Problem is present when there is the following option for mouse in ~./vimrc:

set mouse=a | " active

2 Answers 2


You can't copy because set mouse=a gives Vim full control of the mouse.

Since this is vi.stackexchange.com, a proper Vim solution would simply be to:

  1. disable mouse handling with :set mouse=,
  2. select whatever you want with the mouse and copy it,
  3. re-enable mouse handling with :set mouse=a.
  • Why not to just use Shift + mouse selection? Commented Apr 2 at 20:23
  • 1
    Because Shift + mouse selection is system/terminal-specific.
    – romainl
    Commented Apr 3 at 4:34

Hold Shift, then copy like in terminal (select text with mouse, press Ctrl + Shit + C)

Related question:

  • 1
    this works only in a terminal Commented Apr 3 at 6:25
  • 1
    @ChristianBrabandt In the GUI you can hold Ctrl+Shift while selecting text with the mouse. If 'guioptions' contains a the selection is automatically put into the selection register "* on X11 systems; on Windows the clipboard is used. (See :help modeless-selection.) Commented Apr 3 at 7:17
  • Oh, this works always in all GUIs? I have learned something :) Thanks @JürgenKrämer Commented Apr 3 at 12:28

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