When I press the caret button in normal mode, vim first prints a caret at the cursor position. Only with the second press of the caret button does the cursor actually move to the beginning of the line. The caret character then disappears.

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I remember the cursor moving to the beginning of the line immediately the last time I used vim. Is this expected behavior? If yes, how can I tell vim to move to the beginning of the line immediately?

The Vim extension of Visual Studio Code replicates this behavior.

  • Vim 8.0.1365
  • no .vimrc
  • macOS 10.14.6
  • German keyboard layout, but it happens with an english layout as well

EDIT: :verbose map ^ yields No mapping found

  • If you want to enter a ^ as text, do you need one or two key presses?
    – Ralf
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 20:02
  • I need just one. But in contrast to other characters the cursor turns yellow (as in the GIF) and I can replace it with a circumflexed vowel by typing a vowel character next. Maybe this means that the character has not been printed yet as typing a caret could be just the first step of writing a letter with a diacritic circumflex. Maybe this has something to do with it.
    – 303
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 20:10

2 Answers 2


This has to do with the ^ being a dead key. A dead key doesn't insert a character, but composes a character with the key pressed next.

This is the "normal" keyboard layout in some languages. In a german layout the ^ is a dead key. A example usage is ^a which would produce a â.

This happens in the keyboard driver. So, to get a ^ delivered to Vim you need to enter ^^.

I have such a layout on one of my work machines, very annoying.

BTW: For German, Linux has a special keyboard layout called "German (no dead keys)". This might also exist for your OS.

Also check this question about problems with the backtick.

  • Thanks. That's it. I could fix it with github.com/oschrenk/keylayout-de_DE-no-deadkeys. Unfortunately as the problem is caused on the OS level there seems to be no way to deactivate dead keys only in normal mode.
    – 303
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 21:32
  • @303 Correct, no way. If you want to enter this type of characters in Vim, use digraphs. See :help digraph and :help digraph-table.
    – Ralf
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 21:36

I ussualy use SHIFT + A end of line and insert, and SHIFT + I beggining of line and insert. There are also $ and and 0 to move to the end and beghining of a line.

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