Sometimes, I need to delete until a character up or down the same column.

Consider a file with the following content:


When cursor is on b, doing a column-wise dfi should remove characters b, e and i. That means only the 1-character-width column of characters should be deleted.

Is it possible to do column-wise find and till?

  • Should only the 1-character-width column of characters be deleted, or all text in between the current cursor position and the target character in the same column?
    – Janis
    Jul 13 '15 at 0:59

You can use the vim-columnmove plugin and visual-mode block-wise selection to do this. The plugin imitates various groups of motions, and in this case:


columnmove-f and its variants are the commands for bringing cursor to the position assigned by a character in the same column.

This group has six keymappings, that is, columnmove-f, columnmove-t, columnmove-F, columnmove-T, columnmove-;, columnmove-,. Each of them are the imitations of f, t, F, T, ;, , commands, but work in vertical direction.

The motions are mapped to <M-f/F/t/F> by default, but since those combinations were interpreted as something else in my case, I used <Leader>:

map <leader>f <Plug>(columnmove-f)
map <leader>F <Plug>(columnmove-F)
map <leader>t <Plug>(columnmove-t)
map <leader>T <Plug>(columnmove-T)

Then, by pressing d<C-v>\ti, I could delete the characters b, and e. Without block visual mode, it deletes the first and second lines.

  • columnmove-f may be remapped in order to achieve things like d<m-f>i to delete along the column until the i character. I.e., one can do omap <m-f> <c-v><plug>(columnmove-f) (and similar for the other motions). I find this to be quite useful. Jul 14 '15 at 21:18

To quickly do this without the need for plugins:


<C-v> to enter column mode

/i<cr> to search for i

x to delete the visually selected block

  • This works great when "i" is the only character between cursor and the target. Consider: abci\nhij, when cursor in on b. two search for i is necessary to get to the target character since search is linewise.
    – cychoi
    Jul 14 '15 at 20:18
  • If you want to "delete from the current position to the next instance of i on another line starting on the current column" then just stick a j after the <C-v>.
    – user859
    Jul 14 '15 at 20:56

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