I know that gv reselects the last visual selection. This is great and I use it frequently.

But sometimes I want to do something related but different: from the current cursor position, select a block in the same shape as the prior visual selection, but positioned where the cursor is now.

In particular, I often have this desire when pasting a chunk of text and then wanting to do some sort of substitution or transformation to it. So this command would let me reselect what I just pasted. (For that reason, also useful would be a command to "visually select last paste," but there are nonetheless other instances where what I literally want is "reselect last visual shape irrespective of whether that reselects the last paste." EDIT: Please see Is there a way to reselect the last pasted text, rather than the last actual selection, starting at the current cursor position? for this question)

(Note: if there is not a built-in way to do this, I'm comfortable editing ~/.vim to add a vimscript example [and possibly modify it] and bind this to an easy key combination, but writing one from scratch to do this is beyond my present ability.)

  • 1
    You could do a macro ..
    – VanLaser
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 19:20
  • 1
    This is a good idea (I assume you mean something like qpv[select...]q[move...]@p") but it doesn't really get at what I want, since in normal course of use I want to operate in visual mode, then only "realize" that I want the selection again after the paste operation. I'm looking for a few keystrokes to help in that circumstance, though I agree this is useful if I am operating slowly enough to anticipate needing to reselect the region.
    – Philip
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 19:32
  • Actually there's another case where this isn't possible: pasting from outside vim (e.g. via the * register). In this case the question should be as in the parenthetical: is there a motion to visually select the last paste? This is useful e.g. for sending example code from Stackexchange from vim to a REPL.
    – Philip
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 19:36
  • Actually, I'm not sure what you want - to remember the "coordinates" of last paste, before further changes, in order to reselect them easily?
    – VanLaser
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 19:52

2 Answers 2


This is a simple remap that allows you to re-select last pasted (or changed) text:

noremap gV `[v`]

From comments in original post, perhaps you want to save the coordinates of the last change/paste before other/further changes, and restore that visual selection?

  • 1
    OK yes, tested this and it works; this is great. Really this is my fault for asking two related questions in one. I think what I'll do is change this question to be the one you've correctly answered here, and then re-ask the related question as a separate question, unless a mod has a better idea.
    – Philip
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 14:39
  • Actually that question is asked and answered here: vi.stackexchange.com/questions/31/… Sorry--my fault for making a mess.
    – Philip
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 20:20

To reselect the old shape, you can do this:

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    It doesn't reselect the same shape, but the same number of characters.
    – muru
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 7:52
  • Tested this and it also seems to work with the caveat @muru notes. In most instances when the re-select is not for selecting pasted text but recreating a selection then correctly positioning the cursor will imply that selecting the same number of characters will recreate the same shape. BUT, I can imagine exceptions. So still curious about an alternative approach that duplicates the shape. Maybe this is impossible in circumstances where lines don't have the same length.
    – Philip
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 14:42

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