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nano
****

This manual documents the GNU 'nano' editor, version 2.9.3.

* Menu:

* Introduction::
* Invoking::
* Command-line Options::
* Editor Basics::
* Built-in Help::
* Feature Toggles::
* Nanorc Files::
* The File Browser::
* Pico Compatibility::
* Building and Configure Options::

File: nano.info,  Node: Introduction,  Next: Invoking,  Prev: Top,  Up: Top

1 Introduction
**************

GNU 'nano' is a small and friendly text editor.  Besides basic text
editing, 'nano' offers many extra features, such as an interactive
search-and-replace, undo/redo, syntax coloring, smooth scrolling,
auto-indentation, go-to-line-and-column-number, feature toggles, file
locking, backup files, and internationalization support.

   The original goal for 'nano' was to be a complete bug-for-bug
emulation of Pico.  But currently the goal is to be as compatible as
possible while offering a superset of Pico's functionality.  *Note Pico
Compatibility:: for more details on how 'nano' and Pico differ.

   Please report bugs via <https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=nano>.

File: nano.info,  Node: Invoking,  Next: Command-line Options,  Prev: Introduction,  Up: Top

2 Invoking
**********

The usual way to invoke 'nano' is:

     nano [FILE]

   But it is also possible to specify one or more options (see the next
section), and to edit several files in a row.  Additionally, the cursor
can be put on a specific line of a file by adding the line number with a
plus sign before the filename, and even in a specific column by adding
it with a comma.  So a more complete command synopsis is:

     nano [OPTION]... [[+LINE[,COLUMN]|+,COLUMN] FILE]...

   Normally, however, you set your preferred options in a 'nanorc' file
(*note Nanorc Files::).  And when using 'set positionlog' (making 'nano'
remember the cursor position when you close a file), you will rarely
need to specify a line number.

   As a special case: when instead of a filename a dash is given, 'nano'
will read data from standard input.  This means you can pipe the output
of a command straight into a buffer, and then edit it.

File: nano.info,  Node: Command-line Options,  Next: Editor Basics,  Prev: Invoking,  Up: Top

3 Command-line Options
**********************

'nano' takes the following options from the command line:

'-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.  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'
     Enable 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 file nor at the user's nanorc.

'-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.

'-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'
     Use the blank line below the title bar as extra editing space.

'-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.
     (The old form of this option, '--poslog', is deprecated.)

'-Q "CHARACTERS"'
'--quotestr="CHARACTERS"'
     Set the quoting string for justifying.  The default value is "^([
     \t]*[|>:}#])+" if extended regular expression support is available,
     and "> " otherwise.  Note that '\t' stands for a literal Tab
     character.

'-R'
'--restricted'
     Restricted mode: don't read or write to any file not specified on
     the command line; don't read any nanorc files nor history files;
     don't allow suspending nor 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 use backup files.  This restricted mode
     is also accessible by invoking 'nano' with any name beginning with
     'r' (e.g. 'rnano').

'-S'
'--smooth'
     Enable smooth scrolling.  Text will scroll line-by-line, instead of
     the usual chunk-by-chunk behavior.

'-T NUMBER'
'--tabsize=NUMBER'
     Set the displayed tab length 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 parts of words.

'-X "CHARACTERS"'
'--wordchars="CHARACTERS"'
     Specify which other characters (besides the normal alphanumeric
     ones) should be considered as parts of words.  This overrides
     option '-W' ('--wordbounds').

'-Y NAME'
'--syntax=NAME'
     Specify the syntax to be used for highlighting.  *Note Syntax
     Highlighting:: for more info.

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

'-c'
'--constantshow'
     Constantly display the cursor position (line number, column number,
     and character number) on the status bar.  Note that this overrides
     option '-U' ('--quickblank').

'-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.

'-g'
'--showcursor'
     Make the cursor visible in the file browser, putting it on the
     highlighted item.  Useful for braille users.

'-h'
'--help'
     Show a summary of command-line options and exit.

