I came across this character which looks like the usual space character but it is not identified with the usual highlight search '/' in Vim. For context, I added a space at the very last line to show the searchable space (in yellow highlight) while the space-like characters on other lines which are not highlighted.

enter image description here

Could anyone advice on what this is and why it is showing as whitespace?

PS: On Vivian's advice I used ga on the character and got the following: enter image description here

  • To get more information about the character it would be good if you could move your cursor on it and type g8 to know what is behind (ga could also give some information) Sep 28, 2023 at 4:17
  • Thanks for the edition. This is a classical space :-) How do you search for space (/ redo the last search but does not tell you what search you do)? What is the result od /\s? Sep 28, 2023 at 4:36
  • When possible, please don't post images of text.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Sep 28, 2023 at 14:19
  • 1
    If ga isn't lying: that is a space. bestasciitable.com
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Sep 28, 2023 at 14:21
  • Do you still have something open in your question? How can we help you further? Sep 29, 2023 at 1:28

1 Answer 1


To analyse these special characters I recommend the unicode plugin. It overrides the g8 command to give you more information about these special characters.

There are numerous Unicode characters that look like space and are not (here is a list).

A typical example is the non breaking space (U+00A0).

You can insert it using the key sequence: Ctrl vu00a0

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