How does Vim support single handed users or users that do not have all fingers?

Such a condition could come in many configurations, and, in each case, lead to sets of optimal preferences (depending on which fingers you had).

I was thinking, that, in each case, Vim could support this though a set of customized style sheets (each defining a set of optimized commands for users with these or those finger configurations).

It may be wise, to take, the keyboard, used, in consideration, as well (as some one-handed users use special keyboards designed especially for one-handed users).

This would be an important accessibility feature or enchantment.

Does Vim already support this?

How does Vim support this?

I am thinking of making this a feature request on the Vim page, if not, already available?

Is this already available?

Why is there no accessibility tag?

Could you please add one?

  • 1
    I created the accessibility tag and tag your question with it. To my knowledge it is the first question in this area. Oct 11, 2023 at 4:45
  • I worry that this question actually asks several questions and, depending on the interpretation, too opinion based. It seems to combine "what are vim's accessibility features", which is very broad, with "does vim have feature X" and "is feature X a good idea", which is opinion based. I suspect this would be better suited to a vim-oriented discussion forum, or perhaps a general accessibility-oriented forum. I would recommend one, but I don't know any. Oct 11, 2023 at 14:05

2 Answers 2


How does Vim support single handed users or users that do not have all fingers?

Mostly by:

  • privileging arpeggios to chords,
  • letting users create custom mappings.

Most of Vim features are accessible through single-key or double-key commands that are typically composed to form more high-level commands. In the following example, each key is pressed individually, one after the other like an arpeggio:


Which means that it can be issued with one hand or even one finger. Even in the case of uppercase commands, pressing Caps-lock, pressing the key, and pressing Caps-lock again is still doable:


That said, Vim has lots of uppercase commands, as well as chord-like commands, like <C-a> in insert mode or <C-w>j to switch to the window below, etc. For these, making your own mappings might be necessary depending on your exact condition.

Now, the problem you might face with Vim (uppercase commands and chords) are exactly the same you would face in any other program with a UI, so I don't think solving them in Vim, specifically, is a good idea. Solving them at the hardware level, with a properly designed keyboard (one that allows you to do chords as arpeggios, for example, or let you double-tap a key to send the uppercase version), seems more appropriate.

  • Given that typing and computer interaction for a person is not Vim-centric, I agree with "Solving them at the hardware level [or OS level] seems more appropriate."
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Oct 11, 2023 at 16:22

You can use a foot pedal for some keys, while not the best approach, in terms of accessibility once set up, I think it would be quite high.


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