nano

NANO(1)                     General Commands Manual                    NANO(1)



NAME
       nano - Nano's ANOther editor, inspired by Pico


SYNOPSIS
       nano [options] [[+line[,column]] file]...


NOTICE
       Starting with version 4.0, nano no longer hard-wraps an overlong line
       by default, uses smooth scrolling by default, and by default makes use
       of the line below the title bar.

       If you want the old, Pico behavior back, you can use --breaklonglines,
       --jumpyscrolling, and --emptyline (or -bje for short).


DESCRIPTION
       nano is a small and friendly editor.  It copies the look and feel of
       Pico, but is free software, and implements several features that Pico
       lacks, such as: opening multiple files, scrolling per line, undo/redo,
       syntax coloring, line numbering, and soft-wrapping overlong lines.

       When giving a filename on the command line, the cursor can be put on a
       specific line by adding the line number with a plus sign (+) before the
       filename, and even in a specific column by adding it with a comma.

       As a special case: if instead of a filename a dash (-) is given, nano
       will read data from standard input.


EDITING
       Entering text and moving around in a file is straightforward: typing
       the letters and using the normal cursor movement keys.  Commands are
       entered by using the Control (^) and the Alt or Meta (M-) keys.  Typing
       ^K deletes the current line and puts it in the cutbuffer.  Consecutive
       ^Ks will put all deleted lines together in the cutbuffer.  Any cursor
       movement or executing any other command will cause the next ^K to
       overwrite the cutbuffer.  A ^U will paste the current contents of the
       cutbuffer at the current cursor position.

       When a more precise piece of text needs to be cut or copied, one can
       mark its start with ^6, move the cursor to its end (the marked text
       will be highlighted), and then use ^K to cut it, or M-6 to copy it to
       the cutbuffer.  One can also save the marked text to a file with ^O, or
       spell check it with ^T.

       On some terminals, text can be selected also by holding down Shift
       while using the arrow keys.  Holding down the Ctrl or Alt key too will
       increase the stride.  Any cursor movement without Shift being held will
       cancel such a selection.

       The two lines at the bottom of the screen show some important commands;
       the built-in help (^G) lists all the available ones.  The default key
       bindings can be changed via a nanorc file -- see nanorc(5).


OPTIONS
       -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 line.

       -B, --backup
              When saving a file, back up the previous version of it, using
              the current filename suffixed with a tilde (~).

       -C directory, --backupdir=directory
              Make and keep not just one backup file, but make and keep a
              uniquely numbered one every time a file is saved -- when backups
              are enabled (-B).  The uniquely numbered files are stored in the
              specified directory.

       -D, --boldtext
              Use bold text instead of reverse video text.

       -E, --tabstospaces
              Convert typed tabs to spaces.

       -F, --multibuffer
              Read a file into a new buffer by default.

       -G, --locking
              Use vim-style file locking when editing files.

       -H, --historylog
              Save the last hundred search strings and replacement strings and
              executed commands, so they can be easily reused in later
              sessions.

       -I, --ignorercfiles
              Don't look at the system's nanorc nor at the user's nanorc.

       -J number, --guidestripe=number
              Draw a vertical stripe at the given column, to help judge the
              width of the text.  (The color of the stripe can be changed with
              set stripecolor in your nanorc file.)

       -K, --rawsequences
              Interpret escape sequences directly (instead of asking ncurses
              to translate them).  If you need this option to get your
              keyboard to work properly, please report a bug.  Using this
              option disables nano's mouse support.

       -L, --nonewlines
              Don't automatically add a newline when a file does not end with
              one.

       -M, --trimblanks
              Snip trailing whitespace from the wrapped line when automatic
              hard-wrapping occurs or when text is justified.

       -N, --noconvert
              Disable automatic conversion of files from DOS/Mac format.

       -O, --morespace
              Obsolete and ignored option, since the line below the title bar
              is included into the editing space by default.  If you prefer to
              keep this line blank, use -e or --emptyline.

       -P, --positionlog
              For the 200 most recent files, log the last position of the
              cursor, and place it at that position again upon reopening such
              a file.

       -Q "regex", --quotestr="regex"
              Set the regular expression for matching the quoting part of a
              line.  The default value is "^([ \t]*([!#%:;>|}]|//|--))+".
              (Note that \t stands for an actual Tab.)  This makes it possible
              to rejustify blocks of quoted text when composing email, and to
              rewrap blocks of line comments when writing source code.

       -R, --restricted
              Restricted mode: don't read or write to any file not specified
              on the command line.  This means: don't read or write history
              files; don't allow suspending; don't allow spell checking; don't
              allow a file to be appended to, prepended to, or saved under a
              different name if it already has one; and don't make backup
              files.  Restricted mode can also be activated by invoking nano
              with any name beginning with 'r' (e.g. "rnano").

       -S, --smooth
              Obsolete and ignored option, since smooth scrolling has become
              the default.  If you prefer the chunk-by-chunk scrolling
              behavior, use -j or --jumpyscrolling.

       -T number, --tabsize=number
              Set the size (width) of a tab to number columns.  The value of
              number must be greater than 0.  The default value is 8.

       -U, --quickblank
              Do quick status-bar blanking: status-bar messages will disappear
              after 1 keystroke instead of 25.  Note that option -c
              (--constantshow) overrides this.

       -V, --version
              Show the current version number and exit.

