I want to make separate bindings for <C-h> and <C-S-h>. For example:

noremap <C-h> <C-w>h
noremap <C-j> <C-w>j
noremap <C-k> <C-w>k
noremap <C-l> <C-w>l

noremap <C-S-h> :vertical resize -2<CR>
noremap <C-S-j> :resize -2<CR>
noremap <C-S-k> :resize +2<CR>
noremap <C-S-l> :vertical resize +2<CR>

However, with my settings, pressing <C-h> and <C-S-H> both trigger :vertical resize -2<CR> which should be mapped to only <C-S-h>.

How can I map <C-h> and <C-S-h> separately?

1 Answer 1


This is impossible as Vim doesn't "see" <C-S-h>.

Try the following:

Open Vim and enter insert mode. Noch press <C-v> followed by <C-h>. Vim will insert ^H (highlighted in light blue by default). So Vim got <C-h>.

Now press <C-v> followed by <C-S-h> and Vim will again insert ^H.

So from Vims point of view, <C-h> and <C-S-h> are identical.

The reason is Vims origin as a terminal based program. Those terminals only supports "simple" control-character combinations.

You can use the test described above ( <C-v> ...) with any key combination you would like to map.

PS: On my setup with Linux and GNOME-Terminal, Vim doesn't see <C-S-h> at all, as the key combination is used by GNOME-Terminal.

Updated after the comments from Christian Brabandt and user938271:

Your mapping works with GVim (tested with 8.2.869).

Depending on the terminal emulator it might be possible for Vim to get the <C-S-h>.

The XTerm terminal emulator supports a option called modifyOtherKeys. With it the terminal supports additional key combos like <C-S-h>.

When XTerm is correctly configured, the mapping you describe work as expected. Tested with Vim 8.2.869 and xterm 351.

Read about it in :h modifyOtherKeys.


  • I don't know which other terminal emulators support modifyOtherKeys.
  • modifyOtherKeys is not supported by GNOME-Terminal (see this bug )
  • First mention of modifyOtherKeys in a Vim commit was version 8.1.2134 (Oct 2019)

Conclusion: Your mapping will work with the right terminal emulator and configuration and a up-to-date Vim, but I would not rely on this, as it is not widely portable.

  • 1
    That is not completely correct nowadays. With modifyOtherKeys, vim can distinguish <c-h> and <c-s-h>. However I think currently only xterm supports this (and perhaps the gui). gnome-terminal (or vte) has some wishlist bugs about supporting modifyOtherKeys May 31, 2020 at 11:41
  • @ChristianBrabandt I played around with modifyOtherKeys in xterm. It sends esc-sequences for something like <C-.> or <C-S-.>, but <C-h> and <C-S-h> both send <C-h> (tried other chars as well).
    – Ralf
    May 31, 2020 at 13:47
  • You can also distinguish the inserted presses with ga. bestasciitable.com is good too :)
    – D. Ben Knoble
    May 31, 2020 at 14:17
  • @Christian Brabandt is right. Vim can distinguish C-h from C-S-h in a terminal which supports the modifyOtherKeys feature such as xterm. xterm sends ^[[27;5;104~ for C-h and ^[[27;6;72~ for C-S-h which are different sequences. Tested on Vim 8.2.0869 and xterm 322.
    – user938271
    May 31, 2020 at 22:26
  • To be sure that modifyOtherKeys is enabled, press C-S-v followed by C-v in insert mode; if you only get a literal ^V, then the feature is not enabled. Note that C-S-v is often used in a terminal key binding to paste the clipboard; if that's the case, you may need to temporarily disable the key binding.
    – user938271
    May 31, 2020 at 22:26

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