nanorc

NANORC(5)                     File Formats Manual                    NANORC(5)



NAME
       nanorc - GNU nano's configuration 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 set
       breaklonglines, set jumpyscrolling, and set emptyline.


DESCRIPTION
       The nanorc file contains the default settings for nano, a small and
       friendly editor.  The file should be in Unix format, not in DOS or Mac
       format.  During startup, nano will first read the system-wide settings,
       from /etc/nanorc (the exact path might be different on your system),
       and then the user-specific settings, either from ~/.nanorc or from
       $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/nano/nanorc or from ~/.config/nano/nanorc, whichever
       is encountered first.


OPTIONS
       The configuration file accepts a series of set and unset commands,
       which can be used to configure nano on startup without using command-
       line options.  Additionally, there are some commands to define syntax
       highlighting and to rebind keys -- see the two separate sections on
       those.  nano reads one command per line.

       Options in nanorc files take precedence over nano's defaults, and
       command-line options override nanorc settings.  Also, options that do
       not take an argument are unset by default.  So using the unset command
       is only needed when wanting to override a setting of the system's
       nanorc file in your own nanorc.  Options that take an argument cannot
       be unset.

       Below, the string parameters need to be enclosed in double quotes.
       Quotes inside these string parameters don't have to be escaped with
       backslashes.  The last double quote in the string will be treated as
       its end.  For example, for the brackets option, ""')>]}" will match ",
       ', ), >, ], and }.

       The supported commands and arguments are:


       set afterends
          Make Ctrl+Right stop at word ends instead of beginnings.

       set allow_insecure_backup
          When backing up files, allow the backup to succeed even if its
          permissions can't be (re)set due to special OS considerations.  You
          should NOT enable this option unless you are sure you need it.

       set atblanks
          When soft line wrapping is enabled, make it wrap lines at blank
          characters (tabs and spaces) instead of always at the edge of the
          screen.

       set 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).

       set backup
          When saving a file, create a backup file by adding a tilde (~) to
          the file's name.

       set 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
          with set backup or --backup or -B.  The uniquely numbered files are
          stored in the specified directory.

       set boldtext
          Use bold instead of reverse video for the title bar, status bar, key
          combos, function tags, line numbers, and selected text.  This can be
          overridden by setting the options titlecolor, statuscolor, keycolor,
          functioncolor, numbercolor, and selectedcolor.

       set brackets string
          Set the characters treated as closing brackets when justifying
          paragraphs.  This may not include blank characters.  Only closing
          punctuation (see set punct), optionally followed by the specified
          closing brackets, can end sentences.  The default value is ""')>]}".

       set breaklonglines
          Automatically hard-wrap the current line when it becomes overlong.

       set casesensitive
          Do case-sensitive searches by default.

       set constantshow
          Constantly display the cursor position in the status bar.  This
          overrides the option quickblank.

       set cutfromcursor
          Use cut-from-cursor-to-end-of-line by default, instead of cutting
          the whole line.

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

       set errorcolor fgcolor,bgcolor
          Use this color combination for the status bar when an error message
          is displayed.  See set titlecolor for valid color names.

       set 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.

       set functioncolor fgcolor,bgcolor
          Specify the color combination to use for the function descriptions
          in the two help lines at the bottom of the screen.  See set
          titlecolor for more details.

       set 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.)

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

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

       set keycolor fgcolor,bgcolor
          Specify the color combination to use for the shortcut key combos in
          the two help lines at the bottom of the screen.  See set titlecolor
          for more details.

       set linenumbers
          Display line numbers to the left of the text area.

       set locking
          Enable vim-style lock-files for when editing files.

       set matchbrackets string
          Set the opening and closing brackets that can be found by bracket
          searches.  This may not include blank characters.  The opening set
          must come before the closing set, and the two sets must be in the
          same order.  The default value is "(<[{)>]}".

       set morespace
          Deprecated option since it has become the default setting.  When
          needed, use unset emptyline instead.

       set 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.

       set multibuffer
          When reading in a file with ^R, insert it into a new buffer by
          default.

       set noconvert
          Don't convert files from DOS/Mac format.

       set nohelp
          Don't display the two help lines at the bottom of the screen.

