If you delete backwards in vim, it doesn't delete the character under the cursor. What do you need to do to have it delete, say, back to the last space?

2 Answers 2


Just to clarify, if you are already in insert mode, CTRL-W is fast and usually what you want.

In normal mode, this may be what you're after:

Prepare to have your mind blown:


Vim makes a distinction between inclusive and exclusive motion. v toggles the "inclusiveness" or "exclusiveness" of a motion. For an example of toggling the opposite direction (inclusive => exclusive), try it with e:


See :help inclusive for an explication. Until now, you thought it was just esoteric nonsense! Didn't you? Didn't you?! (At least, my eyes glazed over whenever I used to read that section in the help... :)



So -- to combine that with deleting backwards to the last space -- you can use dvT<space>.

Granted, dvB, daW, diW, and vBd are faster and usually sufficient.


to delete back to a space, where I've used <space> to mean the space character. Alternatively, you could use


to delete back to the beginning of the current WORD, a WORD being a string of non-space characters. See

:help T
:help B
:help WORD

or more generally

:help left-right-motions
:help word-motions
:help motion.txt

In all those cases, though, Vim begins with the character to the left of the cursor.

  • "Vim begins with..." - so xdB etc. Jun 22, 2014 at 8:58
  • 3
    This answer seems to ignore the whole "character under the cursor" half of the question, beyond effectively stating in the last sentence that none of this answer's content helps with that.
    – 8bittree
    Nov 16, 2016 at 19:26

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