I’ve been using Sublime Text 4 in Vintage mode, which enables vi-like editing. When I use vi(m) in Ubuntu, I mostly do scrolling with ctrl-u and ctrl-d, because these shortcuts show a half-paging behavior and maintain a relative caret position, which is convenient enough for me to scroll pages while keeping my hand on the keyboard.

Caret Retaining Half-Page Scroll in Sublime Vintage Mode

Key-binding scroll_lines in Sublime Vintage mode

However, in Sublime Text’s Vintage mode, the shortcuts are not set as a default. To enable scrolling using ctrl-u and ctrl-d, I’ve initially added following key mappings (Preferences-Key Bindings in Sublime Text’s menu bar):

{"keys": ["ctrl+u"], "command": "scroll_lines", "args": {"amount": 30.0}, "context": [{ "key": "setting.command_mode"}]},
{"keys": ["ctrl+d"], "command": "scroll_lines", "args": {"amount": -30.0}, "context": [{"key": "setting.command_mode"}]},

, which are the mappings commonly suggested by many Sublime Text users.

However, the aforementioned key mappings cause the caret to always be located 30 lines before (or after) from the currently viewable range of page lines when I scroll down (or up). As soon as I press an arrow key to move the caret, the view jumps up or down 30 lines to where the caret is, which is very annoying as I have to relocate the caret using mouse or arrow keys every time I do scrolling.

Retaining caret position with scroll_lines

To resolve this problem, I wrote a simple plugin, which retains the relative caret position after scrolling.

  1. Click Tools-Developer-New Plugin in Sublime Text’s menu bar, and save the following code as scroll_line_retain.py (I saved mine under Packages/Users).
    import sublime
    import sublime_plugin
    class ScrollLinesRetainCommand(sublime_plugin.TextCommand):
       def run(self, edit, amount):
          if (len(self.view.sel()) == 1 and self.view.sel()[0].empty()):
             maxy = self.view.layout_extent()[1] - self.view.line_height()
             curx, cury = self.view.viewport_position()
             row_current = self.view.rowcol(self.view.visible_region().begin())[0]
             rowcol_caret = self.view.rowcol(self.view.sel()[0].begin())
             row_rel_caret = rowcol_caret[0] - row_current
             col = rowcol_caret[1]
             delta = self.view.line_height()
             nexty = min(max(cury - delta * amount, 0), maxy)
             self.view.set_viewport_position((curx, nexty))
             row_caret = row_rel_caret + (nexty/delta)
             pt = self.view.text_point(row_caret, col)
             if pt > self.view.size():
                pt = self.view.size()
             self.view.run_command("scroll_lines", {"amount": amount})
  2. Add the following key-mappings (Preferences-Key Bindings in Sublime Text’s menu bar):
    {"keys": ["ctrl+u"], "command": "scroll_lines_retain", "args": {"amount": 30.0}, "context": [{ "key": "setting.command_mode" }]},
    {"keys": ["ctrl+d"], "command": "scroll_lines_retain", "args": {"amount": -30.0}, "context": [{"key": "setting.command_mode"}]},

Tip. This works best with "scroll_past_end": 0.5, which specifies how much scrolling past the end of the buffer should be allowed. (Preferences-Settings in Sublime Text’s menu bar).


  1. A better paging behavior
  2. Move up or down by N lines

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