'-i'
'--autoindent'
     Automatically indent new lines to the same number of spaces and
     tabs as the previous 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 '^Q' (XON) and '^S' (XOFF) sequences so data being
     sent to the editor can be stopped and started.

'-q'
'--quiet'
     Obsolete option.  Recognized but ignored.

'-r NUMBER'
'--fill=NUMBER'
     Hard-wrap lines at column NUMBER (by inserting a newline
     character).  If the given value is 0 or less, wrapping will occur
     at the width of the screen minus the given amount, allowing the
     wrapping width to vary along with the width of the screen if and
     when it is resized.  The default value is -8.  This option
     conflicts with '-w' ('--nowrap'); the last one given takes effect.

'-s PROGRAM'
'--speller=PROGRAM'
     Use the given program to do spell checking and correcting.  By
     default, 'nano' uses the command specified in the 'SPELL'
     environment variable for this.  If 'SPELL' is not set, and
     '--speller' is not specified either, then 'nano' uses its own
     interactive spell corrector, which requires the GNU 'spell' program
     to be installed.

'-t'
'--tempfile'
     Don't ask whether to save a modified buffer when exiting with '^X',
     but assume yes.  This option is useful when 'nano' is used as the
     composer of a mailer program.

'-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'
     Don't allow the contents of the file to be altered.  Note that this
     option should NOT be used in place of correct file permissions to
     implement a read-only file.

'-w'
'--nowrap'
     Don't hard-wrap long lines at any length.  This option conflicts
     with '-r' ('--fill'); the last one given takes effect.

'-x'
'--nohelp'
     Expert Mode: don't show the Shortcut List at the bottom of the
     screen.  This affects the location of the status bar as well, as in
     Expert Mode it is located at the very bottom of the editor.

     Note: When accessing the help system, Expert Mode is temporarily
     disabled to display the help-system navigation keys.

'-z'
'--suspend'
     Enable the ability to suspend 'nano' using the system's suspend
     keystroke (usually '^Z').

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

'-b'
'-e'
'-f'
'-j'
     Ignored, for compatibility with Pico.

File: nano.info,  Node: Editor Basics,  Next: Built-in Help,  Prev: Command-line Options,  Up: Top

4 Editor Basics
***************

* Menu:

* Entering Text::
* Commands::
* The Cutbuffer::
* The Mark::
* Screen Layout::
* Search and Replace::
* Using the Mouse::
* Limitations::

File: nano.info,  Node: Entering Text,  Next: Commands,  Up: Editor Basics

4.1 Entering Text
=================

'nano' is a "modeless" editor.  This means that all keystrokes, with the
exception of Control and Meta sequences, enter text into the file being
edited.

   Characters not present on the keyboard can be entered in two ways:

   * For characters with a single-byte code, pressing the Esc key twice
     and then typing a three-digit decimal number (from '000' to '255')
     will make 'nano' behave as if you typed the key with that value.

   * For any possible character, pressing 'M-V' (Alt+V) and then typing
     a six-digit hexadecimal number (starting with '0' or '1') will
     enter the corresponding Unicode character into the buffer.

   For example, typing 'Esc Esc 2 3 4' will enter the character "e^" --
useful when writing about a French party.  Typing 'M-V 0 0 2 2 c 4' will
enter the symbol "???", a little diamond.

File: nano.info,  Node: Commands,  Next: The Cutbuffer,  Prev: Entering Text,  Up: Editor Basics

4.2 Commands
============

Commands are given by using the Control key (Ctrl, shown as '^') or the
Meta key (Alt or Cmd, shown as 'M-').

   * A control-key sequence is entered by holding down the Ctrl key and
     pressing the desired key.

   * A meta-key sequence is entered by holding down the Meta key
     (normally the Alt key) and pressing the desired key.

   If for some reason on your system the combinations with Ctrl or Alt
do not work, you can generate them by using the Esc key.  A control-key
sequence is generated by pressing the Esc key twice and then pressing
the desired key, and a meta-key sequence by pressing the Esc key once
and then pressing the desired key.

