If I press shift in insert mode, I can select text using the arrow keys. I want to be able to do the same in normal mode. This is what I got so far:

(define-key evil-normal-state-map (kbd "S-<left>") (lambda () (interactive) (evil-visual-char) (backward-char)))
(define-key evil-normal-state-map (kbd "S-<right>") (lambda () (interactive) (evil-visual-char) (forward-char)))

It works well, except S-<left> behaves weirdly since pressing it continuously it also extends the selection on the right side, even though the key-binding is only set for the normal mode.

  • @Dan I've added what I got so far to my question.
    – Lenar Hoyt
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 22:09

1 Answer 1


By default, visual state inherits bindings from normal state, as long as they do not collide.

Therefore, this should (and does) work:

(define-key evil-normal-state-map (kbd "S-<left>")
  (lambda ()
(define-key evil-normal-state-map (kbd "S-<right>") 
  (lambda ()
(define-key evil-visual-state-map (kbd "S-<left>")
(define-key evil-visual-state-map (kbd "S-<right>") 

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