I have discovered the joy of having :set clipboard^=unnamedplus.

One issue I often face however is having whatever was last copied or yanked be overwritten by what I just deleted.

I don't think manually referencing the blackhole ("_) register everytime is a satisfactory solution, and doing :nnoremap d "_d (or the same with x) has the major downside of preventing me from using any other buffer ever for these operations.

I thought something like

augroup yankClips
" Like `:set clipboard^=unnamedplus`, but only with the yanks
    autocmd TextYankPost * if v:event['operator'] == 'y' | let @+=@" | endif
augroup END

joined with not using :set clipboard^=unnamedplus would solve my issues by only putting yanked text to the + register, but removing unnamedplus from the clipboard prevents p from putting what's inside the + register by default.

Given these informations, does anybody know of a way of having what is essentially :set clipboard^=unnamedplus without the d, x and s operations going into the + register?

  • Not sure about Linux, but on macOS with all the bracketed-paste stuff set up correctly, Cmd+V pastes into Vim from the clipboard kind of like like doing "*p. Though I imagine that would be Ctrl+V on Linux… Have you considered using :nnoremap <leader>p "+p?
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Apr 24 at 18:10
  • @D.BenKnoble I would like to avoid having to do Ctrl+Shit+V to paste, but it does indeed work. I have also considered having <leader>p for "+p, but I think I would rather deal with the inconvenience of a regular, vanilla :set clipboard^=unnamedplus than having to "use up" <leader>p for that (though I don't have it mapped right now, I have thought of a couple of ways it could serve me). Your suggestion is very welcome, though it is not quite what I am asking.
    – dvqc
    Apr 24 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


It looks like there are two angles, here: either change how y works or change how d, x, c, and s work.

Here is one way to approach the latter, which I think is the easiest of the two:

:nnoremap <expr> d v:register =~ '[\*+]' ? '""d' : 'd'

:help v:register says:

The name of the register in effect for the current normal mode command (regardless of whether that command actually used a register). Or for the currently executing normal mode mapping (use this in custom commands that take a register). If none is supplied it is the default register '"', unless 'clipboard' contains "unnamed" or "unnamedplus", then it is '*' or '+'.

So we can check if the value of v:register is * or + and…

  • if it is, then use the unnamed register explicitly, which doesn't sync with "+ or "*,
  • if it is not, then let Vim use whatever register you specified.

With such a scheme in place for d, x, c, and s, the only command that could change "+ and "* would be y.

One obvious limitation, though, is that the "+ and "* registers can't be used explicitly anymore for the mapped commands. I could live with that because I don't think I ever needed to d, x, c, or s to the system clipboard, explicitly or not, (I only use clipboard syncing for y and p) but could you?

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