Neovim has a very handy terminal emulator.

In normal mode, I can use all the read-only vim commands on the output, like scrolling or going to the file under the cursor.

But more often than not, I want to delete some lines. Is it possible?

  • What does the documentation say?
    – romainl
    May 21, 2016 at 6:19
  • I have read all the documentation. I know the buffer is unmodifiable, and I am interested in workarounds or tips that people used to overcome this limitation. May 22, 2016 at 2:11
  • 1
    How about, since you can use read-only command, copy part of the output you want, and paste it in another buffer. I guess it doesn't make sense to try to delete output of the terminal inside the terminal mode. But it surely does to copy the output for later use.
    – nobe4
    May 23, 2016 at 6:47

3 Answers 3


You can use this mapping to copy the content of the terminal buffer into a new buffer:

tnoremap <C-U> <C-\><C-N>:%y \| vertical new \| normal! P<CR>

<C-\><C-N> goes back to normal mode so you can use any normal mode command you want.

:%y copy the content of the buffer.

vertical new create a new vertical split.

normal! P paste the previously yanked text into the buffer.


I'm too lazy to be bothered to manually re-enter term mode and then paste the output of @nobe4's solution above. I combined this with another keybinding in normal mode to accomplish insert, kill the current command with ctrl-c, enter term mode, paste and then insert.

"term stuff
" let C-U open a new buffer to edit the current terminal line
tnoremap <C-U> <C-\><C-N>:y \| vertical new \| normal! P<CR> \| ^dw
nnoremap <C-U> ^D \|:q!<CR> \| i<C-c><C-\><C-n>pi
" let ESC take out out of term mode
tnoremap <ESC> <C-\><C-n>

so C-U will do both steps.

  1. ctrl-u in terminal mode will let you edit the current bash line in a new buffer.
  2. edit it
  3. use ctrl-u again and it will take the current line from the buffer and paste it back into your terminal for you.
  • 1
    Welcome to Vi and Vim! Just a note that you're overwriting a potentially useful command (:help CTRL-U). Also, why does the normal mode map have space-escaped-bar after ^D? Shouldn't that be ^D:q!<CR>i<C-c><C-\><C-n>pi---and then why i<C-c>? I think, for a terminal, that should be ^D:q!<CR>I<C-w>"". And the tnoremap should maybe be <C-\><C-n>:yank \| vertical new<CR>P^dw?
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Jun 5, 2021 at 0:11
  • Thanks for commenting. I do not use CTRL-U so I don't mind. I have extra characters from my terminal prompt that is deleting so that's why! Jun 6, 2021 at 3:04

Just came across this plugin, which makes several normal mode commands available in terminal buffers: https://github.com/chomosuke/term-edit.nvim

  • 2
    Welcome to Vi and Vim SE. You mention a plugin and that's it. Maybe your answer could be improved if you showed how this plugin solves the problem in the question.
    – Friedrich
    Jul 24 at 14:28

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