In Vim, if I'm typing a comment in a code file, and I hit Enter, it automatically makes the newline a comment, too.

For instance, in a Ruby file:

# I manually typed the pound at the start of this line and hit enter.
# This line formatted itself this way automatically.

Generally, this is what I want, but not always. How can I temporarily turn off this auto-commenting behavior?


I think you're looking for

:set formatoptions-=cro

From :help fo-table:

You can use the 'formatoptions' option  to influence how Vim formats text.
'formatoptions' is a string that can contain any of the letters below.  The
default setting is "tcq".  You can separate the option letters with commas for

letter  meaning when present in 'formatoptions'

t       Auto-wrap text using textwidth
c       Auto-wrap comments using textwidth, inserting the current comment
        leader automatically.
r       Automatically insert the current comment leader after hitting
        <Enter> in Insert mode.
o       Automatically insert the current comment leader after hitting 'o' or
        'O' in Normal mode.
  • 18
    Thank you so much! This behavior was bothering me-- I came from unix vi to Linux vim. For googlers: For permanent use, see also stackoverflow.com/questions/6076592/… and enter this line into /etc/vimrc:autocmd BufNewFile,BufRead * setlocal formatoptions-=cro – bgStack15 Jul 23 '14 at 14:20
  • 2
    Didn't help; typing /**<ESC>o still adds a star on the next line. – Qix - MONICA WAS MISTREATED Sep 6 '16 at 3:06
  • 3
    Doesn't work. z – felwithe Sep 19 '19 at 12:06
  • 1
    Also didn't work for me. I believe the issue is that -=cro only works if formatoptions contains the flags exactly in this order. set formatoptions-=c formatoptions-=r formatoptions-=o works better for me. – Martin von Wittich May 27 '20 at 12:09
  • Thanks. This is the only answer here that works. – user959690 Nov 20 '20 at 1:15

Temporarily setting the 'paste' option may do what you want, but it also disables a lot of other Vim features:

Use :set paste to turn it on and :set nopaste to turn it off. Alternatively, you can use :set paste! to toggle it.

See also:

:help 'paste'
:help 'pastetoggle'

(Those commands are typed with the single-quotes.)

  • 4
    :set paste to turn it on and :set nopaste to turn it off – User May 23 '14 at 1:55
  • 2
    alternatively you can use :set paste! to toggle it TRUE and FALSE – Felipe Alvarez Jun 24 '14 at 3:37

An alternative is to just hit ctrl-w after you pressed enter. This deletes the previous word (e.g. # or //) when in insert mode. In fact, ctrl-w is a pretty universal shortcut in most applications.


I enter non-formatted plain new lines with <CR>.

When I want to continue typing the next line in the commented block I just use the O key as usual.

Try this:

nnoremap <silent> <cr> :set paste<cr>o<esc>:set nopaste<cr>
  • 1
    What do you mean by <CR>? A particular key? – Peter Mortensen Jul 5 '18 at 21:32
  • 1
    CR stands for carriage return. On the computers I have used it has been mapped to the Enter key. – user4157482 Jul 6 '18 at 2:15

I have ended up with this:

nnoremap <Leader>o o<Esc>^Da
nnoremap <Leader>O O<Esc>^Da

It appends a new line, deletes everything already inserted there, and leaves the cursor in insert mode in the indented column, without messing with the format options.


This answer applies to Debian and some of its derivatives.

On a Debian distribution Vim defaults are unreasonable. They are located in /usr/share/vim/vim80/defaults.vim and applied after(!) /etc/vim/vimrc is run. The only way to tell Vim not to use its defaults is to ensure ~/.vimrc exists even if it is blank. Vim on startup tries to read from .vimrc, but if the file is not found it applies the defaults which brings a lot of undesirable behavior e.g. mouse integration, copy-paste quirks, comment auto-wrap, etc.

On Debian you can fix ALL that by simply running touch ~/.vimrc


This just makes it one line command which when you run this, it will disable continuation of comment permanently

echo 'au FileType * set fo-=c fo-=r fo-=o' >> ~/.vimrc
  • This answer would be better simply as: Add autocmd FileType * set formatoptions-=cro to your .vimrc file. But +1 non-the-less - this was the only answer that worked for me here! :D – user2121 Jun 19 '20 at 12:00

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