I'm having a problem with using imaps with vimtex (i.e they don't work).

To test the issue I went to .vim/plugged/vimtex/test/examples/minimal and started vim -u minivimrc.

Typing `a (which is a AltGr-7 and the "a" key, since I have a Hungarian keyboard) doesn't do anything.

If I manually set this:

:imap `a \alpha

then typing `a expands to \alpha, so I am really unsure what I am doing wrong. I quite new to vim, so maybe I just totall misunderstood how I should be using it.

edit I didn't know how to capture the output, so I made a screenshot of the output of :imap `a enter image description here

  • Is the original mapping backtick-a or à ? In terminal vim, I cant use my alt-backtick-a to insert à, since the terminal doesnt understand it
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Dec 2, 2019 at 14:07
  • Not totally clear from your post... Are you trying to use a mapping `a registered by vimtex and that's not working? If so, with vimtex loaded, can you take a look at what :imap `a says? It should allow you to inspect an existing mapping... I don't think your Hungarian keyboard layout has anything to do it, as long as the AltGr-7 key combination is producing a backtick character, that should be fine...
    – filbranden
    Dec 2, 2019 at 15:21
  • it definitely looks as a a. I mentioned the keyboard, because in i3` I had some weird stuff going in with shift+3 being my plus sign :)
    – fbence
    Dec 2, 2019 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


Please note that the `a mapping is using vimtex#imaps#wrap_math(), which only expands to the right hand side when typed in a math context. (See the code in vimtex.)

So, this mapping will only expand to \alpha if typed in a math context, such as within $...$, inside a \begin{equation}...\end{equation} block, or in a similar context that is considered to be a "math" context.

(vimtex uses the syntax engine to determine what is a "math" context, see definition of is_math(). In particular, that means you need to have syntax enable to be able to use that, since otherwise it won't recognize the "math" blocks correctly and will never apply the expansion.)

  • 1
    perfect, thanks!
    – fbence
    Dec 3, 2019 at 6:57

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