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

       set nopauses
          Don't pause between warnings at startup.  This means that only the
          last one will be visible (when there are multiple ones).

       set nowrap
          Deprecated option since it has become the default setting.  When
          needed, use unset breaklonglines instead.

       set numbercolor fgcolor,bgcolor
          Specify the color combination to use for line numbers.  See set
          titlecolor for more details.

       set operatingdir directory
          nano will only read and write files inside directory and its
          subdirectories.  Also, the current directory is changed to here, so
          files are inserted from this directory.  By default, the operating
          directory feature is turned off.

       set positionlog
          Save the cursor position of files between editing sessions.  The
          cursor position is remembered for the 200 most-recently edited
          files.

       set preserve
          Preserve the XON and XOFF keys (^Q and ^S).

       set punct string
          Set the characters treated as closing punctuation when justifying
          paragraphs.  This may not include blank characters.  Only the
          specfified closing punctuation, optionally followed by closing
          brackets (see brackets), can end sentences.  The default value is
          "!.?".

       set quickblank
          Do quick status-bar blanking: status-bar messages will disappear
          after 1 keystroke instead of 25.  The option constantshow overrides
          this.

       set 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 character.)  This makes it possible to
          rejustify blocks of quoted text when composing email, and to rewrap
          blocks of line comments when writing source code.

       set 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.

       set 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.

       set regexp
          Do extended regular expression searches by default.

       set selectedcolor fgcolor,bgcolor
          Specify the color combination to use for selected text.  See set
          titlecolor for more details.

       set showcursor
          Put the cursor on the highlighted item in the file browser, to aid
          braille users.

       set 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.

       set smooth
          Deprecated option since it has become the default setting.  When
          needed, use unset jumpyscrolling instead.

       set softwrap
          Enable soft line wrapping for easier viewing of very long lines.

       set speller program
          Use the given program to do spell checking and correcting, instead
          of the built-in corrector that calls spell.

       set statuscolor fgcolor,bgcolor
          Specify the color combination to use for the status bar.  See set
          titlecolor for more details.

       set stripecolor fgcolor,bgcolor
          Specify the color combination to use for the vertical guiding
          stripe.  See set titlecolor for more details.

       set suspend
          Allow nano to be suspended.

       set tabsize number
          Use a tab size of number columns.  The value of number must be
          greater than 0.  The default value is 8.

       set tabstospaces
          Convert typed tabs to spaces.

       set tempfile
          Save automatically on exit, don't prompt.

       set titlecolor fgcolor,bgcolor
          Specify the color combination to use for the title bar.  Valid names
          for the foreground and background colors are: white, black, blue,
          green, red, cyan, yellow, magenta, and normal -- where normal means
          the default foreground or background color.  The name of the
          foreground color may be prefixed with bright.  And either "fgcolor"
          or ",bgcolor" may be left out.

       set trimblanks
          Remove trailing whitespace from wrapped lines when automatic hard-
          wrapping occurs or when text is justified.

       set 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 set noconvert.)

       set view
          Disallow file modification: read-only mode.  This mode allows the
          user to open also other files for viewing, unless --restricted is
          given on the command line.

       set whitespace string
          Set the two characters used to indicate the presence of tabs and
          spaces.  They must be single-column characters.  The default pair
          for a UTF-8 locale is "»⋅", and for other locales ">.".

       set wordbounds
          Detect word boundaries differently by treating punctuation
          characters as parts of words.

       set wordchars string
          Specify which other characters (besides the normal alphanumeric
          ones) should be considered as parts of words.  This overrides the
          option wordbounds.

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


SYNTAX HIGHLIGHTING
       Coloring the different syntactic elements of a file is done via regular
       expressions (see the color command below).  This is inherently
       imperfect, because regular expressions are not powerful enough to fully
       parse a file.  Nevertheless, regular expressions can do a lot and are
       easy to make, so they are a good fit for a small editor like nano.

       For each kind of file a separate syntax can be defined via the
       following commands:

       syntax name ["fileregex" ...]
              Start the definition of a syntax with this name.  All subsequent
              color and other such commands will be added to this syntax,
              until a new syntax command is encountered.

              When nano is run, this syntax will be automatically activated if
              the current filename matches the extended regular expression
              fileregex.  Or the syntax can be explicitly activated by using
              the -Y or --syntax command-line option followed by the name.

