I run gVim7.4 on Windows 7 with the English International keyboard layout. The keyboard layout works in a way so that pressing ` + i gives you ì.

In Vim insert mode that's the desired behavior. However it isn't in command mode where I effectively have to press ` + <Space> + i to go to the mark 'i'. I observed similar behavior for the caret ^ key. Pressing it makes vim wait for a vowel to be able to render â, î etc instead of directly going to be beginning of the line. It only goes there when I press ^ + <Space>.

In insert mode it's useful to be able to type â. It isn't in command mode and there it's completely useless to wait for another character.

Is there a way to get better behavior by editing the vimrc or writing a autohotkey script? Is there a way to make vim behave in command mode that still allows me to u?

  • Vim doesn't see any keycodes until you've completed the key chain (either as `i or as `<Space>), so there's little you can do in Vim. One thing you could maybe do is have AHK pick up on <Esc> and i/a/A/o/O/ and start "insert mode" there when Vim is active. I have no idea if this is possible with AHK. Another fix is ditching AHK altogether and do this sort of stuff with Vim; which has the obvious drawback that it will work only in vim and not your other applications... Mar 30, 2016 at 17:31
  • Posting answer because I don't have enough rep to comment. One workaround is to have both an international keyboard, and another keyboard. You can switch between them with win+space. Sep 15, 2019 at 10:09

1 Answer 1


There is no easy way to avoid the <space>; that is why I use single quote instead, ' + i, which is similar enough for me (doesn't move to the column, but to the beginning of the line).

You could also consider using another mark related movements, such as ]' and `].

If you find that you use ` + i more often than ' + i you could use a set of mappings to switch them:

nnoremap 'a `a
nnoremap `a 'a

(possibly using a loop similar to the one in the capslock plugin).

Or you could switch just ]' and `] and its counterparts (8 mappings instead of 52), directly or through some plugin such as signature.

  • That doesn't help with <kbd>^</kbd> and <kbd>"</kbd> which seem more important than <kbd>`</kbd> and <kbd>'</kbd>.
    – Christian
    Mar 31, 2016 at 9:48

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