I'm using the UltiSnips plugin. When selecting text, you can press the trigger key to enter Insert mode, and the deleted text can then be used in a subsequent snippet. The snippet I'm using is as following:

snippet # "Put in brackets" i

So the way I use it is I select some text, press my trigger key (<TAB>), enter #, and press tab again. That works fine, but I want to map it a key (<C-S-E>), such that I can simply select the text and press that key to do the same thing.

I've tried different ways, but none of them work:
vnoremap <buffer> <C-S-E> #
vnoremap <buffer> <C-S-E> :call UltiSnips#ExpandSnippet()#(<C-O>):call UltiSnips#ExpandSnippet()

function! WrapBrack()
    call UltiSnips#ExpandSnippet()
    normal i#
    call UltiSnips#ExpandSnippet()
    return ''

vnoremap <buffer><expr> <C-S-E> WrapBrack()

This last one says that it won't allow autocommand to write because it's not safe, and I don't want to overrule that.

I don't know what to try next, and I can't find helpful documentation. Also I'm not very good with VimScript.

Here's the plugin settings I have:

Plug 'sirver/ultisnips'
let g:UltiSnipsExpandTrigger = '<tab>'
let g:UltiSnipsJumpForwardTrigger = '<tab>'
let g:UltiSnipsJumpBackwardTrigger = '<s-tab>'
let g:UltiSnipsSnippetDirectories=["UltiSnips", "my_snippets"]

1 Answer 1


The function to call would be UltiSnips#SaveLastVisualSelection(), as can be seen here, or by inspecting the output of :xnoremap <tab>.

Modifying from your mapping, this would be

vnoremap <buffer> <C-S-E> :call UltiSnips#SaveLastVisualSelection()<CR>gvs#(<C-O>):call UltiSnips#ExpandSnippet()<CR>

(remember to add a <CR> after a function is :called)

Note that, from my testing, the snippet expansion only occurs when the cursor is placed one character after the snippet trigger (# in your case). This means that using and expanding in insert-normal mode may not work as expected (since the cursor would be on #, instead of after it). A more robust solution would be to use the expression register <C-R>=, that is

xnoremap <buffer> <C-S-E> :<C-U>call UltiSnips#SaveLastVisualSelection()<CR>gvs#<C-R>=UltiSnips#ExpandSnippet()<CR>
  • 1
    I just saw your answer after finding myself the reference you linked and finally making it work... To make sure there is no unexpected behavior, I also copied the use of <C-R>=, resulting in vnoremap <buffer> <C-S-E> :call UltiSnips#SaveLastVisualSelection()<CR>gvs#<C-R>=UltiSnips#ExpandSnippet()
    – Alex867
    Sep 20, 2022 at 15:45
  • 1
    Good point... using <C-R>= in place of what I proposed (<space><Esc>) is a better solution.. Let me update my answer to use <C-R>=.
    – husB
    Sep 21, 2022 at 7:44

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