Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: version 2.2.0Index
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nano - Nano's ANOther editor, an enhanced free Pico clone
[OPTIONS] [[+LINE,COLUMN] FILE]...
This manual page briefly documents the nano
nano is a small, free and friendly editor which aims to replace
Pico, the default editor included in the non-free Pine package. Rather
than just copying Pico's look and feel, nano also implements some
missing (or disabled by default) features in Pico, such as "search and
replace" and "go to line and column number".
Places cursor at line number LINE and column number COLUMN
(at least one of which must be specified) on startup, instead of the
default of line 1, column 1.
Same as -h (--help).
- -A (--smarthome)
Make the Home key smarter. When Home is pressed anywhere but at the
very beginning of non-whitespace characters on a line, the cursor will
jump to that beginning (either forwards or backwards). If the cursor is
already at that position, it will jump to the true beginning of the
- -B (--backup)
When saving a file, back up the previous version of it to the current
filename suffixed with a ~.
- -C dir (--backupdir=dir)
Set the directory where nano puts unique backup files if file
backups are enabled.
- -D (--boldtext)
Use bold text instead of reverse video text.
- -E (--tabstospaces)
Convert typed tabs to spaces.
- -F (--multibuffer)
Enable multiple file buffers, if available.
- -H (--historylog)
Log search and replace strings to ~/.nano_history, so they can be
retrieved in later sessions, if nanorc support is available.
- -I (--ignorercfiles)
Don't look at SYSCONFDIR/nanorc or ~/.nanorc, if
nanorc support is available.
- -K (--rebindkeypad)
Interpret the numeric keypad keys so that they all work properly. You
should only need to use this option if they don't, as mouse support
won't work properly with this option enabled.
- -L (--nonewlines)
Don't add newlines to the ends of files.
- -N (--noconvert)
Disable automatic conversion of files from DOS/Mac format.
- -O (--morespace)
Use the blank line below the titlebar as extra editing space.
- -Q str (--quotestr=str)
Set the quoting string for justifying. The default is
"^([ \t]*[#:>\|}])+" if extended regular expression support is
available, or "> " otherwise. Note that \t stands for a
- -R (--restricted)
Restricted mode: don't read or write to any file not specified on the
command line; read any nanorc files; allow suspending; allow a
file to be appended to, prepended to, or saved under a different name if
it already has one; or use backup files or spell checking. Also
accessible by invoking nano with any name beginning with 'r' (e.g.
- -S (--smooth)
Enable smooth scrolling. Text will scroll line-by-line, instead of the
usual chunk-by-chunk behavior.
- -T cols (--tabsize=cols)
Set the size (width) of a tab to cols columns. The value of
cols must be greater than 0. The default value is 8.
- -U (--quickblank)
Do quick statusbar blanking. Statusbar messages will disappear after 1
keystroke instead of 25. Note that -c overrides this.
- -V (--version)
Show the current version number and exit.
- -W (--wordbounds)
Detect word boundaries more accurately by treating punctuation
characters as part of a word.
- -Y str (--syntax=str)
Specify a specific syntax highlighting from the nanorc to use, if
- -c (--const)
Constantly show the cursor position. Note that this overrides -U.
- -d (--rebinddelete)
Interpret the Delete key differently so that both Backspace and Delete
work properly. You should only need to use this option if Backspace
acts like Delete on your system.
- -h (--help)
Show a summary of command line options and exit.
- -i (--autoindent)
Indent new lines to the previous line's indentation. Useful when
editing source code.
- -k (--cut)
Enable cut from cursor to end of line.
- -l (--nofollow)
If the file being edited is a symbolic link, replace the link with
a new file instead of following it. Good for editing files in
- -m (--mouse)
Enable mouse support, if available for your system. When enabled, mouse
clicks can be used to place the cursor, set the mark (with a double
click), and execute shortcuts. The mouse will work in the X Window
System, and on the console when gpm is running.
- -o dir (--operatingdir=dir)
Set operating directory. Makes nano set up something similar to a
- -p (--preserve)
Preserve the XON and XOFF sequences (^Q and ^S) so they will be caught
by the terminal.
- -q (--quiet)
Do not report errors in the nanorc file and ask them to be
acknowledged by pressing Enter at startup.
- -r cols (--fill=cols)
Wrap lines at column cols. If this value is 0 or less, wrapping
will occur at the width of the screen less cols columns, allowing
the wrap point to vary along with the width of the screen if the screen
is resized. The default value is -8.
- -s prog (--speller=prog)
Enable alternative spell checker command.
- -t (--tempfile)
Always save changed buffer without prompting. Same as Pico's -t
- -u (--undo)
Enable experimental generic-purpose undo code. By default, the undo and redo
shortcuts are Meta-U and Meta-E, respectively.
- -v (--view)
View file (read only) mode.
- -w (--nowrap)
Disable wrapping of long lines.
- -x (--nohelp)
Disable help screen at bottom of editor.
- -z (--suspend)
Enable suspend ability.
- -$ (--softwrap)
Enable 'soft wrapping'. nano will attempt to display the entire
contents of a line, even if it is longer than the screen width. Since
'$' normally refers to a variable in the Unix shell, you should specify
this option last when using other options (e.g. 'nano -wS$') or pass it
separately (e.g. 'nano -wS -$').
- -a, -b, -e, -f, -g, -j
Ignored, for compatibility with Pico.
will read initialization files in the following order:
, then ~/.nanorc
. Please see
and the example file nanorc.sample
, both of which
should be provided with nano
If no alternative spell checker command is specified on the command
line or in one of the nanorc
will check the
environment variable for one.
In some cases nano will try to dump the buffer into an emergency
file. This will happen mainly if nano receives a SIGHUP or
SIGTERM or runs out of memory. It will write the buffer into a file
named nano.save if the buffer didn't have a name already, or will
add a ".save" suffix to the current filename. If an emergency file with
that name already exists in the current directory, it will add ".save"
plus a number (e.g. ".save.1") to the current filename in order to make
it unique. In multibuffer mode, nano will write all the open
buffers to their respective emergency files.
Please send any comments or bug reports to email@example.com
The nano mailing list is available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
To subscribe, email to email@example.com with a subject
/usr/share/doc/nano/ (or equivalent on your system)
Chris Allegretta <firstname.lastname@example.org
>, et al (see AUTHORS
for details). This manual page was originally written by
Jordi Mallach <email@example.com
>, for the Debian system (but may be used by
- INITIALIZATION FILE
- SEE ALSO