How to Delete a Line without Copying It in Vim?

Simple operations like removing or copying lines could appear unduly difficult when you first start using Vim.

However, when you get the fundamental logic that drives Vim, everything becomes a lot more evident.

We have a fix if you’re having trouble with deleted lines overwriting previously copied content. In Vim, follow these steps to remove a line without duplicating it.

How to Delete a Line without Copying It in Vim?

The “_dd key combination in Vim can be used to remove a line without copying it. Despite not overwriting the main register, this command will nevertheless duplicate the register. Before erasing, it will copy the line into a “black hole” or blank register.

  • “_dd – Delete line into a blank register (delete without copying)
  • dd – Delete line and copy
  • p – Paste

How do Registers work in Vim?

When you remove anything with Vim, the information is really kept in a register. A register is nothing more than a memory block that, in our instance, stores some data-text data.

Vim will grab the line and save it in the “unnamed” or “default” register before erasing it when you press the dd keys. Vim will search the unidentified register when you press p and pull out its content for you to paste.

As we work with the text in our files, Vim offers an easy way to read and write from several registers. We may remove lines into certain registers and recover them later by the same id using the “id” “{id}dd command framework.

For instance:

  1. “xdd – Will delete the line and store the contents into the x register
  2. “xp – Will retrieve the contents of the x register and paste them

We engage in a type of cheating when we remove a line without replicating it. The register, sometimes known as a “black hole” register, is where we duplicate the line’s contents. We won’t be able to recover it afterward and it won’t overwrite our nameless default register.

You can see the potential power of this feature. Registers make it simple to save data on numerous clipboards.

Registers may be incredibly powerful when you first start using Vim, but they can also be very confusing and unpleasant since your default clipboard could keep getting overridden.

However, your command problems with the register should significantly decrease if you are aware of what is occurring when you conduct your delete actions.


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Peter Graham
Peter Graham
Hi there! I'm Peter, a software engineer and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. I have a passion for sharing my knowledge and helping others understand the latest developments in the tech world. When I'm not coding, you can find me hiking or trying out the latest gadgets.


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