              The syntax default is special: it takes no fileregex, and
              applies to files that don't match any syntax's regexes.  The
              syntax none is reserved; specifying it on the command line is
              the same as not having a syntax at all.

       header "regex" ...
              If from all defined syntaxes no fileregex matched, then compare
              this regex (or regexes) against the first line of the current
              file, to determine whether this syntax should be used for it.

       magic "regex" ...
              If no fileregex matched and no header regex matched either, then
              compare this regex (or regexes) against the result of querying
              the magic database about the current file, to determine whether
              this syntax should be used for it.  (This functionality only
              works when libmagic is installed on the system and will be
              silently ignored otherwise.)

       linter program [arg ...]
              Use the given program to run a syntax check on the current
              buffer.

       comment "string"
              Use the given string for commenting and uncommenting lines.  If
              the string contains a vertical bar or pipe character (|), this
              designates bracket-style comments; for example, "/*|*/" for CSS
              files.  The characters before the pipe are prepended to the line
              and the characters after the pipe are appended at the end of the
              line.  If no pipe character is present, the full string is
              prepended; for example, "#" for Python files.  If empty double
              quotes are specified, the comment/uncomment function is
              disabled; for example, "" for JSON.  The default value is "#".

       color fgcolor,bgcolor "regex" ...
              Display all pieces of text that match the extended regular
              expression regex with foreground color fgcolor and background
              color bgcolor, at least one of which must be specified.  Valid
              names for foreground and background colors are: white, black,
              blue, green, red, cyan, yellow, magenta, and normal -- where
              normal means the default foreground or background color.  You
              may use the prefix bright to get a stronger color highlight for
              the foreground.  If your terminal supports transparency, not
              specifying a bgcolor tells nano to attempt to use a transparent
              background.

       icolor fgcolor,bgcolor "regex" ...
              Same as above, except that the matching is case insensitive.

       color fgcolor,bgcolor start="fromrx" end="torx"
              Display all pieces of text whose start matches extended regular
              expression fromrx and whose end matches extended regular
              expression torx with foreground color fgcolor and background
              color bgcolor, at least one of which must be specified.  This
              means that, after an initial instance of fromrx, all text until
              the first instance of torx will be colored.  This allows syntax
              highlighting to span multiple lines.

       icolor fgcolor,bgcolor start="fromrx" end="torx"
              Same as above, except that the matching is case insensitive.

       include "syntaxfile"
              Read in self-contained color syntaxes from syntaxfile.  Note
              that syntaxfile may contain only the above commands, from syntax
              to icolor.

       extendsyntax name command [arg ...]
              Extend the syntax previously defined as name with another
              command.  This allows adding a new color, icolor, header, magic,
              comment, or linter command to an already defined syntax --
              useful when you want to slightly improve a syntax defined in one
              of the system-installed files (which normally are not writable).


       Note: the formatter command has been removed.  It was superseded by a
       more general mechanism: the filtering of buffer or marked text through
       an external command.  Such filtering is done by typing ^R^X and then
       preceding your formatter command with the pipe symbol (|).  It has the
       added advantage that the operation can be undone.

       If you use such a formatting command regularly, you could assign the
       relevant series of keystrokes to a single key in your nanorc:

              bind  M-F  "^R^X|yourformatcommand^M"  main

       (Note that the ^R, ^X, and ^M are each a single, literal control
       character.  You can enter them by preceding each with M-V.)


REBINDING KEYS
       Key bindings can be changed via the following three commands:

          bind key function menu
                 Rebinds the key key to a new function named function in the
                 context of menu menu (or in all menus where the function
                 exists by using all).

          bind key "string" menu
                 Makes the given key produce the given string in the given
                 menu (or in all menus where the key exists when all is used).
                 The string can consist of text or commands or a mix of them.
                 (To enter a command into the string, precede its keystroke
                 with M-V.)


          unbind key menu
                 Unbinds the key key from the menu named menu (or from all
                 menus where it exists by using all).


       The format of key should be one of:

          ^  followed by a Latin letter, by one of several ASCII characters
             (@, ], \, ^, or _), or by the word "Space".  Example: ^C.

          M- followed by any ASCII character except [, or by the word "Space".
             Example: M-C.

          F  followed by a numeric value from 1 to 16.  Example: F10.

          the word "Ins" or the word "Del".


