Mike Barkas

Software Technologies

Mike Barkas

Mike Barkas

Software Technologies

Vim Registers

November 19, 2023

Vim registers are like cargo pants. You get to carry around multiple things and use them when you want, and your friends will think you are cool.

Have you ever wanted to paste something different later in a file or code? Vim registers allow you to do this.

There are different kinds of registers in Vim, and it can be a little confusing at first. Like anything else in Vim, take it one step at a time.

These words have the same meaning copy/yank and paste/put.

There are 10 types of registers in Vim for example read-only, black hole, expression, and others.

We only want to focus on the 2 common registers, numbered registers and named registers.

numbered registers

When you yank or delete something, the data automatically goes in the numbered registers, and they are numbered 1 through 9

named registers

Are only used when you put data in them, and they are labeled a through z
(These are the ones we want to use)

Chances are, you will only need to copy 2 or 3 things at a time. This makes it easier to learn. I suggest start with only using the named registers a, b, c.

View the registers

Use any of these commands:



Copy into registers

Define the register before you yank y something.
Example: define register a with "a and yank (copy) with y

To copy something into one of the named (a through z) registers
highlight the data you want to copy and the command:

Copy to register a "ay

Copy to register b "by

Paste from registers

When you are ready to paste, define the register "b then put (paste) p

Paste from register b "bp

Practice with simple text copy and pasting in and out of registers a, b, and c. After you do it a couple of times it becomes easier.

You can always get more details with registers using help in Vim :h registers