File: nano.info,  Node: The Cutbuffer,  Next: The Mark,  Prev: Commands,  Up: Editor Basics

4.3 The Cutbuffer
=================

Text can be cut from a file, a whole line at a time, by using the 'Cut
Text' command (default key binding: '^K').  The cut line is stored in
the cutbuffer.  Consecutive strokes of '^K' will add each cut line to
this buffer, but a '^K' after any other keystroke will overwrite the
entire cutbuffer.

   The contents of the cutbuffer can be pasted back into the file with
the 'Uncut Text' command (default key binding: '^U').

   A line of text can be copied into the cutbuffer (without cutting it)
with the 'Copy Text' command (default key binding: 'M-6').

File: nano.info,  Node: The Mark,  Next: Screen Layout,  Prev: The Cutbuffer,  Up: Editor Basics

4.4 The Mark
============

Text can be selected by first 'setting the Mark' (default key bindings:
'^6' and 'M-A') and then moving the cursor to the other end of the
portion to be selected.  The selected portion of text will be
highlighted in reverse video (or in bold if you set the boldtext
option).  This selection can now be cut or copied in its entirety with a
single '^K' or 'M-6'.  Or the selection can be used to limit the scope
of a search-and-replace ('^\') or spell-checking session ('^T').

   Cutting or copying selected text will toggle the mark off
automatically.  If necessary, it can be toggled off manually with
another '^6' or 'M-A'.

File: nano.info,  Node: Screen Layout,  Next: Search and Replace,  Prev: The Mark,  Up: Editor Basics

4.5 Screen Layout
=================

The default screen of nano consists of five areas.  From top to bottom
these are: the title bar, a blank line, the edit window, the status bar,
and two help lines.

   The title bar consists of three sections: left, center and right.
The section on the left displays the version of 'nano' being used.  The
center section displays the current filename, or "New Buffer" if the
file has not yet been named.  The section on the right displays
"Modified" if the file has been modified since it was last saved or
opened.

   The status bar is the third line from the bottom of the screen.  It
shows important and informational messages.  Any error messages that
occur from using the editor will appear on the status bar.  Any
questions that are asked of the user will be asked on the status bar,
and any user input (search strings, filenames, etc.)  will be input on
the status bar.

   The two help lines at the bottom of the screen show some of the most
essential functions of the editor.  These two lines are called the
Shortcut List.

File: nano.info,  Node: Search and Replace,  Next: Using the Mouse,  Prev: Screen Layout,  Up: Editor Basics

4.6 Search and Replace
======================

One can search the current buffer for the occurrence of any string with
the Search command (default key binding: '^W').  The default search mode
is forward, case-insensitive, and for literal strings.  But one can
search backwards by pressing 'M-B', search case sensitively with 'M-C',
and interpret regular expressions in the search string with 'M-R'.

   A regular expression in a search string always covers just one line;
it cannot span multiple lines.  And when replacing (with '^\' or 'M-R')
the replacement string cannot contain a newline (LF).

File: nano.info,  Node: Using the Mouse,  Next: Limitations,  Prev: Search and Replace,  Up: Editor Basics

4.7 Using the Mouse
===================

When mouse support has been configured and enabled, a single mouse click
places the cursor at the indicated position.  Clicking a second time in
the same position toggles the mark.  Clicking in the shortcut list
executes the selected shortcut.  To be able to select text with the left
button, or paste text with the middle button, hold down the Shift key
during those actions.

   The mouse will work in the X Window System, and on the console when
gpm is running.

File: nano.info,  Node: Limitations,  Prev: Using the Mouse,  Up: Editor Basics

4.8 Limitations
===============

Justifications ('^J') are not yet covered by the general undo system.
So after a justification that is not immediately undone, earlier edits
cannot be undone any more.  The workaround is, of course, to exit
without saving.

