I have textfiles with paths that have lost underscores between words inline in an OCR process. I want to keep the indentation and put back the underscores in the paths.

I have a path like this:

    /dir/file name and stuff

I want it to look like this:


If I try:


I get:


2 Answers 2


The substitution is easier to read with word-boundaries in my opinion, and very magic mode makes typing easier:

  • Very cool. Shorter and easier to read. Thank you for that :) Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 14:25
  • @RasmusGroth that's what upvotes are for :) see Voting up, though it looks like you don't quite have that privilege yet :(
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 14:35

I found this answer posted by u/rewardit on Reddit which does the trick, but I didn't find anything on SO or networked sites so thought I would post it here as I prefer this format to Reddit

This will remove all single whitespaces

:s/\(\S\)\s\+/\1 /g

This will remove single whitespaces between words, but not multiple whitespaces at the end of the line:

:%s/\(\S\)\s\+\(\S\)/\1 \2/g
  • Welcome to Vi and Vim! Self-answering is allowed and encouraged, no need to call that out in the post :)
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 14:23
  • Thanks @D.BenKnoble - and thanks for improving on the answer 🙏 Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 14:29

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