About me: My name is Solène Rapenne. I like learning and sharing knowledge. Hobbies: '(BSD OpenBSD h+ Lisp cmdline gaming internet-stuff). I love percent and lambda characters. OpenBSD developer solene@.

Contact me: solene on Freenode, solene+www at dataswamp dot org or solene@bsd.network (mastodon). If for some reason you want to give me some money, I accept paypal at the address donate@perso.pw.

Kakoune editor cheatsheet

Written by Solène, on 02 December 2020.
Tags: #kakoune #editor #cheatsheet

Comments on Mastodon

This is a simple kakoune cheat sheet to help me (and readers) remember some very useful features.

To see kakoune in action.

Video showing various features in made with asciinema.

Official kakoune website (it has a video)

Commands (in command mode)

Select from START to END position.

Use `Z` to mark start and `alt+z i` to select unti current position.

Add a vertical cursor (useful to mimic rectangle operation)

Type `C` to add a new cursor below your current cursor.

Clear all cursors

Type `space` to remove all cursors except one.

Pasting text verbatim (without completion/indentation)

You have to use "disable hook" command before inserting text. This is done with `\i` with `\` disabling hooks.

Split selection into cursors

When you make a selection, you can use `s` and type a pattern, this will create a new cursor at the start of every pattern match.

This is useful to make replacements for words or characters.

A pattern can be a word, a letter, or even `^` to tell the beginning of each line.


In kakoune there are often multiples way to do operations.

Select multiples lines

Multiples cursors

Go to first line, press `J` to create cursors below and press `X` to select whole lines of every cursors.

Using start / end markers

Press `Z` on first line, and `alt+z i` on last line and then press `X` to select whole lines of every lines.

Using selections

Press `X` until you reach the last line.

Replace characters or words

Make a selection and type `|`, you are then asked for a shell command, you have to use `sed`.

Sed can be used, but you can also select the lines and split the selection to make a new cursor before each word and replace the content by typing it, using the `s` command.

Format lines

For my blog I format paragraphs so lines are not longer than 80 characters. This can be done by selecting lines and run `fmt` using a pipe command. You can use other software if fmt doesn't please you.