I am using Spacemacs in Vim mode, and I would like to be able to insert a single character while remaining in normal mode, as described here for Vim. For example, typing SPC i k in normal mode would insert k where the cursor stands, while SPC a k would insert k on the right of the cursor; exactly the same as pressing i k <ESC> and a k <ESC> l (the l aiming at putting the cursor back where it was) respectively.

P.S.: Making the command repeatable through . and allowing for multiple repetitions as in 5 i k would be much appreciated!

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure whether there's an Evil-specific way to do this. However, you can write a short Elisp snippet that does this:

(defun my/insert-char (char count)
  (interactive "c\np")
  (insert-char char count))

When you map insert-char to a key directly, it will prompt you for the character, which is why I wrapped it in my/insert-char.

The function can be bound to SPC i i (as SPC i is used for 'insertion' by Spacemacs) as follows:

(spacemacs/set-leader-keys (kbd "ii") 'my/insert-char)

Now you can do 10 SPC i i k to insert 10 k's, and repeat the previous command 10 times using 10 .

Update: The following function implements the append-behavior, which needs some extra treatment to prevent inserting letters into the next line, and to keep the point in the same location:

(defun my/append-char (char count)
  (interactive "c\np")
    (unless (eolp)
    (insert-char char count)))

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