Lets say I have a list like this:

       ^Cursor is here

how can I yank the number under the cursor, in this case 3456, without getting any characters?

  • From the beginning of the number y/\D/e-<enter>
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 0:03

2 Answers 2


searches for one or more digits, as many as possible.


repeats the search in the opposite direction because / moved the cursor to the next match.


yanks the current match of the previous search. See :help gn.

Combined, you get a relatively simple mapping that yanks the number under the cursor:

nnoremap <key> /\d\+<CR>Nygn

But text objects are one of my favorite Vim feature. Here is a crude alternative to the plugins mentioned in the other answer, if you feel like travelling light:

function! VisualNumber()
    call search('\d\([^0-9\.]\|$\)', 'cW')
    normal v
    call search('\(^\|[^0-9\.]\d\)', 'becW')
xnoremap in :<C-u>call VisualNumber()<CR>
onoremap in :<C-u>normal vin<CR>
  • You can use ? instead of / followed by a N. Also I'd cancel the search highlight so I think we can use :nnoremap <silent> yin ?\d\+<CR>ygn:nohls<CR>
    – Hoblovski
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 7:29
  • 2
    No. ? only works the way you want when the cursor is in a number. When it is on the first digit, the cursor jumps to the previous number and you need N to come back. Meaning that ? can have different outcomes, which have to be dealt with in the mapping. On the other hand, / always has the same outcome, no matter where the cursor is in the number, so it always requires a N, which makes things much simpler.
    – romainl
    Commented Mar 17, 2023 at 7:54

If you consider installing plug-ins for this purpose, look into:


Both of them add a in text object for numerical strings, so you can use yin to yank the number under the cursor with any of these two plug-ins installed.

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