I want to replace a sequence of 6 hex digits (hex RGB) with new values, but I want to repeat a 2-tuple 3 times.

For example:

Start: #ea9081 (with the cursor on 'e')

Desired: #f0f0f0

I know I can do 6rf, as an example to change all 6 values to 'f', or dte3if0<esc> to delete to end of word and repeat-insert 3 times. But is there a way to modify something along the lines of 3cef0<esc> to repeat a change three times? Or some magic with s (substitute)?

  • 2
    I'd just use cw and then f0f0f0; you can probably be more "clever" about it, but you'll spend more time on the cleverness than you'd save repeating f0 two times. Commented May 6, 2020 at 12:00
  • 1
    @MartinTournoij Yeah I guess this question makes more sense for a snippet longer than two characters and/or repeated way more than 3 times :-)
    – filbranden
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 15:31
  • 1
    Good point about the time spent, but I just felt like the general case of repeating sequences of characters must exist in vim. Commented May 6, 2020 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


You can use 3Rf0<Esc>.

The R command is similar to r, but it replaces multiple characters and not just a single one. It takes an <Esc> to leave Insert (Replace) mode.

You can also use . to repeat a Replace action, and you can repeat it with a count. For example, you can use Rf0<Esc> to replace the first instance, followed by l2. if you realize after the first replacement that you'd like to have it done two more times.

  • 3
    Not any shorter, but easier for my brain: Rf0<esc>.. (may need some ls to move right)
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 14:16
  • 3
    @D.BenKnoble You actually need to move the cursor here. Rf0<Esc>l.l. works, or better Rf0<Esc>l2. if you realize after the replacement that you'd like to do it two more times.
    – filbranden
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 15:30
  • 1
    I was also trying to figure this problem out with ., but couldn't get it to work with my old thinking. Replace-mode does the trick! Commented May 6, 2020 at 18:30
  • 1
    @jdk1.0 Updated the answer to include the possibility of using 2. here too!
    – filbranden
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 19:59

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