Created By Ingo Karkat


Vim provides many built-in motions, e.g. to move to the next word, or end of the current word. Most programming languages use either CamelCase ("anIdentifier") or underscore_notation ("an_identifier") naming conventions for identifiers. The best way to navigate inside those identifiers using Vim built-in motions is the [count]f{char} motion, i.e. f{uppercase-char} or f_, respectively. But we can make this easier:

This script defines motions similar to w, b, e which do not move word-wise (forward/backward), but Camel-wise; i.e. to word boundaries and uppercase letters. The motions also work on underscore notation, where words are delimited by underscore ('_') characters. From here on, both CamelCase and underscore_notation entities are referred to as "words" (in double quotes). Just like with the regular motions, a [count] can be prepended to move over multiple "words" at once. Outside of "words" (e.g. in non-keyword characters like / or ;), the new motions move just like the regular motions.

Vim provides a built-in iw text object called 'inner word', which works in operator-pending and visual mode. Analog to that, this script defines inner "word" motions which select the "word" (or multiple "words" if a [count] is given) where the cursor is located.


To use the default mappings, add the following to your vimrc:

call camelcasemotion#CreateMotionMappings('<leader>')

To override the default motionkeys with this plugin, use

call camelcasemotion#CreateMotionMappings('<silent>')

If you want to use different mappings, map your keys to the CamelCaseMotion_? mapping targets your vimrc).

EXAMPLE: Map to w, b and e mappings:

map <silent> w <Plug>CamelCaseMotion_w
map <silent> b <Plug>CamelCaseMotion_b
map <silent> e <Plug>CamelCaseMotion_e
map <silent> ge <Plug>CamelCaseMotion_ge
sunmap w
sunmap b
sunmap e
sunmap ge

EXAMPLE: Map iw, ib and ie motions:

omap <silent> iw <Plug>CamelCaseMotion_iw
xmap <silent> iw <Plug>CamelCaseMotion_iw
omap <silent> ib <Plug>CamelCaseMotion_ib
xmap <silent> ib <Plug>CamelCaseMotion_ib
omap <silent> ie <Plug>CamelCaseMotion_ie
xmap <silent> ie <Plug>CamelCaseMotion_ie

Most commonly motions are <leader>w, <leader>b and <leader>e, all of which can be used in normal mode, operator-pending mode (cp. :help operator), and visual mode. For example, type bc<leader>w to change 'Camel' in 'CamelCase' to something else.

The <leader> string is defined with the mapleader variable in vim, and defaults to the backslash character (\). Therefore, the motions defined by this plugin would resolve to \w, \b and \e. Some vim users prefer to use the comma key (,), which you may have already defined in your vimrc. To check your current mapleader, execute:

:let mapleader

If you get an error, you are still using the default (\). If you wish to define a new mapleader, try:

:let mapleader = "your_new_mapleader_string"

Drop the : if you are defining the mapleader in your vimrc. For more information about mapleader, check out:

:help mapleader

Motions Example

Given the following CamelCase identifiers in a source code fragment:

set Script31337PathAndNameWithoutExtension11=%~dpn0
set Script31337PathANDNameWITHOUTExtension11=%~dpn0

and the corresponding identifiers in underscore_notation:

set script_31337_path_and_name_without_extension_11=%~dpn0

w moves to ([x] is cursor position): [s]et, [s]cript, [3]1337, [p]ath, [a]nd, [n]ame, [w]ithout, [e]xtension, [1]1, [d]pn0, dpn[0], [s]et

b moves to: [d]pn0, [1]1, [e]xtension, [w]ithout, ...

e moves to: se[t], scrip[t], 3133[7], pat[h], an[d], nam[e], withou[t], extensio[n], 1[1], dpn[0]

Inner Motions Example

Given the following identifier, with the cursor positioned at [x]:


v3iw selects script_31337_path_and_[name_without_extension_]11

v3ib selects script_31337_[path_and_name]_without_extension_11

v3ie selects script_31337_path_and_[name_without_extension]_11

Instead of visual mode, you can also use c3iw to change, d3iw to delete, gU3iw to upper-case, and so on.


Based on Moving through camel case words by Anthony Van Ham.


If you're using Vundle, just add Plugin 'bkad/CamelCaseMotion' to your .vimrc and run :PluginInstall.

If you're using pathogen, add this repo to your bundle directory.


Requires Vim 7.0 or higher.