       Valid function names to be bound are:

          help
            Invokes the help viewer.

          cancel
            Cancels the current command.

          exit
            Exits from the program (or from the help viewer or the file
            browser).

          writeout
            Writes the current buffer to disk, asking for a name.

          savefile
            Writes the current file to disk without prompting.

          insert
            Inserts a file into the current buffer (at the current cursor
            position), or into a new buffer when option multibuffer is set.

          whereis
            Starts a forward search for text in the current buffer -- or for
            filenames matching a string in the current list in the file
            browser.

          wherewas
            Starts a backward search for text in the current buffer -- or for
            filenames matching a string in the current list in the file
            browser.

          findprevious
            Searches the next occurrence in the backward direction.

          findnext
            Searches the next occurrence in the forward direction.

          replace
            Interactively replaces text within the current buffer.

          cut
            Cuts and stores the current line (or the marked region).

          copy
            Copies the current line (or the marked region) without deleting
            it.

          paste
            Pastes the currently stored text into the current buffer at the
            current cursor position.

          zap
            Throws away the current line (or the marked region).  (This
            function is bound by default to <Meta+Delete>.)

          chopwordleft
            Deletes from the cursor position to the beginning of the preceding
            word.  (This function is bound by default to <Shift+Ctrl+Delete>.
            If your terminal produces ^H for <Ctrl+Backspace>, you can make
            <Ctrl+Backspace> delete the word to the left of the cursor by
            rebinding ^H to this function.)

          chopwordright
            Deletes from the cursor position to the beginning of the next
            word.  (This function is bound by default to <Ctrl+Delete>.)

          cutrestoffile
            Cuts all text from the cursor position till the end of the buffer.

          mark
            Sets the mark at the current position, to start selecting text.
            Or, when it is set, unsets the mark.

          curpos
            Shows the current cursor position: the line, column, and character
            positions.

          wordcount
            Counts the number of words, lines and characters in the current
            buffer.

          speller
            Invokes a spell-checking program, either the default one, or the
            one defined by --speller or set speller.

          linter
            Invokes a syntax-checking program (if the active syntax defines
            one).

          justify
            Justifies the current paragraph.  A paragraph is a group of
            contiguous lines that, apart from possibly the first line, all
            have the same indentation.  The beginning of a paragraph is
            detected by either this lone line with a differing indentation or
            by a preceding blank line.

          fulljustify
            Justifies the entire current buffer.

          indent
            Indents (shifts to the right) the currently marked text.

          unindent
            Unindents (shifts to the left) the currently marked text.

          comment
            Comments or uncomments the current line or marked lines, using the
            comment style specified in the active syntax.

          complete
            Completes the fragment before the cursor to a full word found
            elsewhere in the current buffer.

          left
            Goes left one position (in the editor or browser).

          right
            Goes right one position (in the editor or browser).

          up
            Goes one line up (in the editor or browser).

          down
            Goes one line down (in the editor or browser).

          scrollup
            Scrolls the viewport up one row (meaning that the text slides
            down) while keeping the cursor in the same text position, if
            possible.

          scrolldown
            Scrolls the viewport down one row (meaning that the text slides
            up) while keeping the cursor in the same text position, if
            possible.

          prevword
            Moves the cursor to the beginning of the previous word.

          nextword
            Moves the cursor to the beginning of the next word.

          home
            Moves the cursor to the beginning of the current line.

          end
            Moves the cursor to the end of the current line.

          beginpara
            Moves the cursor to the beginning of the current paragraph.

          endpara
            Moves the cursor to the end of the current paragraph.

          prevblock
            Moves the cursor to the beginning of the current or preceding
            block of text.  (Blocks are separated by one or more blank lines.)

          nextblock
            Moves the cursor to the beginning of the next block of text.

          pageup
            Goes up one screenful.

          pagedown
            Goes down one screenful.

          firstline
            Goes to the first line of the file.

          lastline
            Goes to the last line of the file.

          gotoline
            Goes to a specific line (and column if specified).  Negative
            numbers count from the end of the file (and end of the line).

          findbracket
            Moves the cursor to the bracket (brace, parenthesis, etc.) that
            matches (pairs) with the one under the cursor.

          prevbuf
            Switches to editing/viewing the previous buffer when multiple
            buffers are open.

          nextbuf
            Switches to editing/viewing the next buffer when multiple buffers
            are open.

          verbatim
            Inserts the next keystroke verbatim into the file.

          tab
            Inserts a tab at the current cursor location.

          enter
            Inserts a new line below the current one.

          delete
            Deletes the character under the cursor.

          backspace
            Deletes the character before the cursor.

          recordmacro
            Starts the recording of keystrokes -- the keystrokes are stored as
            a macro.  When already recording, the recording is stopped.

