I like the J command for joining many lines, but don’t like having to count how many lines I want to join. I’d prefer to give a motion. This can be faked with V{motion}J; is there a way that doesn’t involve entering visual mode (hence clobbering the * register)?

  • Or, even better: vi.stackexchange.com – Tim Mar 10 '15 at 23:02
  • this doesn't answer your question, but I use J when I get too many line breaks inserted from some bad line wrapping. I hold shift and repeatedly tap J watching as it improves. If there are a ton of line joins then I suppose I might hold J. – barlop Mar 10 '15 at 23:39
  • you don't want to count, but say that you seem to have to.. you want a gesture, but how do you propose that the gesture count how many Js to do? – barlop Mar 10 '15 at 23:39
  • @barlop "How do you propose that the gesture count how many Js to do?" The standard vim way: by giving a motion. e.g. one can d} to delete a paragraph, or d32G to delete to line 32, etc.; and I would like to J} to join a paragraph, or J32G to join to line 32, etc. – Daniel Wagner Mar 11 '15 at 0:16
  • Wasn't really saying it didn't belong here, just suggesting it may get a better answer there. – LawrenceC Mar 11 '15 at 1:05

I think there is no default join operator. But you can use this code, from a old vim thread on the same subject:

nnoremap J :set operatorfunc=Joinoperator<CR>g@
nnoremap gJ :set operatorfunc=GJoinoperator<CR>g@
onoremap J j
func! Joinoperator(submode)
func! GJoinoperator(submode)

Notice that using this snippet it won't be possible to use J to join a pair of lines -- it will be necessary to use Jj (or JJ due to the omap J j).

  • Perfect, 'operatorfunc' was just what I needed to know about. – Daniel Wagner Mar 17 '15 at 19:15

You can do something like:


Essentially you're telling Vim to join a range of lines, . being the current line the cursor is on, and the last line being the first match of pattern.

  • 2
    You can also mark the end position and use :.,'bj to join the ranges. Will need to be at 'a or vim will ask you to about swapping ranges Or mark start and end and use ;'a,'bj Use a relative range :.,+20j etc – Steve Mar 11 '15 at 6:03

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