created 2004 · complexity basic · author legba · version 6.0
Vim allows the cursor shape, blink rate, and color to be customized, if supported by the underlying system. Depending upon your system, you can make the cursor more prominent using blinking and a distinctive color, or you can make the cursor less distracting by disabling blinking and using a bland color. In the GUI (gvim), the cursor can be fully customized. For example, the cursor color can be changed when entering insert mode to clarify whether you are in normal or insert mode.
Changing the cursor color in insert mode
You may start typing, thinking you are in insert mode, but find that the characters are interpreted as commands because you are actually in normal mode. To help avoid that problem, you can specify that the cursor color and blink rate change when entering insert mode.
Using gvim with the defaults, the cursor shape is a block when in
n-v-c modes (normal mode, or visual selection mode, or command mode while entering a colon command), and the shape changes to a vertical bar when in
i (insert) mode. The color and blink rates do not change.
Here is an example for gvim showing how to customize the cursor properties (see :help 'guicursor'):
highlight Cursor guifg=white guibg=black highlight iCursor guifg=white guibg=steelblue set guicursor=n-v-c:block-Cursor set guicursor+=i:ver100-iCursor set guicursor+=n-v-c:blinkon0 set guicursor+=i:blinkwait10
Line 1 defines the color highlighting used for
n-v-c modes (set in line 3), and line 2 defines a different color for insert mode (set in line 4). Line 5 disables blinking (
n-v-c modes, and line 6 increases the default blink rate for insert mode. Line 4 also sets the cursor shape to a 100% sized vertical bar for insert mode (the default is
ver25, a 25% vertical bar. When using ver100 vim doesn't take the guifg parameter. It is better to use block instead).
It is possible to change the cursor color and style in the terminal if it understands the following escape sequences. Not all terminals support this, but
rxvt and Terminator do. Recent versions of gnome-terminal support the sequence to change color, but not the one to restore the color to the default. Add the following to
if &term =~ "xterm\\|rxvt" " use an orange cursor in insert mode let &t_SI = "\<Esc>]12;orange\x7" " use a red cursor otherwise let &t_EI = "\<Esc>]12;red\x7" silent !echo -ne "\033]12;red\007" " reset cursor when vim exits autocmd VimLeave * silent !echo -ne "\033]112\007" " use \003]12;gray\007 for gnome-terminal endif
And changing the cursor shape.
if &term =~ '^xterm' " solid underscore let &t_SI .= "\<Esc>[4 q" " solid block let &t_EI .= "\<Esc>[2 q" " 1 or 0 -> blinking block " 3 -> blinking underscore " Recent versions of xterm (282 or above) also support " 5 -> blinking vertical bar " 6 -> solid vertical bar endif
'guicursor' option can be used to set the cursor properties when working in a GUI (gvim). The following commands illustrate how to disable blinking for all modes (the "
a" specifies all modes, and the
0 value for
blinkon disables blinking):
" Disable all blinking: :set guicursor+=a:blinkon0 " Remove previous setting: :set guicursor-=a:blinkon0 " Restore default setting: :set guicursor&
You can also enter a command to directly set
guicursor to disable blinking for the
n-v-c modes. Type the following:
then press the Tab key (see :help 'wildchar') to have the current value of
'guicursor' displayed in the command line. You should see something like this (the
... indicates text omitted from this example):
After the first colon, add "
blinkon0-" so it reads:
Alternatively, you can use the
:let command with the
&guicursor variable to set the
'guicursor' option. The following command inserts the "
blinkon0-" using a substitute (in the replacement,
& represents the original text, that is,
let &guicursor = substitute(&guicursor, 'n-v-c:', '&blinkon0-', '')