Today I Learned

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The Black Hole Register

Vim has a variety of registers for storing and moving around text. Vim also has a special register called the black hole register. This black hole register is associated with the _ character.

When writing to this register, nothing happens. This can be used to delete text without affecting the normal registers. When reading from this register, nothing is returned.

As stated in the docs, if you don't want to overwrite the unnamed register or some other register when deleting text, you can use the black hole register. For instance, deleting the current line without any register side-effects looks like this:


See :h registers for more info on Vim's registers.

See More #vim TILs
Every developer at Hashrocket is a Vim expert. Check out our development environment, Dotmatrix, and if you are in Chicago, come to the Vim Chicago Meetup hosted at our Chicago office.