My goal is to get rid of "bad" CRs and trailing spaces at once, so I am executing the following command:


The problem is that if at the end of the line there is a ^M and trailing spaces, only the ^M is removed.

Is there a way to replace both parts of the OR expression on the same time?

  • John, I felt the question's title sounded a bit too general so I took the liberty and changed it. Feel free to edit and change to something you like better.
    – Friedrich
    Oct 29, 2023 at 17:42
  • Do you still have something open in your question? How can we help you further? If one of the solution solves your problem maybe could you accept it using the v button next to the arrow voting buttons. It allow the question to rest :-) Oct 31, 2023 at 6:28

2 Answers 2


I would do:



  • \? is for optional
  • ^M is inserted using Ctrl vEnter
  • 1
    Wait a second... without the $ in the pattern, you'll remove all whitespace anywhere or am I missing something?
    – Friedrich
    Oct 29, 2023 at 17:35
  • 1
    Thanks @Friedrich, well done :-) I have corrected the answer. Oct 29, 2023 at 18:24

I've had an autocmd that clears trailing white spaces on write, for a long time now in my ~/.vimrc

autocmd BufWritePre * :%s/\s\+$//e

This might kill your carriage return problem, if not you could try:

autocmd BufWritePre * g/[^"]\n/join

I've had the first autocommand for a long time and it works well.

The second one I've not tested.

  • 1
    Having an autocommand like this is a good idea. You might want to restrict based on filetype, though. Some formats (e.g. markdown) give trailing whitespace a meaning.
    – Friedrich
    Oct 30, 2023 at 20:43
  • of course, didn't think of markdown
    – Nickotine
    Oct 31, 2023 at 15:11

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