I navigate by big words much more often would like to just type w and b instead of W and B every time. I wonder if Vim has a setting for this.

  • 1
    BTW, "big words" are called WORDS in Vim's :help (as opposed to regular words).
    – Friedrich
    Commented May 20 at 8:58
  • I thought the wording didn't matter that much for something like this post, and that by big words I meant WORDS.
    – Oneechan69
    Commented May 20 at 9:24
  • Wording always matters. More so when discussing technical topics.
    – romainl
    Commented May 20 at 10:46
  • It didn't matter in the sense that everybody understood what you meant, I does matter as there's an established term used within this domain. I didn't mean to point out a mistake as much as I wanted to hint to the correct word (or WORD).
    – Friedrich
    Commented May 20 at 11:14

1 Answer 1


Vim is very customizable. You can customize the behavior of every key. For normal mode w and b, you could do

nnoremap w W
nnoremap b B

To replicate this behavior in a visual selection, and after an operator (such as d, c, y), you could do

xnoremap w W
onoremap w W
xnoremap b B
onoremap b B

In the above, the x and o refer to visual and operator-pending modes respectively.

You could extend these, to include

  • the navigation to the end of WORDS with e, and ge
  • using W,B,E,gE to navigate by words instead of WORDS

Have a look at :h usr_05.txt (notably, sections 5.1 and 5.3) for more information.

  • This answers the question as it was asked: it will work for navigation. Note that this will not affect visual and operator-pending modes. You would also have to define the same mappings as vnoremap and onoremap to have consistency across modes.
    – Friedrich
    Commented May 20 at 8:54
  • @Friedrich means xnoremap, not vnoremap. It would also be good to suggest the "swap" (nnoremap W w) so that you can still navigate by words as needed.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented May 21 at 16:18
  • Thanks Friedrich and Ben, have edited these into my answer
    – husB
    Commented May 21 at 17:05
  • @D.BenKnoble I see no reason to exclude select mode (although I never use it). That's probably why I'm not aware why to prefer :xnoremap to :vnoremap. Would you care to elaborate?
    – Friedrich
    Commented May 21 at 18:16
  • 1
    @Friedrich in select mode (which I admittedly rarely use), the “printable” keys delete the selected text and start inserting (like a traditional editor: highlight with mouse, type to wipe away and insert new content). So mapping characters like w, b in select mode doesn’t make sense, usually.
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Commented May 21 at 20:02

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