I want to paste data from clipboard. But instead of insert the data, I want to overwrite (like using R).

  • 2
    Can we have an example?
    – romainl
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 13:06

3 Answers 3


You can visual-select the text you want to overwrite and then paste from clipboard. For a single word, that would be ve to select until the end of the word to replace and "+p to insert the clipboard's contents over the selection.

Works especially well if the text to replace and the text to insert differ in lengths.

  • @Antonio I really appreciate your edit to my answer. However, I can't get it to work, at least not from clipboard (it's probably me). Therefore, I removed the sentence again. Hope to see an answer of your own explaining your idea.
    – Friedrich
    Commented Dec 5, 2023 at 19:38
  • I think the key is "the last visual operation". If you do a visual selection but no operation on the selected text, it don't works. Indeed it works if you make a visual selection and then yank the text. I restore the part with gif to show how it works.
    – Antonio
    Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 16:57
  • 1
    @Antonio this is getting a little bit surreal, me arguing with my own post. I think OP's first sentence is key: "I want to paste data from clipboard." i.e. not from a buffer. What you write is neat, it's great, it also doesn't actually answer the question IMHO. Hence my reservations. Please do write an answer of your own. Your edits earned you 4 rep while what you write (with that nice animated gif) is good for at least two upvotes or 20 rep.
    – Friedrich
    Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 17:50
  • You are right. I did a mistake between register and clipboard. And I understand, it' is funny to edit and re-edit your post, I thought there was a simpler way to reply to your comment. 😅 Thanks for your kind way to reply to me and to delete my OT additions. :-)
    – Antonio
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 14:30
  • P.S. I spent one hour and half to figurate how to record the vim window with keys I pushed. 😅
    – Antonio
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 14:34

I would do:

  1. R go to replace mode
  2. Ctrl r* paste

Remark: if you have yank the clipboard from a visual selection you could also do:

  1. 1v replicate the visual selection shape from the original visual selection
  2. p paste over

You could use that technique even if the clipboard has not been yanked using visual selection by "forcing" it:

  1. P past before
  2. v go to visual mode
  3. `. got the start of the edition
  4. y yank again
  5. v leave visual mode
  6. l go no next character
  7. 1v restore selection
  8. d delete the part that you would like to override

If your terminal supports bracketed paste, I would expect R<paste> to work fine, where <paste> is something like Ctrl/Cmd-V, or a middle click, or whatever your system’s paste command is.

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