Say I want to print the output of strftime("%D") in the current line, or to print the return of any user-defined function for that matter. What's the standard (one step?) way to do it?

I currently do this: :let @a=strftime("%D"), then "ap (two steps, but can be combined with mapping).

1 Answer 1


From command-line mode, use :put in combination with with the expression register "= (inserts after the current line):

:put =strftime('%d')<CR>

Or, in Insert mode, use Ctrlr (inserts before the cursor position, as if typed with no abbreviations or mappings):


Or, in Normal mode, use "= (inserts after the cursor position):


Relevant help:

:h quote=
:h :put
:h i_CTRL-R
:h quote
:h p
  • 2
    or in insert mode: <c-r>=strftime('%d') Oct 4, 2020 at 18:28
  • 2
    Or normal mode "=strftime('%d')<cr>p
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Oct 5, 2020 at 0:53
  • @Jake for some reason it requires \ before the two ". I like Christian's solution better cause it inputs the date in the current line after cursor.
    – mahbubweb
    Oct 5, 2020 at 4:43
  • 1
    @MahbubAlam all the ways suggested are equally valid depending on the context. I just mirrored what you said your current process was. Oct 5, 2020 at 4:46
  • 1
    @MahbubAlam they can be used to start comments; it's odd that in this case single-quotes are required, as in most other places you could use double-quotes with no issue
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Oct 5, 2020 at 22:40

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