vim-sexp mappings for regular people
Vim script
Latest commit f5b66e7 Nov 5, 2014 @tpope Merge pull request #4 from mlb-/patch-1
Fix typos in "List manipulation mappings"


vim-sexp mappings for regular people

I'm really liking my first impressions of vim-sexp. It's like paredit minus a couple of parts of paredit that are impossibly tricky to implement in Vim. I'm not too keen on some of the default mappings, though, and in particular the mappings using the meta key are just an absolute deal breaker for me and everyone else that uses Vim in a terminal. So I made and published my own, in an attempt to define a more accessible standard.


You know the drill. Here's a copy and paste to install the works with pathogen.vim.

cd ~/.vim/bundle
git clone git://
git clone git://
git clone git://
git clone git://

Provided mappings

These mappings supplement rather than replace the existing mappings (despite vim-sexp's best efforts to thwart this), so if you have muscle memory, fear not.

Motion mappings

Vim-sexp uses meta mappings to move element-wise. I've taken over the WORD motions--W, B, E, gE--instead, operating under the theory that those aren't nearly as useful in a language where so many punctuation marks are identifier characters. This might be a terrible idea.

List manipulation mappings

More meta madness in the defaults here. I've taken >f and <f to move a form and >e and <e to move an element.

Slurpage and barfage are handled by >), <), >(, and <(, where the angle bracket indicates the direction, and the parenthesis indicates which end to operate on.

Insertion mappings

Use <I and >I to insert at the beginning and ending of a form.

Mappings inspired by surround.vim

Note that surround.vim out of the box works great with the sexp.vim motions and text objects. Use ysaf), for example, to surround the current form with parentheses. To this, we add a few more mappings:

  • dsf: splice (delete surroundings of form)
  • cse(/cse)/cseb: surround element in parentheses
  • cse[/cse]: surround element in brackets
  • cse{/cse}: surround element in braces


Copyright © Tim Pope. Distributed under the same terms as Vim itself. See :help license.