in my plugin, i am joining XML tags together depending on a mapping a use. It also uses so i can make XML snippets repetitive. After inserting the text into a buffer, i would like the cursor to return to the initial position from which I started the 'pasting', but somehow i cannot leave the insert mode.

The function looks like this:

function s:DocbkPrintTag(tag)
  "mark the initial position
  execute "normal! mq"
  let result = repeat(s:DocbkRenderTag(a:tag), v:count1)
  if !empty(result)
    call feedkeys('a' . result, 'n')
  "stop insert mode and resore the cursor position
  execute "normal! `q"
  1. Instead of marking in normal mode, you can use :mark q
  2. Instead of entering insert mode to paste your data, try using either put =result (results on a new line), save the result into a register (let @a=result) and paste inline (normal! "ap), or match a part of the line to insert (e.g., at the beginning: substitute/^/\=result)
  3. You only need :execute with :normal if the command contains special characters or is computed. So the last line can be normal! `q

All of that said, it is easiest to use getcurpos and setpos (example at :help getcurpos()) for cursor saving and restoration.

  • Thank you. The register method works fine, but <CR> does not get translated and instead prints <listitem>^M<para>^M</para>^M</listitem>. Any idea how to get this fixed? Jul 3 '19 at 8:47
  • Got it, need to use "\n" instead of "\<CR>" Jul 3 '19 at 8:56
  • Got additional question: if i use register and paste the text, can i then format it as if i put the whole new block into a visual mode and ran '='? Jul 3 '19 at 11:51
  • @TomášBažant = reindents, but yes you could
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Jul 3 '19 at 12:17

DBK already show you how to fix it, so i explain only why your approach doesn't work here.

From :h feedkeys() :

The function does not wait for processing of keys contained in {string}.

To show you that:

nnoremap ,t :call <sid>foo()<cr>:echom 2<cr>
function! s:foo()
  echom 1
  call feedkeys(":echom 3\<cr>")
  echom 4

Execute ,t, check message with :mes, you should see:


If you use i mode:

call feedkeys(":echom 3\<cr>", 'i')

You will see:


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