I want to define a global search and replace with confirmation command, something like:

command Gfr :s/<parameter1>/<parameter2>/gc

So I can type:

:Gfr foo bar

and Vim will find all occurrences of 'foo' in the document and ask for each whether I want to replace it with 'bar'.

Googling has led me to some tantalising hints that this is possible, but no definitive answer.

  • Why google when you can simply do :help :command in Vim itself and scroll around for five minutes?
    – romainl
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 8:42
  • BTW, the way your command is written it will operate on the current line only. To have it work on the entire buffer, use :%s. I recommend you familiarize yourself with :s instead of wrapping it in a command of your own. It quickly becomes second nature.
    – Friedrich
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 8:56
  • @romainl - I guess I'm just so used to finding my answers on StackExchange through Google that it's become a reflex; I keep forgetting vim has some pretty extensive documentation built in!
    – David Shaw
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 9:07
  • @Friedrich - thank you for that catch. And I agree, I really should set some time aside to learn :s. This question is really more a learning exercise for customising vim.
    – David Shaw
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


I would do:

function! Gfr(search, replace)
  execute '%s/' .. a:search .. '/' .. a:replace .. '/gc'

command! -nargs=+ Gfr call Gfr(<f-args>)

To pass multiple parameters I propose to use a function and the <f-args> placeholder that converts the argument part of the command into a list of strings that a function can take.

The -nargs=+ force the user to have at least one argument (you cannot force exactly 2 with that parameters)

  • 1
    Works like a charm, thank you.
    – David Shaw
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 10:28
  • Thanks for the feedback :-) Welcome to Vim ;-) Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 10:30

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