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I'd like to use the mouse in Vim only for scrolling (not to enable other Vim modes or otherwise interact with Vim). Using :set mouse=a seems to be an all or nothing operation, can this be altered? Alternatively can iTerm be made to only pass through scroll events and never click/drag events?

Long Explanation: I use Vim in iTerm a lot and don't use the mouse. However, inertia scrolling with a trackpad is really nice and a great way to peruse large files. I can :set mouse=a and use the trackpad to scroll and it's great. Now when I click however vim enters visual mode and iTerm will not copy selected text. I would like to retain iTerms ability to select and copy text.

I have thought about setting up Vim so that copying in vim will copy in Mac OS X (using pbcopy, I need to do this anyway). This will do the trick when editing local files, but most of the time I'm ssh'd somewhere and editing remote files.

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up vote 24 down vote accepted

You could use

:set mouse=nicr

It works only with mouse scroll as I've tested.

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Not quite what I need as while it will scroll in vim, iTerm won't let me select text. I've :set mouse=i so that scroll works in insert mode and iTerm select in normal mode. Close enough, so I'm marking answered. Thanks for the idea! – Jonah Braun Dec 15 '11 at 21:30
That looks like "set the mouse to be nicer" to me. – Kazark Aug 30 '12 at 17:07
@JonahBraun, iTerm will mouse select with :set mouse=nicr if you hold down option while making the selection. See… – John Whitley Mar 22 '13 at 23:58

If you set mouse=a, you can still use Option-click to make iTerm do selection. Not ideal, but it's the best option I've found.

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this is the real workable answer. – Zen Feb 15 '15 at 7:46

I'm not sure about iTerm but this is achievable with

  • Scrolling in (install SIMBL and MouseTerm)

  • Scrolling only:

    1. Go to terminal;
    2. Preference;
    3. 'Settings' Icon;
    4. 'Keyboard' Tab
    5. 'Mouse...' button;
    6. There under 'Send mouse events for:" uncheck "Left click", "Middle click", "Right click".


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Even better than the accepted answer:

set mouse=a

This allows scrolling and then highlighting gives you a visual block.

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This enables things other than scrolling. – Kazark Aug 30 '12 at 17:10
Moreover, that is already mentioned in the question. – Kazark Aug 30 '12 at 17:15

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