When I select a section of text within a line, then indicate I want to substitute on that line with :s, the result is that the entire line is affected.

In order to actually do what I intend, I have to add \%V before and after the string I want to substitute within the selection, so that no other similar strings are substituted outside of the selection on that line.

Is there a way to configure Vim 8 to behave as I expect it to? That is, if I go to the trouble of selecting text, and I indicate that I want to substitute one thing for another, the substitution takes place within the selection by default.


1 Answer 1


That is because as all ex commands work linewise.

However you might be able to achieve something desired using an mapping for visual mode. The following maps the :s command in visual mode and appends the \%V regex atom:

 :xnoremap :s :s/\%V

(Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to exists an :xabbrev command). Note: I don't think it makes sense to add a second \%V. Mainly because the regular expression might contain items, that may not need to be included within the last visual selection (think of using e.g. \ze or look-around assertions), at least I wouldn't want to have it appended a second time.

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