I can make a map like this:

nmap wr :write<CR>

but then it clashes with another map:

So if I do press w, it pauses before performing the motion. How can I quickly perform the w motion? I tried ww, but then it motions twice.

2 Answers 2


In order to trigger the mapping before 'timeoutlen' expires you can hit any other key that will not have a side effect and work as a null operation.

In this case, in Normal mode, you can use <Esc>, which does nothing if you're already in Normal mode. So you could use w<Esc> to have the w motion applied right away.

(Of course, the best solution is to avoid such mappings in first place, mappings such as wr which shadow useful commands such as the w motion. Prefer to put your mappings under a <Leader> prefix to have them in a separate namespace outside of the regular Vim commands.)


Another option would be to use capital instead:

nmap W :write<CR>

This will likely clobber something else (as in this case), but usually the capitals are less used than lowercase. Another option is abbreviate:



abbrev w write

This avoids the ambiguous map, as the example above only works in command mode. Drawback is that is take more keys, as its Shift : w Enter, instead of just w r. Also in this case its redundant as you can already use w instead of write. However I found this useful for other cases.

  • 1
    Problem with a simple abbreviation like that is that it's expanded in way more contexts than you expect... You can use :cabbrev to make it only work in command-line (and search, and input...) But it's still a problem, for instance try opening or saving a file named w.txt with that abbreviation... You can work around that, but you typically need an <expr> mapping checking you're in command-line with getcmdtype() and use getcmdpos() to check it's the first word in the line (only expand as the "command", not in arguments.)
    – filbranden
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 1:28

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