vim – Goodbye to :set paste

I’ve been using vim as my editor of choice ever since I started learning Linux, and something that has been bothering me for a while is how vim handles pasting.

Say I want to paste a large bit of code into a terminal running vim. Before I do this I have to type:

When everything is pasted, I turn it off with:


The command :set paste prevents vim from auto-indenting the code I’ve just pasted.

Luckily, as it most often goes, there is a solution. Why I haven’t bothered to actually find the answer till recently is a whole other matter.

As it turns out, my terminal of choice (which currently is rxvt-unicode) supports something called bracketed paste mode.

In short, when bracketed paste mode is set, pasted text is bracketed with control sequences so that the program can differentiate between pasted text and typed-in text.

Let’s stay that I copied the text:

from another program. When I paste it into my terminal, if it supports bracketed paste mode, it actually sends the text:

Now the thing is to let vim know how to watch out for these control sequences, and tell it what to do. Paste the following code into your .vimrc:

And that should reduce your use of :set paste quite a bit!

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