   The recording and playback of keyboard macros works correctly only on
a terminal emulator, not on a Linux console (VT), because the latter is
a deficient terminal.

File: nano.info,  Node: Built-in Help,  Next: Feature Toggles,  Prev: Editor Basics,  Up: Top

5 Built-in Help
***************

The built-in help system in 'nano' is available by pressing '^G'.  It is
fairly self-explanatory.  It documents the various parts of the editor
and the available keystrokes.  Navigation is via the '^Y' (Page Up) and
'^V' (Page Down) keys.  '^X' exits from the help system.

File: nano.info,  Node: Feature Toggles,  Next: Nanorc Files,  Prev: Built-in Help,  Up: Top

6 Feature Toggles
*****************

Toggles allow you to change on-the-fly certain aspects of the editor
which would normally be specified via command-line options.  They are
invoked via Meta-key sequences (*note Commands:: for more info).  The
following global toggles are available:

'Backup Files toggle'
     'Meta-B' toggles the '-B' ('--backup') command-line option.

'Constant Cursor Position Display toggle'
     'Meta-C' toggles the '-c' ('--constantshow') command-line option.

'Multiple File Buffers toggle'
     'Meta-F' toggles the '-F' ('--multibuffer') command-line option.

'Smart Home Key toggle'
     'Meta-H' toggles the '-A' ('--smarthome') command-line option.

'Auto Indent toggle'
     'Meta-I' toggles the '-i' ('--autoindent') command-line option.

'Cut From Cursor To End-of-Line toggle'
     'Meta-K' toggles the '-k' ('--cutfromcursor') command-line option.

'Long-Line Wrapping toggle'
     'Meta-L' toggles the '-w' ('--nowrap') command-line option.

'Mouse Support toggle'
     'Meta-M' toggles the '-m' ('--mouse') command-line option.

'No Conversion From DOS/Mac Format toggle'
     'Meta-N' toggles the '-N' ('--noconvert') command-line option.

'More Space For Editing toggle'
     'Meta-O' toggles the '-O' ('--morespace') command-line option.

'Whitespace Display toggle'
     'Meta-P' toggles the whitespace-display mode (*note Whitespace::).

'Tabs To Spaces toggle'
     'Meta-Q' toggles the '-E' ('--tabstospaces') command-line option.

'Smooth Scrolling toggle'
     'Meta-S' toggles the '-S' ('--smooth') command-line option.

'Expert/No Help toggle'
     'Meta-X' toggles the '-x' ('--nohelp') command-line option.

'Color Syntax Highlighting toggle'
     'Meta-Y' toggles color syntax highlighting (if your nanorc defines
     syntaxes -- *note Syntax Highlighting::).

'Suspension toggle'
     'Meta-Z' toggles the '-z' ('--suspend') command-line option.

'Line Numbers toggle'
     'Meta-#' toggles the '-l' ('--linenumbers') command-line option.

'Soft Wrapping toggle'
     'Meta-$' toggles the '-$' ('--softwrap') command-line option.

File: nano.info,  Node: Nanorc Files,  Next: The File Browser,  Prev: Feature Toggles,  Up: Top

7 Nanorc Files
**************

The nanorc files contain the default settings for 'nano'.  They 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), and then the user-specific settings, either
from '~/.nanorc' or from '$XDG_CONFIG_HOME/nano/nanorc' or from
'.config/nano/nanorc', whichever exists first.

   A nanorc 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 -- *note Syntax Highlighting:: and *note
Rebinding Keys::.  'nano' will read 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.

   Quotes inside 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 '}'.

* Menu:

* Settings::
* Syntax Highlighting::
* Rebinding Keys::

File: nano.info,  Node: Settings,  Next: Syntax Highlighting,  Up: Nanorc Files

7.1 Settings
============

The supported settings in a nanorc file are:

'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'
     Use auto-indentation.

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

'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 backwards'
     Obsolete option.  Recognized but ignored.  '^Q' is available to
     start a backward search.

