Is there a way to tab through fields and values in a json file in Vim as you would form fields on a web form?

1 Answer 1


There is not native way to do this however a few mappings should do the trick.

Add the following to ~/.vim/after/ftplugin/javascript.vim:

nnoremap <buffer> <tab> :<c-u>call search('\v("<bar>null<bar>\d+<bar>true<bar>false<bar>\[\]<bar>\{\})\ze\n=\s*[]:,}]')<bar>execute "normal! vi". (getline('.')[col('.')-1] == '"' ? '"' : 'w')<cr>
xmap <buffer> <tab> <esc>`>l<tab>

The basic idea is to search for items followed by ,, }, ].

For more information see:

:h :search
:h <bar>
:h /\|
:h /\ze
:h :execute
:h :normal
:h getline()
:h col()
:h c_CTRL-U
  • Nice quick fix. It might break though, if you are sitting inside a string which contains one of the matching patterns. There have been a couple of questions recently about looking up the syntax attached to characters. That could be used to skip unwanted matches. Aug 18, 2015 at 0:49
  • 1
    It would break if the latter part of the mapping didn't use vi" to actually select the string. You could also do some fancy look-behind to avoid sniffing syntax. Aug 18, 2015 at 1:55
  • Awesome. This mapping is smarter than me. Aug 19, 2015 at 0:37

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