I'm trying to use junegunn/vim-easy-align to vertically align some text.

EasyAlign has an interactive-mode which means you can invoke EasyAlign, it prompts for a key, and then aligns around whatever key you enter.

eg: given the following text:

foo = bar
hello = world
a = b
something = this

You can visually select the 4 lines, and then enter interactive mode using :EasyAlign, then hit =, and it will result in:

foo       = bar
hello     = world
a         = b
something = this

Manually this works great, but when I attempt to add a keybinding it fails.

I would like to bind :EasyAlign to <leader>xa in visual mode.

This is the command I've used:

vim.api.nvim_set_keymap('v', "<leader>xa", "<cmd>EasyAlign<CR>", { noremap=true, silent = true })

When I hit <leader>xa I can see the EasyAlign interactive prompt in the message area, but when I then hit = nothing happens.

How can I bind <leader>xa to open the EasyAlign interactive prompt, and then have it align around whatever key I enter?

  • @D.BenKnoble that worked!! Thank you! If you would like to write this in an answer I'd gladly accept. Where can I read up on what the difference is here? Mar 10, 2022 at 13:26

2 Answers 2


Try : instead of <cmd>; it’s possible switching mode is intended here. Read about the difference at :help <cmd>.


I just ran into this myself while doing my vimscript-to-lua conversion. For whatever reason, you can't use noremap=true. Here's how I have it in my setup:

vim.api.nvim_set_keymap('v', '<Enter>', '<Plug>(EasyAlign)', {})
  • You have to let <Plug> mappings go through recursive processing, in general, so that’s one of the few times you want (for example) nmap instead of nnoremap
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Mar 11, 2022 at 13:42
  • I've never really understood the purpose of <Plug>. I guess I'll have to read up on it. Why would junegunn recommend using <Plug>, as indicated here: :h easy-align-1-using-plug-mappings or github.com/junegunn/vim-easy-align/blob/master/doc/…
    – Phil R
    Mar 11, 2022 at 16:34

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