'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 casesensitive'
     Do case-sensitive searches by default.

'set constantshow'
     Constantly display the cursor position on the status bar.  (The old
     form of this option, 'set const', is deprecated.)  Note that this
     overrides 'quickblank'.

'set cutfromcursor'
     Use cut-from-cursor-to-end-of-line by default, instead of cutting
     the whole line.  (The old form of this option, 'set cut', is
     deprecated.)

'set fill NUMBER'
     Hard-wrap lines at column number NUMBER.  If NUMBER is 0 or less,
     the maximum line length will be the screen width less NUMBER
     columns.  The default value is -8.  This option conflicts with
     'nowrap'; the last one given takes effect.

'set functioncolor FGCOLOR,BGCOLOR'
     Use this color combination for the concise function descriptions in
     the two help lines at the bottom of the screen.  Valid names for
     foreground and background color are: 'white', 'black', 'blue',
     'green', 'red', 'cyan', 'yellow', and 'magenta'.  The name of the
     foreground color may be prefixed with 'bright'.  And either FGCOLOR
     or ,BGCOLOR may be left out.

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

'set keycolor FGCOLOR,BGCOLOR'
     Use this color combination for the shortcut key combos in the two
     help lines at the bottom of the screen.  *Note set functioncolor::
     for valid color names.

'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'
     Use the blank line below the title bar as extra editing space.

'set mouse'
     Enable mouse support, so that mouse clicks can be used to place the
     cursor, set the mark (with a double click), or execute shortcuts.

'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 help lists at the bottom of the screen.

'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 nonewlines'
     Don't add newlines to the ends of files.

'set nowrap'
     Don't hard-wrap text at all.  This option conflicts with 'fill';
     the last one given takes effect.

'set numbercolor FGCOLOR,BGCOLOR'
     Use this color combination for line numbers.  *Note set
     functioncolor:: for valid color names.

'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.  (The old form of this option, 'set poslog', is deprecated.)

'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
     specified closing punctuation, optionally followed by closing
     brackets (see 'set 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.  Note that 'constantshow'
     overrides this.

'set quiet'
     Obsolete option.  Recognized but ignored.

'set quotestr "STRING"'
     The email-quote string, used to justify email-quoted paragraphs.
     This is an extended regular expression if your system supports
     them, otherwise a literal string.  The default value is "^([
     \\t]*[#:>\\|}])+" if you have extended regular expression support,
     and "> " otherwise.  Note that '\t' stands for a literal Tab
     character.

'set 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.

'set 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.

'set regexp'
     Do extended regular expression searches by default.

'set selectedcolor FGCOLOR,BGCOLOR'
     Use this color combination for selected text.  *Note set
     functioncolor:: for valid color names.

'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'
     Use smooth scrolling by default.

'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.  *Note
     --speller:: for details.

'set statuscolor FGCOLOR,BGCOLOR'
     Use this color combination for the status bar.  *Note set
     functioncolor:: for valid color names.

'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'
     Use this color combination for the title bar.  *Note set
     functioncolor:: for valid color names.

'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.

'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 part of a word.

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

File: nano.info,  Node: Syntax Highlighting,  Next: Rebinding Keys,  Prev: Settings,  Up: Nanorc Files

7.2 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'.

   A separate syntax can be defined for each kind of file via the
following commands in a nanorc file:

'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 'default' syntax is special: it takes no FILEREGEX, and applies
     to files that don't match any syntax's FILEREGEX.  The 'none'
     syntax 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 do a syntax check on the current file.
     (This overrides the speller function.)

'formatter PROGRAM [ARG ...]'
     Use the given PROGRAM to automatically reformat text -- useful for a
     programming language like Go.  (This overrides the speller and
     linter functions.)

'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 functions are 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
     colors for foreground and background are: white, black, red, blue,
     green, yellow, magenta, and cyan.  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 you to add a new 'color', 'icolor', 'header',
     'magic', 'comment', 'linter', or 'formatter' 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).

