Are there any events similar to InsertEnter and InsertLeave that I could use for visual mode?

Looking through the helpfiles, I did not fine any.

If not, how would I be able to detect if Vim enters or leaves Visual mode?

  • 1
    Maybe duplicate of stackoverflow.com/q/15561132/11135136.
    – 3N4N
    Sep 18, 2022 at 11:07
  • I think your suggested question is not a duplicate. The question is related but the implementations are not what I am looking for.
    – unrealapex
    Sep 19, 2022 at 0:00

2 Answers 2


September of last year, a new event was added:

commit f1e8876fa2359b572d262772747405d3616db670 (tag: v8.2.3430)
Author: =?UTF-8?q?Magnus=20Gro=C3=9F?= <[email protected]>
Date:   2021-09-12

    patch 8.2.3430: no generic way to trigger an autocommand on mode change

    Problem:    No generic way to trigger an autocommand on mode change.
    Solution:   Add the ModeChanged autocommand event. (Magnus Gross, closes #8856)

From :h ModeChanged:

ModeChanged         After changing the mode. The pattern is
                    matched against `'old_mode:new_mode'`, for
                    example match against `*:c*` to simulate
                    The following values of |v:event| are set:
                            old_mode    The mode before it changed.
                            new_mode    The new mode as also returned
                                        by |mode()| called with a
                                        non-zero argument.

So you can use the following event pattern:

augroup VisualEvent
  autocmd ModeChanged *:[vV\x16]* :echom 'VisualEnter'
  autocmd Modechanged [vV\x16]*:* :echom 'VisualLeave'
augroup END

[vV\x16] is a regex pattern matching either of v (visual mode), V (line-wise), or ctrl-v (block-wise).

Answer found courtesy of clason.

  • 1
    @UnrealApex detects with <ESC> for me. Maybe not using bang is causing problem. I edited the answer to incorporate augroup. Try that. After entering and leaving visual mode, you should invoke :messages to see the messages left with echom.
    – 3N4N
    Sep 19, 2022 at 8:40
  • 1
    @UnrealApex interesting! <C-c> doesn't trigger ModeChanged event. (It wasn't silly. I didn't know about <C-c> not triggering InsertLeave. Your objection made me aware of it.)
    – 3N4N
    Sep 19, 2022 at 17:14
  • 1
    If you find a reason why <C-c> doesn't trigger these events, share here. Or edit my answer with a note.
    – 3N4N
    Sep 19, 2022 at 17:15
  • 2
    @UnrealApex, kadekai: <C-c> not triggering ModeChanged was a bug. I finally got around to reporting it weeks after reading your discussion, and Bram fixed it within hours!
    – Rich
    Oct 18, 2022 at 15:11
  • 1
    @UnrealApex zeertzjq is on it. He is a core nvim dev, so patch should be ported quickly.
    – 3N4N
    Oct 18, 2022 at 18:24

I went ahead and rewrote 3N4N's answer in Lua in case some Neovim users would like to take advantage of this:

local visual_event_group =
  vim.api.nvim_create_augroup("visual_event", { clear = true })

vim.api.nvim_create_autocmd("ModeChanged", {
  group = visual_event_group,
  pattern = { "*:[vV\x16]*" },
  callback = function()

vim.api.nvim_create_autocmd("ModeChanged", {
  group = visual_event_group,
  pattern = { "[vV\x16]*:*" },
  callback = function()

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