vimtex lists some commands like ie to be entered in mode nxo. How do I do that? What is mode nxo? (Usually i brings me into insert mode, and e then just inserts an e.)

2 Answers 2


In vimtex, the mappings like ie are actually vim text objects (not sure about the right vim nomenclature though). They work together with vim operators like d (delete).

In particular ie stands for any tex environment like equation, itemize, .... For example, if you cursor is somewhere inside

    Ax = b

the command die will delete everything between \begin{equation} and \end{equation} and leave you with



  • Perfect, works like a charm! - Now the help texts <plug>(vimtex-ie) Text object for environments (exclusive). etc. also make sense. Thank you.
    – not-a-user
    Aug 2, 2016 at 15:17
  • Glad I could help. I switched to vimtex yesterday and I had exactly the same problem.
    – Jan
    Aug 2, 2016 at 15:27

N represents Normal mode and O represents operational mode and X represents Ex mode. Mappings can be done in normal, ex (similar to command line), visual, insert and operational mode as well. To know more, http://vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/intro.html

Vim knows to distinguish key mappings and predefined commands. For example, if you have a mapping like ie in normal mode, when you press i, it waits for some time (timeout) and checks whether you entered e so that it can execute the mapping. If you didn't press any key within that time, it goes to insert mode.

So, whatever mapping you have, you have to press the characters in mapping one after the other immediately (within the timeout time). If you do so, that mapping get executed. If you fail to complete the mapping (fail to press all keys within time), the predefined command with the first key or (first+second key) gets executed.

One example: Let's take di{. This mapping deletes text inside a { and } pair. Suppose if you press d , it waits for some keys to be pressed. This waiting mode is called operational mode. If you didn't press i{ within that time, the command is incomplete and gets cancelled.

  • I go from normal mode to insert mode immediately on i. I also get no timeout after the first d if I do dd, for example. (Ubuntu 16.04 and vim version 7.4.1689)
    – not-a-user
    Jul 28, 2016 at 11:12
  • What is the output of :set timeout and :set ttimeout ?
    – SibiCoder
    Jul 28, 2016 at 11:48
  • Both really empty.
    – not-a-user
    Jul 28, 2016 at 12:04
  • What is the output of :map ie? Can you see the plugin's mapping here?
    – SibiCoder
    Jul 28, 2016 at 12:29
  • :map ie yields o ie @<Plug>(vimtex-ie) and x ie @<Plug>(vimtex-ie) - Actually I can use these commands like ie after having entered "visual block" mode by pressing <Ctrl-V>.
    – not-a-user
    Jul 28, 2016 at 13:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.