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4 months ago


Plugin for cleaning up the default key mappings and plugins in Neovim leaving only the bare essentials to build upon.

It provides only 2 functions:

  • clean_plugins(): disables most nonessential builtin Neovim providers and plugins, such as, netrw, zipPlugin, matchit, etc. (see the full list in the code)
  • clean_keymap(): maps most of Neovim builtin keymaps to <Nop> leaving (subjectively) only essential functionality:
    • any text typed in insert/cmdline modes
    • char movements hjkl, as well as word movements webWEB
    • line movements ^$, as well as top gg and bottom G movements
    • visual mode enter vV<C-v>, as well as Ex command mode :
    • insert mode enter aioAIO and exit <Esc>
    • buffer search / with next/previous jumps nN
    • yank yY (together with line yank yy) and paste pP
    • char deletions xX, text deletions dD (together with line delete dd)
    • text changes cC (together with line change cc), as well as char replace r and text replace R
    • undo u and redo <C-r>, as well as next/previous jumplist movements <C-o><C-i>


Neovim is a powerful text editor with a lot of functionality - the index consists of several hundred of commands. This plugin narrows it down to a few dozen most used commands, which may be beneficial for the following reasons:

  • avoids unpredictable results after accidental clicks, like q: instead of :q
  • avoids accidental clashes for keymaps defined only in certain filetypes/buffers
  • allows you to have a dedicated keymap file in dotfiles containing the self-picked functionality, which provides a better overview
  • makes you think about how you use the editor, choose keymaps that are natural for you
  • some builtin functionality is simply too specific and should probably be extracted into a plugin in the future (Rot13 encoding? Hebrew language support?)
  • disables builtin plugins that you don't use and saves on startup time and completion clutter
  • some people simply prefer a bottom-up approach


Load 'clean.nvim' as any other Neovim plugin using your favourite package manager.

The plugin provides only 2 functions, which can called together towards the start of your init file (in order not to overwrite any previous keymaps or global options):


In order to re-enable a command either delete the keymap or map it to something else (including itself) explicitly:

vim.keymap.del('', 'f')
vim.keymap.set('', 't', 't')

Note, that re-enabling multi-key commands may require re-enabling their prefixes as well, i.e., to use zz you should have:

vim.keymap.del('n', 'z')
vim.keymap.del('n', 'zz')

In order to re-enable a plugin simply reset the corresponding variable to nil afterwards, for example,

vim.g.editorconfig = nil