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Jun 11, 2021


Hardtime helps you break that annoying habit vimmers have of scrolling up and down the page using jjjjj and kkkkk but without compromising the rest of our vim experience.

It works using a timeout on the keys you want to stop repeating, i.e. h, j, k, l, UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT. This timeout is set to 1000 milliseconds. After this time you can use a movement key again. It also allows to completely disable keys that you never under any circumstances want to use.

Stop repeating jjjjj... Stop repeating kkkk...

Kick the habit now!

Inspired by vim-hardmode, but where hardmode fell short was that sometimes h,j,k,l are needed! Hardtime lets you use these keys but only once every second. You can still create macros in hardtime where you need to move down lines, and you can still move that one character over to make that edit.

Resources to help you kick the bad habits

  • Drew Neil has a great blog post on Habit breaking, habit making
  • Practising some Vim golf will certainly improve your movement skills
  • Vim help, :h word-motions and :h motion are both great resources
  • A good Vim wiki article


Once installed you can call the command :HardTimeOn to activate hardtime, conversely you can use :HardTimeOff to switch it off. You can also use :HardTimeToggle toggle it on an off.

If you want hardtime to run in every buffer, add this to .vimrc

let g:hardtime_default_on = 1

The default is 0.


Add the following variables to your .vimrc to enable customizations.


Set the list of keys to be banned of use with hardtime

Defaults to

let g:list_of_normal_keys = ["h", "j", "k", "l", "-", "+", "<UP>", "<DOWN>", "<LEFT>", "<RIGHT>"]
let g:list_of_visual_keys = ["h", "j", "k", "l", "-", "+", "<UP>", "<DOWN>", "<LEFT>", "<RIGHT>"]
let g:list_of_insert_keys = ["<UP>", "<DOWN>", "<LEFT>", "<RIGHT>"]
let g:list_of_disabled_keys = []

Note that the keys added to g:list_of_disabled_keys are disabled in all of normal, visual and insert modes.


It is possible to tweak the timeout allowed between keypresses. specifying the time in milliseconds.

let g:hardtime_timeout = 2000

This allows you increase the amount of time

The default is 1000.

Enable Notifications

To enable the notification about HardTime being enabled set

let g:hardtime_showmsg = 1

The default is 0.

Ignore Buffers

To enable hardtime to ignore certain buffer patterns set

let g:hardtime_ignore_buffer_patterns = [ "CustomPatt[ae]rn", "NERD.*" ]

The default is [].

Ignore Quickfix

The quickfix window cannot be added to the ignore buffers array to have hardtime ignore it set

let g:hardtime_ignore_quickfix = 1

The default is 0.

Allow different keys

To make hardtime allow a key if it is different from the previous key, set

let g:hardtime_allow_different_key = 1

This, for example, makes it possible to input "jh", but not "jj".

The default is 0.

Maximum number of repetative key preses

This setting will let you press a key n number of times before hardtime starts ignoring subsequent keypresses.

let g:hardtime_maxcount = 2

Setting this value to 2 will allow a user to press jj but not jjj.

The default is 1.


I recommend installing using Vundle:

Add Bundle 'takac/vim-hardtime' to your ~/.vimrc and then:

  • either within Vim: :BundleInstall
  • or in your shell: vim +BundleInstall +qall

Installing using vim-plug

  1. Install vim-plug using the instructions

  2. Add vim-hardtime to your plugin list in .vimrc or plugins.vim and re-source it:

    insert vim-hardtime

    " Vim HardTime
    Plug 'takac/vim-hardtime'

    between call plug#begin('~/.vim/plugged')

    and call plug#end()

  3. Run :PlugInstall


Plugin to help you stop repeating the basic movement keys




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