After a search command / (i.e., in normal mode) is done, I would like another command to be executed automatically. At the moment the other command should be :normal! zz, in order to center the found line.

Previously I had a solution where both the search command (either / or search()) and the center command zz run in the Ex command-line concatenated by |.

But this way is now not appropriate.

An autocommand would be suitable, but in the list of available events such an event "do after each search command" is not contained.

I have found this internet article:


This sounds to be just the solution to my question. But in vim help I read that User will never be executed automatically. Thus not suitable.

Is this possible at all?

I am using vim version 8.2, in the moment in KNOPPIX 9.1

1 Answer 1


I believe the "classic" solution remaps various search keys:

" If you have other <Enter> mappings, you might want `:nmap` here
:cnoremap <expr> <Enter> getcmdtype =~# '[?/]' ? '<CR>zz' : '<CR>'
:nnoremap n nzz
:nnoremap N Nzz
" etc.

but I have had problems with this in the past (I can't recall exactly how, but occasionally zz would show up in my buffer).

I must not be having the same problems now, because I use the following mappings:

nnoremap <silent> n n:call bk#cursor#blink(0.2)<cr>
nnoremap <silent> N N:call bk#cursor#blink(0.2)<cr>

where the function is defined in my personal autoload like

function bk#cursor#blink(time) abort
  call bk#cursor#hl_on()
  let time_in_ms = float2nr(a:time * 1000)
  if has('timers')
    let _ = timer_start(time_in_ms, {_ -> bk#cursor#hl_off()})
    exec 'sleep'  time_in_ms  'm'
    call bk#cursor#hl_off()

function bk#cursor#hl_on() abort
  set cursorline cursorcolumn

function bk#cursor#hl_off() abort
  set nocursorline nocursorcolumn

Coupled with :set hlsearch (optionally https://github.com/romainl/vim-cool) and a mapping on <space><space><space> (triple-<leader>) that calls the same blink function, I almost never lose my place anymore.

  • Should this be a cnoremap <expr> <Enter> (instead of nnoremap) to trap the Enter at the end of the / command-line?
    – filbranden
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 17:28
  • 1
    Hm, probably @filbranden. Changing
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 18:10
  • 1
    I have nnoremap n nzzzv and nnoremap N Nzzzv in my vimrc so anything that happens to be in a fold is uncovered.
    – MDeBusk
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 19:35

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