Vim: Get the Text from Visual Selection

Store the selected text in a variable in Vim Script


Meet Gor

Using Registers

We can get the selected text in a variable in Vim Script using registers.

normal gv"xy
let context = getreg("x")

Lets break down the command

normal mode -> gv -> (y)ank text -> to the "x" register
               |                  |
               |               Copy the contents into x register(or any register you like)    
            Select the previously selected text   

Here, we are entering normal mode and selecting text which was previously selected and yank the contents into a register in this case we are using (x) register, it can be any register. Now to get the contents of that register we can use the function getreg("register_name") or use "xp" to paste the contents of the x register or more generally for any register( "<register-name>p ).

Hence we can store the contents of the selected text in a variable for further processing or manipulation.

To quickly test this snippet from command mode, you can try the following steps:

Select a text and press Escape, we just want the gv command to refresh and get it's contents to the latest visual selection.

:normal! gv"xy
:let foo = getreg("x")
:echo foo

The echo command will simply print the text which we have selected in the file.

Visual Select Text