Csongor Kiss bio photo

Csongor Kiss

I write here once every 2 years

Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Github Youtube

The aim of this series of blog posts is to shed light on some of the darker corners of the vim text editor that I have encountered over the years. Each post will focus on one particular feature, and should take no longer than a couple of minutes to read.

Today, I’d like to talk about the <C-a> key sequence (that is, control+a). It is extremely simple: pressing <C-a> searches the current line (starting at the cursor position) for a number, then increments it.

For example:

this is a number: 10.


this is a number: 11.

where ^ marks the cursor position.

Its inverse is <C-x>, which decrements the number. We can also specify a count, for example 20<C-x> will result in:

this is a number: -9.

Hexadecimal and binary numbers are supported too. For example, to convert 192 to hex, we can do

this is a hexadecimal number: 0x0.


this is a hexadecimal number: 0xc0.