While writing this answer about vim-rails on SpaceVim, I found out these mappings set by SpaceVim, such as this one:

nnoremap gf gf

SpaceVim also creates similar mappings for all of the other gX commands and all zX commands as well.

Which made me wonder: Why would you need such mappings?

As far as I can tell, they don't actually do anything. They just map a key sequence to itself, so they'll simply have Vim execute the exact same command as if the mappings were not there. (Or am I wrong about that and there's a subtle difference when such a trivial mapping is actually installed?)

I suspect they have something to do with the leader guide for the g (and z) commands, but I still don't understand why they're needed.

Can someone familiar with SpaceVim (implementation) or with this particular code pattern please clarify?

2 Answers 2


I think I can make a guess (but I have never seen this before either, and I haven't used SpaceVim yet) based on this issue: gq for reformatting doesn't work #787. nmap g [G] essentially blocks all the usual normal-mode commands that start g. gq, for example, is now [G]q.

nnoremap gf gf, by virtue of being a noremap version, blocks further mapping expansion, so gf effectively remains a plain gf.


I am author of SpaceVim. The main feature of spacevim is key binding guide. This feature need to run :map <prefix> to paser all mappings, and generate guide context. In vim, too many default key binding begin with g, most users include me do not remenber all of them. so I need the guide when I forgot next key after press g.

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