When I enter insert mode and type <C-SPACE>, vim inserts the last inserted text, then exits insert mode. My guess is it's using the ". register.

<C-V><C-SPACE> prints a null character. However when I enter the command :imap, it doesn't list any mappings. I was expecting there to be a mapping for the null character.

Can someone explain this behavior?

  • <C-Space> just puts a space for me even with <C-v>. Does it do this when starting vim with vim -u NONE?
    – Tumbler41
    Sep 8, 2016 at 14:29
  • I agree with @Tumbler41: I can't reproduce this behavior. Have you mapped <space> to your leader? See the output of :imap <c-space> to find out if it is mapped to something. See also this question
    – statox
    Sep 8, 2016 at 14:36

1 Answer 1


When you press <C-Space> in insert mode, Vim understands <C-@> which is a built-in command that inserts the previously inserted text and leaves insert mode.

You can't see <C-@> in :imap because it is not a mapping.

But you could have pieced all that together from the doc:

:help i_ctrl-a
:help ".

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