I noticed different styles. But I cannot relate to what I typed, maybe because I have many missed key strokes.

  • We need more info to be able to help you
    – mattb
    Commented Jun 22, 2022 at 13:50
  • Welcome to Vi and Vim!
    – husB
    Commented Jun 22, 2022 at 13:56
  • Maybe my question is not clear? Maybe it's specific to the vscode vim extension? Commented Jun 22, 2022 at 13:57
  • 2
    @samuelnihoul It's certainly unclear to me! If you can't think of any way to describe it more precisely, perhaps a screenshot might help?
    – Rich
    Commented Jun 22, 2022 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


Vim allows the cursor shape to be customized. Depending on your system, Vim changes the cursor shape according to the mode it is in. By default, some of these are

  • normal mode: a block cursor
  • insert mode: a vertical bar
  • operator pending mode: a "half cursor"
  • replace mode: a horizontal bar (or "underscore")

To illustrate, Vim starts in normal mode. Hit i, and vim is now in insert mode. Now, any keypress gets inserted as text. Hit <Esc> to return to normal mode. Hit d, and vim is in operator pending mode, waiting for a motion to specify the text that this delete operator will work on. etc.

There are other modes too, such as visual, visualLine, to name a few. For more, see

  • :help vim-modes,
  • :help mode-switching,
  • :help 'showmode'.

For the vscode vim extension, the list of modes can be found here.

  • Thanks! I meant half-block cursor (just the bottom part). Any idea? Commented Jun 22, 2022 at 17:43
  • I am using the vscode vim extension Commented Jun 22, 2022 at 17:44
  • @samuelnihoul Oh, I think that half-block cursor would be when vim is in operator-pending mode (eg. after one of c,d,y is pressed, and vim is waiting for a motion/text-object). I have my edited my answer to include this detail. While I don't use the vscode vim extension, I believe this behavior work the same way in vscode vim.
    – husB
    Commented Jun 23, 2022 at 3:25

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