From the vim manual:

m'  or  m`      Set the previous context mark.  This can be jumped to
            with the "''" or "``" command (does not move the
            cursor, this is not a motion command).

I could not understand what this does or what its used for, tried to "set" previous mark to another mark using that, but it did not work.

1 Answer 1


The ' and ` are synonymous. It correspond to position before the last move (with the exception of the very small moves. e.g. one character, one line)

The m' (and its sister: m`):

  • Set the last position mark explicitly
  • Add an entry at the top of jump list
  • Move the jump list cursor to the to of the it

I believe this command is used by plugin developers when they create moves.

It let them:

  • Mark the original position before the jump
  • Maintain the jump list

This to make the jump commands works like expected:

  • Ctrlo
  • Ctrli
  • ''
  • `'
  • Thanks! This can be verified by visiting the jump list (:jumps). j or k are not jumps while the mentioned m`, or m' somewhere would create a jump record.
    – pigeon
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 10:25

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