In my init.vim, I have the following:

ca WQ wq

What would be the equivalent in my init.lua?

3 Answers 3


!!Note: this solution only works on Neovim >= v0.10; see @ruuter's answer if you are on an older version of neovim.

Command abbreviation is treated as just another keymap mode by nvim_set_keymap. The equivalent of ca WQ wq in lua is:

vim.keymap.set("ca", "WQ", "wq")

I had a hard time discovering this, as the help text in h: vim.keymap.set/the lua.txt help file does not actually list out the modes! It does however tell you to see h: nvim_set_keymap which lives in the api.txt help file, and that's where abbreviations are mentioned!

  • Good answer (voted), but I can’t resist pointing out that this is yet-another-easier-in-plain-Vim(script) moment :)
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Jul 4, 2023 at 15:55
  • This does not seem to work for me. I get Shortname is too long error. Instead this you can simply do vim.cmd('ca WQ wq'). Use vim.cmd to execute any vim command in lua script.
    – ruuter
    Oct 3, 2023 at 13:11
  • 1
    @ruuter what version of neovim are you using? It looks like support for abbreviated short names for this API was only added 4 months ago to nightly (commit). Oct 7, 2023 at 16:24
  • Ah okay, tnx. I'm using latest stable, 0.9.2
    – ruuter
    Oct 7, 2023 at 19:50

You can execute any vim script command with vim.cmd. So in your case:

vim.cmd('ca WQ wq')
  • 1
    While this was the solution I was using prior to making this question, my intention was to understand how to do this purely via Lua (i.e. no escape hatch to vimscript). Oct 7, 2023 at 16:16
vim.keymap.set('c',  'WQ', 'wq') 

works for me on

NVIM v0.9.5
Build type: Release
LuaJIT 2.1.1703358377

where 'c' is for command mode. See Neovim docs for details.

For instance, I've just used it to make help output into a vertical split:

vim.keymap.set('c', 'h', 'vert h') 


It sort of works, but it makes the above substitution whenever you type h. I changed back to vim.cmd solution myself.

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