I like to use Vimium all the time, but I'm having some difficulty understanding how to use it for Google Docs. In Google Docs, I can't seem to stop the cursor from blinking (i.e. it's as though I'm perpetually in insert mode - no matter how many times I press Esc). This means that, when I go to issue a command to Vimium, I end up merely typing the command verbatim into the Google Doc.
I've googled around online with no success. Any help would be appreciated!


4 Answers 4


You basically can't. Google Docs is super zealous about dropping you back into insert mode (as you observed). Best just disable Vimium on Google Docs (https?://docs.google.com/document/*).

  • 11
    I had a rule to disable Vimium on https?://docs.google.com/* but just today all of a sudden the Vimium keys kicked in again. Clicking the Vimium icon revealed that the active window URL of my Google Docs tab was about:blank*, so I added a rule to disable Vimium on that URL as well and now Google Docs is OK again. I wonder if it's my PC or Google that's causing this change of behaviour. Jan 30, 2019 at 21:06
  • @vicmortelmans can confirm I am having the exact same issue Oct 5, 2020 at 21:49

In order to use Vimium shortcuts the focus of the page can't be on the cursor. What I do is move the page focus to the menu using Google Docs' own shortcuts. Using the shortcut Alt + F the 'File' menu opens and focus goes there, enabling me to use Vimium.

Before I discovered this I used Chrome shortcuts to go to another tab and continued there (e.g., Ctrl + 1)

There is 1 option I know of to get back and edit the page (other than clicking it). Here is how it goes:

  1. use Vimium command f to follow links
  2. choose editing scroll menu on the top right (editing/suggesting/viewing)
  3. choose editing with arrows and enter key

Thy idea behind this method is to use the Google Docs menu in order to get back to editing.

  • Thanks your suggestion works to get out of the trap. It's ctrl + opt + f on Mac to get the 'File' menu. Also, pressing Esc works to get back into "Insertion" mode. Dec 29, 2019 at 12:03

AFAIK it's not possible for Chrome extensions to interact with Google Docs editors, instead you could try to use Google Apps Script or Google Docs editors add-ons.

It's worth to say that Google Apps Script/Google Docs editors doesn't include event listeners for keyboard combinations.


You can use Vimium with google docs!

press "esc" and "f" at the same time and you'll get all the vimium option to pop up and overlay the screen/browser.

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