I am trying to do a shortcut to resave a file with cmd-S. And if the file is of type vim, it will also re-source %. Here is what I have:

function SaveFile()
    if &filetype ==? 'vim'
        so %
nnoremap  <leader>S         :silent call SaveFile()<CR>

However, I get the following error:

E127: Cannot redefine function SaveFile: It is in use

Why is this so? What do I need to do to fix this issue? Is :so % not allowed in a function?

  • Check what error means with :h E127
    – user25807
    Commented Jul 15, 2020 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


Your issue is that functions cannot be redefined without ! (as in function!). This is only partially true:

                                *E127* *E122*
            When a function by this name already exists and [!] is
            not used an error message is given.  There is one
            exception: When sourcing a script again, a function
            that was previously defined in that script will be
            silently replaced.
            When [!] is used, an existing function is silently
            replaced.  Unless it is currently being executed, that
            is an error.
            NOTE: Use ! wisely.  If used without care it can cause
            an existing function to be replaced unexpectedly,
            which is hard to debug.

I actually do not use ! anymore, but I believe in old versions of vim it was required to be able to re-source a script at runtime and have function/command definitions work. You might want to check on your version.

A more idiomatic way to accomplish your setup is to split the two (this is effectively what I do):

" ~/.vim/vimrc, or some other globally-sourced file
nnoremap <leader>fs :write<CR>


" ~/.vim/after/ftplugin/vim.vim

" two options: a dedicated map
nnoremap <buffer> <localleader>ef :source %<CR>
" or an autocommand
augroup SourceVim
  autocmd! * <buffer>
  autocmd BufWritePost <buffer> source %
augroup END

(I do something similar in clojure with fireplace's :Require)

  • Why not :update instead of :write?
    – Matt
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 5:46
  • OP used write @Matt , but also sometimes you want the effect of a write (such as something that watches your code and runs tests or some such)
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 11:13

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