I am using

nnoremap <esc> :noh<return><esc>

to remove the highlighting after a search with hlsearch on.

Pressing <esc>, this shows :noh in the command line. I would like to turn this off (preferably without any side effects).

  • Does replacing <return> with <cr> work? Dec 16, 2015 at 17:53
  • 9
    See :h map-silent
    – VanLaser
    Dec 16, 2015 at 18:26
  • Great, using <silent> does it!
    – user5370
    Dec 17, 2015 at 9:56
  • @VanLaser If neither of you adds this as an answer, I'm going to. (Having solved issues in "Unanswered" is untidy!)
    – Rich
    Jan 18, 2016 at 15:11
  • From my point, do it :)
    – VanLaser
    Jan 18, 2016 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


As @VanLaser mentions in a comment, you can do this by adding <silent> to your map command:

nnoremap <silent> <esc> :noh<return><esc>

:help :map-silent explains:

To define a mapping which will not be echoed on the command line, add "<silent>" as the first argument. Example:

:map <silent> ,h /Header<CR>

The search string will not be echoed when using this mapping. Messages from the executed command are still given though. To shut them up too, add a ":silent" in the executed command:

:map <silent> ,h :exe ":silent normal /Header\r"<CR>

Prompts will still be given, e.g., for inputdialog().

Using "<silent>" for an abbreviation is possible, but will cause redrawing of the command line to fail.

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