I am trying to emulate readline keybindings in insert and command-line modes (for example, <C-u> for deleting from cursor position to beginning of the line, or <C-w> to delete previous word). The readline action kill-line deletes from the current cursor position to the end of the line, and it is usually bound to <C-k>. I have managed to emulate it in insert mode with

inoremap <Plug>(i_kill-line) <Esc>lC
imap <C-k> <Plug>(i_kill-line)

How could I do something similar in command-line mode?

  • 1
    I understand you may still want to do things as you describe but are you familiar with the command-line window? It's a great way to do command-line editing. You can use the full power of Vim rather than a smattering of Vim-like keystrokes.
    – B Layer
    Aug 5, 2021 at 19:12
  • C-u and C-w should already work insert mode. At any rate for command-line mode you need cnoremap, and as BLayer says the command-line window makes editing even nicer.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Aug 5, 2021 at 19:24
  • Thank you for your answers! I am aware of the command-line window and I should probably use it more. However, I like to have the same basic keybindings in the main places where I can type (mainly Bash, Vim and fzf window) because that makes it easier to learn them and use them mechanically. <C-k> was recently added to my vocabulary, so I wanted to make it available in Vim.
    – mgarort
    Aug 5, 2021 at 22:07
  • @mgarort set -o vi :)
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Aug 6, 2021 at 11:23
  • Indeed :) But I find simple emacs keybindings more appropriate for the command line, and also I have personalized Vim in a way that set -o vi cannot replicate. So I would have a similar problem of non-homogeneity with set -o vi.
    – mgarort
    Aug 6, 2021 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


Use combination of :h c_CTRL-\_e, :h getcmdline() and :h getcmdpos():

func! KillLineToEnd()
    return strpart(getcmdline(), 0, getcmdpos()-1)
cnoremap <C-k> <C-\>eKillLineToEnd()<CR>
  • Very impressive. Thank you!
    – mgarort
    Aug 6, 2021 at 23:24

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