Lets say I have "string" and I want to dupplicate the double quotes. What is the shortest way to do it?.

I have done a search of double quotes using /". Then I navigate to the different occurences using n command and I apply this sequence of commands: xPP

I know this can be done also using these commands: xPp or xP.

Excluding macros and function definitions, is there a shorter key combination to achieve that?

  • 3
    What about :s/"/""/gc ?
    – Maxim Kim
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 8:06
  • 1
    I would also do /" then s""<esc> then n., n., ...
    – Maxim Kim
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 8:21

2 Answers 2


I would do:

  1. /" to search for the character
  2. yl to copy the character
  3. p to paste the character
  4. then alternate between n and . to search and replace

If you don't mind using the plugin vim-surround it can be as short as ysa"":

  • Put your cursor on the word you want to surround
  • ys is the vim surround command
  • a" is the text object to operate on, it could also be aW
  • " is the character you want to use to surround the text object

And as a bonus you can to the reverse operation i.e removing the surrounding quotes with ds"

Without a plugin I would go for :s/"[^"]\+"/"&"

  • "[^"]\+" allows you to capture a quote followed by any number of characters other than " followed by "
  • "&" here & is a reference to the whole matched text which as to be surrounded by two quotes.
  • 4
    There are so very few vim plugins i feel are essential (ie most of them accomplish something that can be done natively with a little effort, but make the task smoother). Vim-surround, while technically just smoothing it’s tasks, is one of these essential few for it’s “vimminess” and constant usefulness.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 12:53

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