       -W, --wordbounds
              Detect word boundaries differently by treating punctuation
              characters as part of a word.

       -X "characters", --wordchars="characters"
              Specify which other characters (besides the normal alphanumeric
              ones) should be considered as part of a word.  This overrides
              option -W (--wordbounds).

       -Y name, --syntax=name
              Specify the name of the syntax highlighting to use from among
              the ones defined in the nanorc files.

       -Z, --zap
              Let an unmodified Backspace or Delete erase the marked region
              (instead of a single character, and without affecting the
              cutbuffer).

       -a, --atblanks
              When doing soft line wrapping, wrap lines at whitespace instead
              of always at the edge of the screen.

       -b, --breaklonglines
              Automatically hard-wrap the current line when it becomes
              overlong.  (This option is the opposite of -w (--nowrap) -- the
              last one given takes effect.)

       -c, --constantshow
              Constantly show the cursor position on the status bar.  Note
              that this overrides option -U (--quickblank).

       -d, --rebinddelete
              Interpret the Delete and Backspace keys differently so that both
              Backspace and Delete work properly.  You should only use this
              option when on your system either Backspace acts like Delete or
              Delete acts like Backspace.

       -e, --emptyline
              Do not use the line below the title bar, leaving it entirely
              blank.

       -g, --showcursor
              Make the cursor visible in the file browser (putting it on the
              highlighted item) and in the help viewer.  Useful for braille
              users and people with poor vision.

       -h, --help
              Show a summary of the available command-line options and exit.

       -i, --autoindent
              Automatically indent a newly created line to the same number of
              tabs and/or spaces as the previous line (or as the next line if
              the previous line is the beginning of a paragraph).

       -j, --jumpyscrolling
              Scroll the buffer contents per half-screen instead of per line.

       -k, --cutfromcursor
              Make the 'Cut Text' command (normally ^K) cut from the current
              cursor position to the end of the line, instead of cutting the
              entire line.

       -l, --linenumbers
              Display line numbers to the left of the text area.

       -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.  Text can still be selected through dragging by holding
              down the Shift key.

       -n, --noread
              Treat any name given on the command line as a new file.  This
              allows nano to write to named pipes: it will start with a blank
              buffer, and will write to the pipe when the user saves the
              "file".  This way nano can be used as an editor in combination
              with for instance gpg without having to write sensitive data to
              disk first.

       -o directory, --operatingdir=directory
              Set the operating directory.  This makes nano set up something
              similar to a chroot.

       -p, --preserve
              Preserve the XON and XOFF sequences (^Q and ^S) so they will be
              caught by the terminal.

       -r number, --fill=number
              Set the target width for justifying and automatic hard-wrapping
              at this number of columns.  If the value is 0 or less, wrapping
              will occur at the width of the screen minus number 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 program, --speller=program
              Use this alternative spell checker command.

       -t, --tempfile
              Save a changed buffer without prompting (when exiting with ^X).

       -u, --unix
              Save a file by default in Unix format.  This overrides nano's
              default behavior of saving a file in the format that it had.
              (This option has no effect when you also use --noconvert.)

       -v, --view
              Just view the file and disallow editing: read-only mode.  This
              mode allows the user to open also other files for viewing,
              unless --restricted is given too.

       -w, --nowrap
              Do not automatically hard-wrap the current line when it becomes
              overlong.  This is the default.  (This option is the opposite of
              -b (--breaklonglines) -- the last one given takes effect.)


       -x, --nohelp
              Don't show the two help lines at the bottom of the screen.

       -y, --afterends
              Make Ctrl+Right stop at word ends instead of beginnings.

       -z, --suspend
              Enable the suspend ability.

       -$, --softwrap
              Enable 'soft wrapping'.  This will make nano attempt to display
              the entire contents of any line, even if it is longer than the
              screen width, by continuing it over multiple screen lines.
              Since '$' normally refers to a variable in the Unix shell, you
              should specify this option last when using other options (e.g.
              'nano -wS$') or pass it separately (e.g. 'nano -wS -$').


TOGGLES
       Several of the above options can be switched on and off also while nano
       is running.  For example, M-L toggles the hard-wrapping of long lines,
       M-S toggles soft-wrapping, M-N toggles line numbers, M-M toggles the
       mouse, M-I auto-indentation, and M-X the help lines.  See at the end of
       the ^G help text for a complete list.


FILES
       nano will read two configuration files: first the system's nanorc (if
       it exists), and then the user's nanorc (if it exists), either ~/.nanorc
       or $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/nano/nanorc or ~/.config/nano/nanorc, whichever is
       encountered first.  See nanorc(5) for more information on the possible
       contents of those files.


NOTES
       If no alternative spell checker command is specified on the command
       line nor in one of the nanorc files, nano will check the SPELL
       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.


BUGS
       The recording and playback of keyboard macros works correctly only on a
       terminal emulator, not on a Linux console (VT), because the latter does
       not by default distinguish modified from unmodified arrow keys.

       Please report any other bugs that you encounter via:
       https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=nano.

       When nano crashes, it will save any modified buffers to emergency .save
       files.  If you are able to reproduce the crash and you want to get a
       backtrace, define the environment variable NANO_NOCATCH.


HOMEPAGE
       https://nano-editor.org/


SEE ALSO
       nanorc(5)

       /usr/share/doc/nano/ (or equivalent on your system)



April 2019                        version 4.2                          NANO(1)