I use the registers a lot for copy/pasting, but I always forgot in which register my content is.

Is there a way to display the registers before pasting?

Ideally it would leave the register on screen when selecting the one we want.

3 Answers 3


This peekaboo plugin is pretty good for for previewing registers. When you press " or @ in normal mode, or ctrl-r in insert mode, a split will open to show you the register contents.

Preview from the plugin repo:


  • This plugin would be a lot less obnoxious if the key bindings would be user-configurable. Binding to " and @ in normal mode breaks just about all macros that use registers. FWIW. Jul 6, 2016 at 6:32
  • Hmm, I'm not having issues with the recursive macros I tend to use, even with registers involved. The plugin disables itself when replaying macros with @. The README notes that non-recursive maps will cause problems. I agree that it'd be nice if it could be configured to just view the registers, though.
    – Tommy A
    Jul 6, 2016 at 16:29
  • Here's something trivial that breaks: :%g/text/ normal "Ayy Jul 6, 2016 at 17:35
  • The plugin has been updated to use configurable prefix. github.com/junegunn/vim-peekaboo/pull/41
    – Tommy A
    Jul 8, 2016 at 12:20

I would recommend using


It will show the contents of all registers (you can scroll through using j and k).

If you just want to show the contents of one register, you can go to command mode and type

: Ctrl + r

then the register, for example the x register


which will paste the contents of the register into the command line. You can then escape out of the command line after viewing your register.

  • What's the difference between :dis and :reg? I always use the former. Jun 28, 2016 at 12:01
  • None: :help :dis -> :di[splay] [arg] Same as :registers. {not in Vi}
    – Boldewyn
    Jun 28, 2016 at 12:31
  • 1
    Brilliant! This also works in Emacs' evil-mode, where it opens a special buffer where one can see the contents of all registers (and macros!).
    – ndrdm
    Aug 30, 2023 at 9:49

I made up this mapping to display the register list and select the one to be pasted:

nnoremap "p :reg <bar> exec 'normal! "'.input('>').'p'<CR>

This display the register list with :reg and execute the normal command


Where X is the result of input().

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