Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

For various reasons, I was stuck using vim.exe instead of gvim.exe on windows recently.

One of the only irritating aspects of this was that the alt-key did not work. (Mouse didn't work for scrolling either). When I tried to use alt-up (arrow), I got an 'I'-like character inserted instead of my chosen mapping.

'ga' lists it as 206, Hex 00ce, Octal 316.

Any idea what this is or how to fix this?

(vim 7.3, windows xp)

share|improve this question

AFAIK, gvim is the only solution to your problems.

share|improve this answer

Although it's not a perfect workaround, you can probably map that "'I'-like" character. For example:

:nmap control+v,alt+up :echo "Alt-Up pressed."<CR>

In this example, you press control+v then alt+up, rather than typing those strings literally. This mapping will only work in normal mode, but you can map in other modes, such as insert, by using ":imap" instead.

When you put this mapping in your .vimrc, I recommend surrounding it by a conditional so it only gets defined when starting a non-GUI Vim under Windows:

if has('win32') && ! has('gui_running')
    nmap ...

share|improve this answer
Unfortunately, alt-up, alt-right, alt-down and alt-left all seem to produce that same character. – user11934 Apr 30 '12 at 15:44

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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