Suppose I've got the following sentence:

This |is a sentence for testing purposes.

I want this sentence to be

This purposes.

In fact I want to delete 5 words. Of course, I could do it just as d5w but this is so inconvenient and painful. I have to count the words first and then execute the appropriate combination.

I tried it the other way. I pushed d and then I tried to push w 5 times. But it started deleting lines (and that's sensible, because dd deletes a line).

Is there a way to perform word deletion like we did in general editors (we keep pressing Ctrl and then press Del 5 times) but in Vim. I suppose this quite common operation and there must be a "fast" solution for it.

  • 4
    dtp (delete till the next p) would work in this case. If you're not sure, vtp d so you see what would you delete. More general (, d/ p Enter to delete till the searched item, or again, to see what you're doing, v/ p Enter d ...
    – VanLaser
    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:39

1 Answer 1


Meet your friend the dot command!

:h .

Press daw (or de) to delete a word and repeat the command with .

From the doc:

.          Repeat last change, with count replaced with [count].
           Also repeat a yank command, when the 'y' flag is
           included in 'cpoptions'.  Does not repeat a
           command-line command.

Note that the dot command works amazingly with the undo workflow of Vim. You can repeat the last change as many time as you want with . and if you realized you used it too many time simply use u to undo the change. Want to finally redo the change? Use Ctrl+r

Also as VanLaser noted in his comment there is other ways to delete several words. In addition to his dtp idea note that you can also do that:

  • Press d
  • Begin a search /
  • Type the pattern matching the end of the deletion (here purpose for example)
  • Press Enter
  • I already recommended it a lot of time on this site, but I think every one who want learn how to use Vim should read Practical Vim that's an amazing reference to learn the basic commands like .
    – statox
    Sep 26, 2016 at 9:33
  • Alternatively: 5dw, or d5w (same thing in this particular case). The catches: you need to start at the beginning of the first word, and your count of 5 needs to be correct.
    – lcd047
    Sep 26, 2016 at 13:20
  • It's not worth posting as an answer, but it might supplement yours. You could also start visual mode and hit w until it looks like what you want to delete. Or, probably more practical would be hitting e a bunch of times.
    – DJMcMayhem
    Sep 26, 2016 at 16:24

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