I'm trying to remap Control + [hjkl] to navigate among splits, by setting this in my rc file:

" splits navigation
nnoremap <C-h> <C-w>h
nnoremap <C-j> <C-w>j
nnoremap <C-k> <C-w>k
nnoremap <C-l> <C-w>l

However, <C-h> isn't working; it moves the cursor left a character, as if I had hit backspace (i.e. it traverses lines, unlike my h). The other movements work.

Asking (neo)vim for mapping information about <C-h> doesn't show anything suspicious looking:

:verbose map <C-h>
n  <C-H>         <C-W>h
        Last set from ~/workspace/dotfiles/.nvimrc

However, if I ask about <C-j> (which works as expected), it says that <NL> is involved?

:verbose map <C-j>
n  <NL>          <C-W>j
        Last set from ~/workspace/dotfiles/.nvimrc

Changing the order of my nnoremaps doesn't seem to change the behavior.

How should I debug this?

  • 2
    I don't know the details, so for now I'll just comment: I'm pretty sure this has to do with a special key code created with <C-h>. If you try it in a terminal, you will see a similar behaviour. Also see :h backspace. Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 21:47
  • Thanks for the pointer @KarlYngveLervåg. May be worth noting that I use the Dvorak keyboard layout, which places the "h" letter underneath the J key (the "j" letter is underneath the C key). I mention this because :h backspace notes that "<NL>" is related to "CTRL-J".
    – alxndr
    Commented Mar 10, 2015 at 22:16
  • 1
    Worth trying as a workaround: noremap <C-h> <c-w><c-h> (i.e. <c-h> instead of h) as they are equivalent
    – jalanb
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 12:00
  • @jalanb replacing my <C-h> remap with your suggestion causes an audible bell, and no cursor movement. (Pressing <C-w><C-h> does work jump to the split to the left.)
    – alxndr
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


This is due to a bug in Neovim.

A suggested workaround in that bug is to run the following commands to adjust your terminal's terminfo entry to match what Neovim expects:

infocmp $TERM | sed 's/kbs=^[hH]/kbs=\\177/' > $TERM.ti
tic $TERM.ti
  • This got flagged as low quality. Perhaps you could add in the information in github.com/neovim/neovim/issues/2048#issuecomment-78045837 which seems to have a workaround?
    – muru
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 19:29
  • @mur Or close the question because it's likely not going to be useful long term. vi.SE isn't a bug reporting forum.
    – jamessan
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 19:31
  • 1
    From the question, it's not that obvious this is a bug... This question is probably flagged automatically because it's below a certain numbers of characters & has a link. Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 19:56

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