When keymap is set and iminsert is 1, it says -- INSERT (lang) -- at the bottom of the screen. Is there an easy way to change this string (or just the lang string)?

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure what you exactly mean with "change this string"; always change it globally? Change it depending on a setting? Change it at will?

At any rate, the INSERT text is inserted with gettext in screen.c, around line 10,049:

MSG_PUTS_ATTR(_(" INSERT"), attr);

The (lang) part is added in a similar way a few lines later (with some cruft removed):

if (State & LANGMAP)
        MSG_PUTS_ATTR(_(" (lang)"), attr);

So you can change this text from a gettext po file (or just change the C source and recompile), but then it's always changed.

  • @Lawrence Changing the gettext files would not strictly be "recompiling" ;-) And because the default of en doesn't seem to have an existing .po/.mo file, the changes could actually stick between upgrades ... But no, it's not simply a setting or some such... Mar 13, 2016 at 21:07
  • Thanks. I meant change it globally always. Don't know what a gettext po file is, but I am now content that this is not easy enough to be worth doing (for me; maybe it is easy). (deleted above and edited)
    – Toothrot
    Mar 13, 2016 at 21:08
  • @Lawrence Not entirely sure how to go about it either; I just know it can be done :-) IMHO this is is too small of an issue for me to spend a lot of time on ;-) Mar 13, 2016 at 21:34

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