File: nano.info,  Node: Rebinding Keys,  Prev: Syntax Highlighting,  Up: Nanorc Files

7.3 Rebinding Keys
==================

Key bindings can be changed via the following two commands in a nanorc
file:

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

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


   The format of 'key' should be one of:

     '^'  followed by an ASCII character or the word "Space".  Example:
     '^C'.

     'M-'  followed by a ASCII character or the word "Space".  Example:
     'M-C'.

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


   Valid names for the 'function' 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.

'searchagain'
     Repeats the last search command without prompting.  (The form
     'research' is deprecated.)

'findprevious'
     As 'searchagain', but always in the backward direction.

'findnext'
     As 'searchagain', but always in the forward direction.

'replace'
     Interactively replaces text within the current buffer.

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

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

'uncut'
     Copies the currently stored text into the current buffer at the
     current cursor position.

'mark'
     Sets the mark at the current position, to start selecting text.

'cutwordleft'
     Cuts from the cursor position to the beginning of the preceding
     word.

'cutwordright'
     Cuts from the cursor position to the beginning of the next word.

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

'curpos'
     Shows the current cursor position: the line, column, and character
     positions.  (The form 'cursorpos' is deprecated.)

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

'speller'
     Invokes a spell-checking program (or a linting program, if the
     current syntax highlighting defines one).

'justify'
     Justifies the current paragraph.

'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 up one line of text from the current position.

'scrolldown'
     Scrolls down one line of text from the current position.

'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).

'gototext'
     Switches from targeting a line number to searching for text.

'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 case sensitivity in searching (search/replace menus only).

'regexp'
     Toggles whether searching/replacing is based on literal strings or
     regular expressions.  (The form 'regex' is deprecated.)

'backwards'
     Toggles whether searching/replacing goes forward or backward.

'prevhistory'
     Shows the previous history entry in the prompt menus (e.g. search).

'nexthistory'
     Shows the next history entry in the prompt menus (e.g. search).

'flipreplace'
     Toggles between searching for something and replacing something.
     (The form 'dontreplace' is deprecated.)

'flipexecute'
     Toggles between inserting a file and executing a command.

'flipnewbuffer'
     Toggles between inserting into the current buffer and into a new
     empty buffer.  (The form 'newbuffer' is deprecated.)

'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.

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

'morespace'
     Toggles the presence of the blank line that 'separates' the title
     bar from the file text.

'smoothscroll'
     Toggles smooth scrolling (when moving around with the arrow keys).

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

'whitespacedisplay'
     Toggles the showing of whitespace.

'nosyntax'
     Toggles syntax highlighting.

'smarthome'
     Toggles the smartness of the Home key.

'autoindent'
     Toggles whether new lines will contain the same amount of
     whitespace as the preceding line.

'cuttoend'
     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.

'backupfile'
     Toggles whether a backup will be made of the file to be edited.

'multibuffer'
     Toggles whether a file is inserted into the current buffer or read
     into a new buffer.

'mouse'
     Toggles mouse support.

'noconvert'
     Toggles automatic conversion of files from DOS/Mac format.

'suspendenable'
     Toggles whether the suspend shortcut (normally '^Z') will suspend
     the editor.


   Valid names for 'menu' 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'.
     (The form 'replace2' is deprecated.)

'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.

File: nano.info,  Node: The File Browser,  Next: Pico Compatibility,  Prev: Nanorc Files,  Up: Top

8 The File Browser
******************

When reading or writing files, pressing '^T' will invoke the file
browser.  Here, one can navigate directories in a graphical manner in
order to find the desired file.

   Basic movement in the file browser is accomplished with the arrow
keys, page up, and page down.  More advanced movement is accomplished by
searching via '^W' (or 'w'' and changing directories via '^_' (or 'g').
The behavior of the 'Enter' key (or 's') varies by what is currently
selected.  If the currently selected object is a directory, the file
browser will enter and display the contents of the directory.  If the
object is a file, this filename and path are copied to the status bar,
and the file browser exits.

