I am trying to enter a latin cross (, Unicode 271d) into a document. I can't find a pre-defined digraph for this. I am able to enter such a character with <ctrl-v>u271d or I can define a new digraph in my .vimrc like so: digraph \|- 10013.

But before I'd do that I'd like to know if there is really no pre-defined digraph for the latin cross. How can I verify this?

4 Answers 4


You can use the :digraphs command to get a list of all defined digraphs. This isn't very easy to search, but we can use :redir to store it to a file:

:redir all_digraphs
:redir END
:e all_digraphs

And we can now search the file:


which gives us:

E385: search hit BOTTOM without match for: ✝

which confirms that this characters isn't a pre-defined digraph.


There is no such digraph defined by default. You can review available digraphs at :help digraph-table. The listing includes hex and decimal values as well as the name of the character, so you can easily search for an entry, for instance with :help digraph-table|/0x271d or :help digraph-table|/CROSS. The closest ones I see by value are

✓   OK  2713    10003   CHECK MARK
✗   XX  2717    10007   BALLOT X
✠   -X  2720    10016   MALTESE CROSS

and I suppose the closest one visually is

†   /-  2020    8224    DAGGER

I made the unicode plugin that helps with finding digraphs. You can use the command :Digraphs cross to search for a digraph whose name contains cross. Or when on the char, issue the command :Unicodename and it will output the digraph for that char. There are other similar commands as well, so check the help.


So... You want an easy way to determine if a character is already defined as a digraph in Vim?

The easiest way I know to do this is to place your cursor over the character in question and then type ga . At the bottom of the Vim window you'll not only see the character, its decimal value, its hexadecimal value, and its octal value, but if it's a defined digraph you'll also see the character-pair that defines the digraph.

To illustrate, try this:

  1. Copy this text and paste it into Vim: e è é ê ĕ ¿ ?
  2. In Vim, position your cursor over each of those characters and type: ga
  3. For e and ?, you should see a line at the bottom that lists its Unicode values in decimal, hexadecimal, and octal.
  4. But for the è é ê ĕ ¿ characters, you should also see a Digr value that tells you what character-pair defines the digraph.

For example, when I put my cursor over ? and press ga, I see:

<¿> 191, Hex 00bf, Oct 277, Digr ?I

That final Digr ?I means that if you type <C-K>?I while in INSERT mode, Vim will output a ¿ character.

Note that a character may have more than one digraph associated with it. For instance, the ¿ can by typed with both <C-K>?I and <C-K>~? but the output of ga will only show you one of them.

Let me try this out on the Latin Cross:

When I position my cursor on and type ga, I see this at the bottom of my Vim window:

<✝> 10013, Hex 271d, Octal 23435

Since there is no Digr text in that output, I can assume that the Latin Cross does not have a pre-defined digraph.

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