I open vim and have the following code:

1 a = range(10)
2 for b in a:
3     print(b)

I then open an ipython within vim by typing:

:term ipython

I yank the code by doing :1,2y and then go over to the ipython terminal and do "" to paste the yanked code.

The problem I have is that the spaces are not respected as shown below. Notice how print(a) is a lot further to the right compared to before.

In [2]: for a in b:
   ...:         print(a)

I've seen this behaviour before when pasting things into a normal vim using -V however usually some version of set paste, set nopaste works. Though in this case it didn't.

Does anyone know how I can make this work?

thank you

I'm running ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS. Vim installation info in case helpful

VIM - Vi IMproved 8.0 (2016 Sep 12, compiled Apr 10 2018 21:31:58)
Included patches: 1-1453
Modified by [email protected]
Compiled by [email protected]
Huge version without GUI.  Features included (+) or not (-):
+acl               +comments          +file_in_path      +linebreak         +mouse_urxvt       +quickfix          +terminal          +windows
+arabic            +conceal           +find_in_path      +lispindent        +mouse_xterm       +reltime           +terminfo          +writebackup
+autocmd           +cryptv            +float             +listcmds          +multi_byte        +rightleft         +termresponse      -X11
-autoservername    +cscope            +folding           +localmap          +multi_lang        -ruby              +textobjects       -xfontset
-balloon_eval      +cursorbind        -footer            -lua               -mzscheme          +scrollbind        +timers            -xim
+balloon_eval_term +cursorshape       +fork()            +menu              +netbeans_intg     +signs             +title             -xpm
-browse            +dialog_con        +gettext           +mksession         +num64             +smartindent       -toolbar           -xsmp
++builtin_terms    +diff              -hangul_input      +modify_fname      +packages          +startuptime       +user_commands     -xterm_clipboard
+byte_offset       +digraphs          +iconv             +mouse             +path_extra        +statusline        +vertsplit         -xterm_save
+channel           -dnd               +insert_expand     -mouseshape        -perl              -sun_workshop      +virtualedit
+cindent           -ebcdic            +job               +mouse_dec         +persistent_undo   +syntax            +visual
-clientserver      +emacs_tags        +jumplist          +mouse_gpm         +postscript        +tag_binary        +visualextra
-clipboard         +eval              +keymap            -mouse_jsbterm     +printer           +tag_old_static    +viminfo
+cmdline_compl     +ex_extra          +lambda            +mouse_netterm     +profile           -tag_any_white     +vreplace
+cmdline_hist      +extra_search      +langmap           +mouse_sgr         -python            -tcl               +wildignore
+cmdline_info      +farsi             +libcall           -mouse_sysmouse    +python3           +termguicolors     +wildmenu
   system vimrc file: "$VIM/vimrc"
     user vimrc file: "$HOME/.vimrc"
 2nd user vimrc file: "~/.vim/vimrc"
      user exrc file: "$HOME/.exrc"
       defaults file: "$VIMRUNTIME/defaults.vim"
  fall-back for $VIM: "/usr/share/vim"
Compilation: gcc -c -I. -Iproto -DHAVE_CONFIG_H   -Wdate-time  -g -O2 -fdebug-prefix-map=/build/vim-NQEcoP/vim-8.0.1453=. -fstack-protector-strong -Wformat -Werror=form
Linking: gcc   -Wl,-Bsymbolic-functions -Wl,-z,relro -Wl,-z,now -Wl,--as-needed -o vim        -lm -ltinfo -lnsl  -lselinux  -lacl -lattr -lgpm -ldl     -L/usr/lib/pytho
n3.6/config-3.6m-x86_64-linux-gnu -lpython3.6m -lpthread -ldl -lutil -lm
  • My guess is when ipython hit the colon newline it put in the indent. And then the next pasted like also had indent. Or its a tab and not actually spaces.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 16:17
  • hm.. this seems possible, do you think there is a fix for this? Otherwise seems like a hacky solution would be to remove 4 spaces? btw the copied over extra space is spaces not a tab so everything is `spaces
    – evan54
    Commented Jun 8, 2019 at 23:56

1 Answer 1


I found a few workarounds.

I think what @d-ben-knoble mentioned is the reason for the strange indentation.

  • %autoindent
    • Benefit almost does what I want, ie allows pasting code from vim
    • Drawback some code still executes before having pasted the entire block if there is a space being pasted as well
    • Drawback have to type %autoindent before / after
  • %cpaste
    • Benefit allows pasting exact code and executing
    • Drawback need to type -- after I've pasted
    • Drawback can't edit once pasted
  • %edit
    • Benefit allows full pasting and editing of code
    • Drawback due to vimception in order to avoid vim's autoindent once entered in edit mode you need to do :set paste. Also, there exists a pitfall that you edit the main vim process rather than the one started by IPython which itself lives in a vim subprocess.

Ultimately I think %cpaste or %edit are probably good enough workarounds for me.

I'll leave this answer sitting around in case anyone comes up with a better solution.

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