This tip explains how to cycle between several registers, while accessing their content through the standard "unnamed" register (@").
To easily swap between different registers it is convenient to map a key to move the registers in a "circular list". The following mapping illustrates the idea:
:nnoremap <Leader>s :let @x=@" \| let @"=@a \| let @a=@b \| let @b=@x<CR>
Now you can cycle between the registers "", "a, "b by pressing \s (assuming the default backslash for the leader key).
- :let @a=@b copies register "b to register "a.
- | separates Ex commands; \ escapes the pipe for the map command.
This is also useful if you want to copy between the xclipboard and the unnamed standard register of Vim:
:nnoremap <Leader>s :let @a=@" \| let @"=@+ \| let @+=@a<CR>
Another usage can be found in cycling through the cut/copy history, i.e. cycling through the numbered registers.
To see what it's changing, you could modify the command like this:
:nnoremap <Leader>s :let @x=@" \| let @"=@a \| let @a=@b \| let @b=@x \| reg "ab<CR>