Ideally, I'd like to have different behavior for those two cases. For macros specifically, there is reg_executing, but I don't know about any way to achieve the same for a general :normal command. (I fear there isn't one, actually.)

Relevant issue here.

  • 1
    I think the actual issue here is that if you don't want :normal to be affected by your mappings, then you should use :normal! instead... It's not up to mappings to detect the context you're in and behave differently in that case, but for plug-ins which need consistent behavior to use the variant that won't be affected by any mappings if they need that. No?
    – filbranden
    Jun 27 at 15:03

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