As title. What does the abbreviation 'x' mean in NeoVim? I just saw people setting up keymap.set with this abbreviation.

1 Answer 1


There are two modes often confused as one:

  • :h Visual-mode
  • :h Select-mode

The indicator or prefix used in keymaps for these modes are:

  • :h mapmode-x: activated only in visual mode
  • :h mapmode-s: activated only in select mode
  • :h mapmode-v: activated in both visual and select mode

The difference between select-mode and visual-mode can be found in :h Select-mode. As for the keymap distinction, vim suggests the following in :h mapmode-x:

NOTE: Mapping a printable character in Select mode [mapmode-v] may confuse the user. It's better to explicitly use :xmap and :smap for printable characters.

TL;DR: When in doubt, use strictly visual-mode and mapmode-x.

  • 2
    I just changed every occurrence of 'v's in my neovim's config. Thanks for the careful-minded answer! Oct 13, 2022 at 4:01

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