I quite often find I have a need to insert a blank line either below or above the current line when editing in vim. o and O will do this, but they subsequently switch into insert mode, which is annoying. Is there any built-in command to do this which will remain in normal mode?

4 Answers 4


Both Tim Pope's unimpaired plugin as well as my own LineJuggler plugin provide [<Space> and ]<Space> mappings to add [count] blank lines above / below the current line.

Basically, it boils down to this:

nnoremap <silent> ]<Space> :<C-u>put =repeat(nr2char(10),v:count)<Bar>execute "'[-1"<CR>
nnoremap <silent> [<Space> :<C-u>put!=repeat(nr2char(10),v:count)<Bar>execute "']+1"<CR>
  • I now use this, so I've marked this as the "correct" solution; but all the answers here are great. Oct 12, 2014 at 9:31
  • Great tip, although I preferred to map <Space>o and <Space>O instead.
    – simlev
    Mar 28, 2017 at 14:30

I've been using these

map <Enter> o<ESC>
map <S-Enter> O<ESC>

in my .vimrc for years.

Press Enter to insert a blank line below current, Shift + Enter to insert it above.

  • I am marking this correct as it's the simplest solution, although all these answers are good. Jun 19, 2013 at 13:07
  • So simple! This should be the accepted answer!
    – Sheharyar
    Oct 26, 2015 at 14:55
  • If you don't want the cursor to move when you hit Enter, put k at the end of the first map and j at the end of the second map.
    – zondo
    Nov 24, 2016 at 2:38
  • 4
    Note that mapping Shift-Enter only works with the GUI version of vim, not the terminal version. stackoverflow.com/questions/16359878/vim-how-to-map-shift-enter
    – ishmael
    Dec 26, 2016 at 18:39

Yet another way to insert lines above or below:

nnoremap <Enter> :call append(line('.'), '')<CR>
nnoremap <S-Enter> :call append(line('.')-1, '')<CR>

Note that the solution from romainl and Mr Shunz will move the cursor to the newly inserted line, whereas this and also the one from Ingo Karkat will keep the cursor at the same spot.


No, there's no built-in command for that.

These mappings do what you want:

nnoremap <leader>o o<Esc>
nnoremap <leader>O O<Esc>

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