Sometimes I want to add several empty lines for better visualization. Now I end up clicking o<Escape> multiple times. I would love to reduce number of clicks by using something like 7o instead, to get 7 empty lines without entering insert mode.

  • 5
    Well, 7o<Esc> does work to insert 7 empty lines, so... – filbranden Feb 19 at 23:38
  • 2
    @filbranden Nice, didn't know that. – niekas Feb 19 at 23:58
  • 1
    Won't o<CR><CR><CR>[..] work as well? Why use o<Esc>? – Martin Tournoij Feb 20 at 0:23
  • 1
    Or even o<Esc>...[..]. Dot is cool. – Biggybi Feb 20 at 15:49

I've had these mappings in my dotfiles for years and they are so useful that I forgot that it's not a built-in feature:

" Quickly insert an empty new line without entering insert mode {{{
nnoremap <Leader>o o<Esc>0"_D
nnoremap <Leader>O O<Esc>0"_D

They are the equivalent of o and O but without entering insert mode. The deletion to the black hole register is quite useful for some corner cases ("_D).

If you don't want to install a mapping you can add just these two lines to your vimrc.

Also out of curiosity here is how vim-unimpaired does it:

function! BlankUp(count) abort
  put!=repeat(nr2char(10), a:count)
  silent! call repeat#set("\<Plug>unimpairedBlankUp", a:count)

function! BlankDown(count) abort
  put =repeat(nr2char(10), a:count)
  silent! call repeat#set("\<Plug>unimpairedBlankDown", a:count)

nnoremap <key> :call BlankUp(v:count1)<CR>
nnoremap <key> :call BlankDown(v:count1)<CR>

The difference is that my version puts your cursor on the newly created line whereas Pope's version adds the line but leave your cursor on the same place.


If installing a plugin is an option, Tpope's vim-unimpaired is a great pick which provides a mapping to insert empty lines:

  • ]<space> to insert a line under the current line
  • [<space> to insert a line above the current line

Both accept a count, so 42]<space> will put 42 new lines under the current position.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.