I have been using vi or vim for many years however recently ( past year or two ) when I paste some highlighted text vim seems to paste highlighted text ( more often than not ) to random location in the file ... I paste by hitting mouse middle roller button and I think vim is poorly handling the paste by sensing a minute amount of roller action during the press down in the mouse middle roller button during the paste action

Here is my cat ~/.vimrc

unlet! skip_defaults_vim
source $VIMRUNTIME/defaults.vim

set ts=4
set ic

syntax on

"  to shut off paste indent
se paste

"  to disable paste moving mouse paste location
"  mouse=r
"   above fails:   E492: Not an editor command: mouse=r
"  mouse=v
"   above ALSO fails:   E492: Not an editor command: mouse=r

"  If this does not work, a common problem is not having ownership of your ~/.viminfo file. If this is the case, then sudo chown user:group ~/.viminfo
" Uncomment the following to have Vim jump to the last position when
" reopening a file
if has("autocmd")
 au BufReadPost * if line("'\"") > 1 && line("'\"") <= line("$") | exe "normal! g'\"" | endif

Notice commented above two attempts to fix this

Please note this never happened before a year or two ago ... since then its almost useless to even use vim due to this reason ... Is there a way to tell vim to always ignore any roller actions from mouse middle roller button ( continue to sense the press of that roller yet ignore the roller )

I do not use any vim plugins

I am on Ubuntu 20.04 yet same vim bug happens on any Ubuntu for past many years

vim --version
VIM - Vi IMproved 8.1 (2018 May 18, compiled Feb 01 2022 09:16:32)
Included patches: 1-2269, 3612, 3625, 3669, 3741

In the mean time I am trying to always use shift + insert to paste instead of using the much more convenient mouse middle roller button press

  • 1
    the syntax to change options is :set mouse=r
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Jul 31, 2022 at 19:35
  • 1
    se paste is a VERY bad idea.
    – romainl
    Dec 28, 2022 at 22:41

1 Answer 1


Not a direct answer to you question (it's instead a non-mouse work around), but I have a function in my .vimrc to paste from the system clipboard (e.g. the + and the * registers:

" paste from system clipboard
function! PasteFromRegister(reg, up_or_down, autoindent)
    set paste
    if a:up_or_down ==# 'up'
        call append(line('.')-1, '')
        execute "normal! k"
    elseif a:up_or_down ==# 'down'
        call append('.', '')
        execute "normal! j"
    execute 'normal! "'.a:reg.'p'
    if a:autoindent ==# 'autoindent'
        execute 'normal! =='
    set nopaste

" paste from system CTRL-C clipboard
nnoremap <LEADER>p :call PasteFromRegister('+', 'same', 'noautoindent')<CR>
nnoremap <LEADER>]p :call PasteFromRegister('+', 'down', 'autoindent')<CR>
nnoremap <LEADER>[p :call PasteFromRegister('+', 'up', 'autoindent')<CR>
" paste from system highlighted clipboard
nnoremap <LEADER>P :call PasteFromRegister('*', 'same', 'noautoindent')<CR>
nnoremap <LEADER>]P :call PasteFromRegister('*', 'down', 'autoindent')<CR>
nnoremap <LEADER>[P :call PasteFromRegister('*', 'up', 'autoindent')<CR>


To copy from my vim (which I always run in the terminal) to my system clipboard, I first yank it to the unnailed register, then call the following function (it works by temporarily pasting the contents at the bottom of the file - it's been in my .vimrc for a long time, now I wonder if there's a more elegant way to copy the contents of one register to another...):

" run a command, but put the cursor back when it's done
function! Preserve(command, is_func)
    " save last search, and cursor position.
    let _s=@/
    let l = line(".")
    let c = col(".")
    " Do the business:
    if a:is_func ==# 1
        execute a:command()
        execute a:command
    " restore previous search history, and cursor position
    let @/=_s
    call cursor(l, c)

" copy contents of unnamed register to system CTRL-C clipboard
nnoremap <silent> <LEADER>y :call Preserve("normal! Gp\"+dGu", 0)<CR>
            \ :echo 'copied to CTRL-C clipboard'<CR>
" copy contents of unnamed register to system highlighted clipboard
nnoremap <silent> <LEADER>Y :call Preserve("normal! Gp\"*dGu", 0)<CR>
            \ :echo 'copied to highlight clipboard'<CR>
  • execute "normal! j" can be just normal! j or even -; similar for other cases. Also, if you’re putting from a register, I don’t think setting paste has any effect (it’s specifically for when you actually paste from a clipboard using OS controls in insert mode and don’t want the text to trigger anything in Vim). So something like "*p'[='] should do fine, though you may need to adjust to paste linewise (perhaps :put * then '[=']?)
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Aug 1, 2022 at 2:32
  • Thanks @D.BenKnoble! This part of my .vimrc hails from a time when I was less informed (and if it 'worked' I would declare success and leave it at that :) I'll play around with it and update the answer soon. Thanks once again.
    – mattb
    Aug 1, 2022 at 7:54

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