          runmacro
            Replays the keystrokes of the last recorded macro.

          undo
            Undoes the last performed text action (add text, delete text,
            etc).

          redo
            Redoes the last undone action (i.e., it undoes an undo).

          refresh
            Refreshes the screen.

          suspend
            Suspends the editor (if the suspending function is enabled, see
            the "suspendenable" entry below).

          casesens
            Toggles whether searching/replacing ignores or respects the case
            of the given characters.

          regexp
            Toggles whether searching/replacing uses literal strings or
            regular expressions.

          backwards
            Toggles whether searching/replacing goes forward or backward.

          older
            Retrieves the previous (earlier) entry at a prompt.

          newer
            Retrieves the next (later) entry at a prompt.

          flipreplace
            Toggles between searching for something and replacing something.

          flipgoto
            Toggles between searching for text and targeting a line number.

          flipexecute
            Toggles between inserting a file and executing a command.

          flippipe
            When executing a command, toggles whether the current buffer (or
            marked region) is piped to the command.

          flipnewbuffer
            Toggles between inserting into the current buffer and into a new
            empty buffer.

          flipconvert
            When reading in a file, toggles between converting and not
            converting it from DOS/Mac format.  Converting is the default.

          dosformat
            When writing a file, switches to writing a DOS format (CR/LF).

          macformat
            When writing a file, switches to writing a Mac format.

          append
            When writing a file, appends to the end instead of overwriting.

          prepend
            When writing a file, 'prepends' (writes at the beginning) instead
            of overwriting.

          backup
            When writing a file, creates a backup of the current file.

          discardbuffer
            When about to write a file, discard the current buffer without
            saving.  (This function is bound by default only when option
            --tempfile is in effect.)

          browser
            Starts the file browser, allowing to select a file from a list.

          gotodir
            Goes to a directory to be specified, allowing to browse anywhere
            in the filesystem.

          firstfile
            Goes to the first file when using the file browser (reading or
            writing files).

          lastfile
            Goes to the last file when using the file browser (reading or
            writing files).

          nohelp
            Toggles the presence of the two-line list of key bindings at the
            bottom of the screen.

          constantshow
            Toggles the constant display of the current line, column, and
            character positions.

          softwrap
            Toggles the displaying of overlong lines on multiple screen lines.

          linenumbers
            Toggles the display of line numbers in front of the text.

          whitespacedisplay
            Toggles the showing of whitespace.

          nosyntax
            Toggles syntax highlighting.

          smarthome
            Toggles the smartness of the Home key.

          autoindent
            Toggles whether a newly created line will contain the same amount
            of leading whitespace as the preceding line -- or as the next line
            if the preceding line is the beginning of a paragraph.

          cutfromcursor
            Toggles whether cutting text will cut the whole line or just from
            the current cursor position to the end of the line.

          nowrap
            Toggles whether long lines will be hard-wrapped to the next line.

          tabstospaces
            Toggles whether typed tabs will be converted to spaces.

          mouse
            Toggles mouse support.

          suspendenable
            Toggles whether the suspend sequence (normally ^Z) will suspend
            the editor window.


       Valid menu sections are:

          main
            The main editor window where text is entered and edited.

          search
            The search menu (AKA whereis).

          replace
            The 'search to replace' menu.

          replacewith
            The 'replace with' menu, which comes up after 'search to replace'.

          yesno
            The 'yesno' menu, where the Yes/No/All/Cancel question is asked.

          gotoline
            The 'goto line (and column)' menu.

          writeout
            The 'write file' menu.

          insert
            The 'insert file' menu.

          extcmd
            The menu for inserting output from an external command, reached
            from the insert menu.

          help
            The help-viewer menu.

          spell
            The interactive spell checker Yes/no menu.

          linter
            The linter menu.

          browser
            The file browser for inserting or writing a file.

          whereisfile
            The 'search for a file' menu in the file browser.

          gotodir
            The 'go to directory' menu in the file browser.

          all
            A special name that encompasses all menus.  For bind it means all
            menus where the specified function exists; for unbind it means all
            menus where the specified key exists.


FILES
       /etc/nanorc
              System-wide configuration file.

       ~/.nanorc or $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/nano/nanorc or ~/.config/nano/nanorc
              Per-user configuration file.


SEE ALSO
       nano(1)



April 2019                        version 4.2                        NANORC(5)