When I'm confronting a bug of a plugin and an error message pops up like this one:

E5018: Error executing lua ...

and if I want to report this bug, I always have to type this error message manually. How can I copy the error message into my clipboard in order to paste it on github?

2 Answers 2


You can typically see the error messages produced by plug-ins using the :messages command.

If you'd like to put those messages into a Vim buffer, so that you can copy them to the clipboard from there, you can use the following command:

:put =execute('messages')

This uses the execute() function to capture output of an Ex command, then the expression register "= to use that in a register context and finally the :put command to append the contents of that register to the current buffer.

See :help :messages, :help execute(), :help "= and :help :put for more details.

  • 3
    Or let @* = execute('messages'); very clever idea
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Apr 24, 2021 at 19:59

I combined @filbranden's answer with the answer to https://stackoverflow.com/questions/59474914/how-to-copy-the-error-message-when-vim-start

and came up with this leader shortcut that copies the last message displayed by Vim to the clipboard - uses @D.BenKnoble's suggestion from the comments:

nnoremap <leader>m :let @*=trim(execute('1messages')) \| echo 'copied' <cr>
  • How about nnoremap <leader>m :let @* = trim(execute('1messages')) <bar> echo 'copied'<cr> (the main difference is the <bar>)?
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 23:59
  • @D.BenKnoble I like your version better but for some reason I can't get it to work. When I try to save my my .vimrc I get E121: Undefined variable: cr - I can't figure out why <cr> is accepted in my version but not yours. btw I'm using MacVim, maybe it's a subtle difference
    – subelsky
    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 15:08
  • You could try with caps <CR>, but I also forgot I had to escape the |
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Oct 9, 2021 at 15:29
  • 1
    ahh, escaping | is what made it work - didn't matter whether <CR> was capitalized. will update the answer
    – subelsky
    Commented Oct 10, 2021 at 18:04

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