[SOLVED] Selecting entire function definition in Vim


I’ve been trying Vim for any text editing work for almost a week now. I want to know the fastest way to select a C function definition.

For example, if I have a function like this:

void helloworlds( int num )
    int n;
    for ( n = 0; n < num; ++n ) {
        printf( "Hello World!\n" );

How would I be able to delete the whole definition including the function name?


As is common in Vim, there are a bunch of ways!

Note that the first two solutions depend on an absence of blank lines.

  • If your cursor is on the line with the function name, try d}. It will delete everything to the next block (i.e. your function body).

  • Within the function body itself, dap will delete the ‘paragraph’.

  • You can delete a curly brace block with da}. (If you like this syntax, I recommend Tim Pope’s fantastic surround.vim, which adds more features with a similar feel).

  • You could also try using regular expressions to delete until the next far left-indented closing curly brace: d/^}Enter

  • ]] and [[ move to the next/previous first-column curly brace (equivalent to using / and ? with that regex I mentioned above. Combine with the d motion, and you acheive the same effect. In addons like Python-mode, these operators are redefined to mean exactly what you’re looking for: move from function to function.

How to delete the whole block, header included

If you’re on the header/name, or the line before the block, da} should do the trick.

If you’re below a block, you can also make use of the handy ‘offset’ feature of a Vim search. d?^{?-1 will delete backwards to one line before the first occurrence of a first-column opening curly brace. This command’s a bit tricky to type. Maybe you could make a <leader> shortcut out of it.


I don’t do much C programming in Vim, but there are surely plugins to help with such a thing. Try Vim Scripts or their mirror at GitHub.

Answered By – David Cain

Answer Checked By – Cary Denson (BugsFixing Admin)

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