Let's say I just completed following path using Ctrl-x, Ctrl-f (twice) and I haven't exited the Ctrl-x mode yet and I got


Let's say I chose john.doe accidentally and actually want to go back to /home to finally go to


Is there a way to undo the last e.g. Ctrl-f action without losing the whole path (i.e without losing /home here)?

To elaborate why I'm asking: If we exit with e.g. Ctrl-y and then use u, the whole path will be removed. So in theory one could exit after every completion, but that seems rather cumbersome.

  • 2
    What about Ctrl-e? That will abort the completion, without inserting any of the completion options
    – husB
    Jun 23, 2022 at 8:52
  • @husB Thanks for the tip! That does work indeed! I just played with it but it seems you can only undo the most recent completion (i.e. john.doe in the example above, but it wouldn't work for home after that), right?
    – flawr
    Jun 23, 2022 at 14:34
  • Indeed, Ctrl-e only cancels the current completion, it does not undo the completion, unfortunately.
    – husB
    Jun 24, 2022 at 2:51

1 Answer 1


I normally use i_CTRL-W and re-enter ^X-mode by i_CTRL-X i_CTRL-F. It does of course then exit the ^X-mode + if you do not have / as iskeyword, which would not be very user friendly, the approach require a few hits from time to time.

If it is something one do frequently enough one could do a remap. For example i_CTRL-G:

:inoremap <C-G>  <ESC>dT/a<BS><C-X><C-F><C-P>

It does:

  • <ESC>: Exit insert mode
  • dT/: Delete backwards until first /
  • a: enter insert mode
  • <BS> delete /
  • <C-X><C-F>: Re-open ^X-mode file
  • <C-P>: Move up one so that the selection is empty. This way we can hit CTRL-G multiple times without having to set it to no-selection.
  • Note that one is left in normal mode if dT/ comes up short. Have to look for a fix for that.
    – Moba
    Jun 27, 2022 at 10:20

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