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surround.vim: quoting/parenthesizing made simple
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Surround.vim is all about "surroundings": parentheses, brackets, quotes, XML tags, and more. The plugin provides mappings to easily delete, change and add such surroundings in pairs.

It's easiest to explain with examples. Press cs"' inside

"Hello world!"

to change it to

'Hello world!'

Now press cs'<q> to change it to

<q>Hello world!</q>

To go full circle, press cst" to get

"Hello world!"

To remove the delimiters entirely, press ds".

Hello world!

Now with the cursor on "Hello", press ysiw] (iw is a text object).

[Hello] world!

Let's make that braces and add some space (use } instead of { for no space): cs]{

{ Hello } world!

Now wrap the entire line in parentheses with yssb or yss).

({ Hello } world!)

Revert to the original text: ds{ds)

Hello world!

Emphasize hello: ysiw<em>

<em>Hello</em> world!

Finally, let's try out visual mode. Press a capital V (for linewise visual mode) followed by S<p class="important">.

<p class="important">
  <em>Hello</em> world!

This plugin is very powerful for HTML and XML editing, a niche which currently seems underfilled in Vim land. (As opposed to HTML/XML inserting, for which many plugins are available). Adding, changing, and removing pairs of tags simultaneously is a breeze.

The . command will work with ds, cs, and yss if you install repeat.vim.


If you don't have a preferred installation method, I recommend installing pathogen.vim, and then simply copy and paste:

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

Once help tags have been generated, you can view the manual with :help surround.


See the contribution guidelines for pathogen.vim.


Like surround.vim? Follow the repository on GitHub and vote for it on And if you're feeling especially charitable, follow tpope on Twitter and GitHub.


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

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