I often find myself using the following no matter what the program is:

  • Cmd s to save.
  • Cmd a to select-all
  • Cmd t to open a new tab
  • Cmd c to copy
  • Cmd v to paste
  • Cmd z to undo
  • Cmd Shift z to redo

That how it works in most computers, regardless of what mode I'm in or whatever. What would be a good keyboard mapping I can use in vim to do something similar? I don't believe cmd is supposed (without doing some odd mapping).

I also am not a big fan of using ctrl as I often use that in other programs to advance to the start of a line ctrl a or advance to the end of the line ctrl e, and I'm already familiar with ctrl v for visual mode.

What might be a good mapping where I can do something that might feel close to doing the cmd-letter input, i.e. and it will work across all modes (that is, I should be able to select-all whether I'm in normal mode or insert mode)? Additionally, if useful, I'm using vim on mac and (mainly) ubuntu.

  • Are you using vim as a GUI (i.e. MacVim or another GVim) or in the terminal? It's easy to write mappings for all these in a GUI version of Vim, but much harder in a terminal as they typically don't pass them through... If you use it in a terminal, what terminal emulator do you use (iTerm2, Terminal.app, etc.)?
    – filbranden
    Apr 15, 2020 at 12:29
  • This question had 3 close votes for being opinion-based. Is it because the OP said "What might be a good mapping..."? Would the question have been received better if the OP had simply said "How can I..."? Apr 18, 2020 at 18:33
  • For future reference, Vim questions can be asked on vi.stackexchange.com. Apr 18, 2020 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


I would suggest installing MacVim which already comes with many (all?) of these keybindings set as default.

Within MacVim, I found I could use <D-key> in mappings, to capture Cmd-key presses.

For example:

# Undo and redo
nnoremap <D-Z> u
nnoremap <D-S-Z> <C-R>
# Navigate back and forwards
nnoremap <D-[> <C-O>
nnoremap <D-]> <C-I>

I don't know if these will work for vim in a terminal. They might.

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