Improved and consistent line selection with X and <a-X>

Ever since Kakoune made the x key more predictable, I missed the easier way it provided to select new lines. However, I still prefer the new x behavior.

The solution was to either xJJJJ or JJJJx. This was good because it also worked upwards, by using K instead of J.

After some tweaking, I found a couple of mappings that are so good, I think they should even be hard-coded:

map -docstring 'extend lines downwards' global normal X %{<a-:>F<ret>x}
map -docstring 'extend lines upwards' global normal <a-X> %{<a-:><a-;><a-H>Kx}

I think this configuration makes a ton of sense and matches the behavior of other commands in Kakoune, such as / to search, ? to extend, and the alt- variants to do it backwards.

What do you think?


I like how <a-X> works.

X seems not to extend to next line if it’s empty. Changing T to F fixes that -

map -docstring 'extend lines downwards' global normal X %{<a-:>F<ret>x}

Didn’t test much, don’t know if it causes other issues.

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Well spotted, thank you!
Modifying the original post, so that people don’t copy it by mistake.

By the way, is it normal that mappings don’t work with a count? I would expect to be able to do 3X to extend the selection by 3 lines.

The right-hand-side of a mapping can use the %val{count} expansion to apply the active count to whichever parts of the mapping it’s relevant for. Unfortunately it defaults to 0 rather than 1, but 0 is not a normal-mode command so if you’re just prefixing to a different normal-mode command it should be fine:

map -docstring 'cool j' global user j %{:exec "%val{count}j:echo cool!<lt>ret>"<ret>}

Test with 5<space>j.

Note: You need the :exec in the mapping so that %val{count} is not expanded until the mapping is executed, rather than when the mapping was defined.


Thank you! I’ve submitted a PR, to see if there’s interest in having this in Kakoune by default:

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