, 2015 at 23:23
  • 2
    the a in mouse=a stands for all (not append). from :help mouse : "the mouse can be enabled for different modes ... Normally you would enable the mouse in all four modes with: :set mouse=a" at least in my vim when I enabled that it didn't mess up with mode switching (just enabled scrolling - and "click to go to the line")
    – Fawix
    Aug 27, 2017 at 21:42
  • 6
    Though this thread is old, for someone who wants set mouse=a without accidental clicks messing up flow, :map <LeftMouse> <nop> would do the trick.
    – Sunny Pun
    Nov 21, 2017 at 6:08

I know this is a few years late, but you can use nmap <Down> <C-e> nmap <Up> <C-y>

This worked for me.


The behavior that you want is what happens on my vim. I can't find a setting that turns it on/off. Maybe check the :help scrolling? scrolloff might be involved.

You could also consider using marks as a workaround.

  1. ma (set mark 'a')
  2. scroll the screen as you'd like
  3. `a (send cursor to mark 'a')
  • I get this behavior even without loading my vimrc (vim -u NONE). This is Vim 7.4 on Ubuntu 14.04 with GNOME.
    – Doorknob
    Feb 3, 2015 at 23:05
  • @Doorknob And I get the window instead of the cursor moving without my .vimrc (just set mouse=a). :help scrolling says that the scrolling behavior is platform specific. I'm using vim in iterm2 on OSX.
    – bsmith89
    Feb 3, 2015 at 23:07
  • Aha! :set mouse=a has fixed the problem for me. Edit that into your answer, and I'll accept it. Thanks!
    – Doorknob
    Feb 3, 2015 at 23:08

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