imap command does not work for me as expected in Vim. I place

inoremap <F2> abcde

in my .vimrc file, but when I press the F2 button in the insert mode, all I get is the <F2> symbol appearing in the text file, just as typed here, with brackets.

Testing it with :verbose imap <F2>? gives

i  <F2>        * abcde<Space>

At the same time I have a mapping for the normal mode in Vim:

nnoremap <F2> i\[<CR><CR>\] <Esc>ki<Space><Space>

and it works just as expected! (I use it to type multi-line formulas in LaTeX, \[ \]).

Since the mapping works in the normal mode, I do not think that this is the problem with unusual interpretation of the function keys on in my terminal.

Substituting F2 with F3, F4, etc does not help.

Tested: xfce4-terminal; plain xterm; console. System: Linux Mint.

Would appreciate your help very much!!

1 Answer 1


Check if it happens with vim -Nu NONE.

I suspect that you have set paste in your configuration.

If it is, unset it and check if your mapping would work.

Excerpt from :h 'paste'

'paste'         boolean (default off)
    Put Vim in Paste mode.
    When the 'paste' option is switched on (also when it was already on):
        - mapping in Insert mode and Command-line mode is disabled
        - abbreviations are disabled
        - 'autoindent' is reset
        - 'expandtab' is reset
        - 'hkmap' is reset
        - 'revins' is reset
        - 'ruler' is reset
        - 'showmatch' is reset
        - 'smarttab' is reset
        - 'softtabstop' is set to 0
        - 'textwidth' is set to 0
        - 'wrapmargin' is set to 0
        - 'varsofttabstop' is made empty
    These options keep their value, but their effect is disabled:
        - 'cindent'
        - 'formatoptions' is used like it is empty
        - 'indentexpr'
        - 'lisp'
        - 'smartindent'
  • 1
    Maxim, thank you so so much!!!!!! I spend hours and hours on this... I should have asked earlier...
    – Maxim
    Commented Jan 4 at 5:55
  • 2nd update: Ultisnips and vim-snippets started working, finally!! I gave up years ago... (Completion was not working, which is in insert mode, too) -- Thank you so much again!!
    – Maxim
    Commented Jan 4 at 15:31

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