File: nano.info,  Node: Pico Compatibility,  Next: Building and Configure Options,  Prev: The File Browser,  Up: Top

9 Pico Compatibility
********************

'nano' attempts to emulate Pico as closely as possible, but there are
some differences between the editors:

'Interactive Replace'
     Instead of allowing you to replace either just one occurrence of a
     search string or all of them, 'nano''s replace function is
     interactive: it will pause at each found search string and query
     whether to replace this instance.  You can then choose Yes, or No
     (skip this one), or All (don't ask any more), or Cancel (stop with
     replacing).

'Search and Replace History'
     When the option '-H' or '--historylog' is given (or set in the a
     nanorc file), text entered as search or replace strings is stored.
     These strings can be accessed with the up/down arrow keys, or you
     can type the first few characters and then use 'Tab' to cycle
     through the matching strings.  A retrieved string can subsequently
     be edited.

'Position History'
     When the option '-P' or '--positionlog' is given (or set in a
     nanorc file), 'nano' will store the position of the cursor when you
     close a file, and will place the cursor in that position again when
     you later reopen the file.

'Current Cursor Position'
     The output of the "Display Cursor Position" command ('^C') displays
     not only the current line and character position of the cursor, but
     also (between the two) the current column position.

'Spell Checking'
     In the internal spell checker misspelled words are sorted
     alphabetically and trimmed for uniqueness, such that the words
     'apple' and 'Apple' will be prompted for correction separately.

'Writing Selected Text to Files'
     When using the Write-Out key ('^O'), text that has been selected
     using the marking key ('^^') can not just be written out to a new
     (or existing) file, it can also be appended or prepended to an
     existing file.

'Reading Text from a Command'
     When using the Read-File key ('^R'), 'nano' can not just read a
     file, it can also read the output of a command to be run ('^X').

'Reading from Working Directory'
     By default, Pico will read files from the user's home directory
     (when using '^R'), but it will write files to the current working
     directory (when using '^O').  'nano' makes this symmetrical: always
     reading from and writing to the current working directory -- the
     directory that 'nano' was started in.

'File Browser'
     In the file browser, 'nano' does not implement the Add, Copy,
     Rename, and Delete commands that Pico provides.  In 'nano' the
     browser is just a file browser, not a file manager.

'Toggles'
     Many options which alter the functionality of the program can be
     "toggled" on or off using Meta key sequences, meaning the program
     does not have to be restarted to turn a particular feature on or
     off.  *Note Feature Toggles:: for a list of options that can be
     toggled.  Or see the list at the end of the main internal help text
     ('^G') instead.

File: nano.info,  Node: Building and Configure Options,  Prev: Pico Compatibility,  Up: Top

10 Building and Configure Options
*********************************

Building 'nano' from source is fairly straightforward if you are
familiar with compiling programs with autoconf support:

       tar xvzf nano-x.y.z.tar.gz
       cd nano-x.y.z
       ./configure
       make
       make install

   The possible options to './configure' are:

'--disable-browser'
     Disable the mini file browser that can be called with '^T' when
     reading or writing files.

'--disable-color'
     Disable support for the syntax coloring of files.  This also
     eliminates the '-Y' command-line option, which chooses a specific
     syntax.

'--disable-comment'
     Disable the single-keystroke comment/uncomment function ('M-3').

'--disable-extra'
     Disable the Easter egg: a crawl of major contributors.

'--disable-help'
     Disable the help function.  Doing this makes the binary much
     smaller, but makes it difficult for new users to learn more than
     very basic things about using the editor.

'--disable-histories'
     Disable the code for the handling of the history files: the search
     and replace strings that were used, and the cursor position at
     which each file was closed.  This also eliminates the '-H' and '-P'
     command-line options, which switch on the logging of search/replace
     strings and cursor positions.

'--disable-justify'
     Disable the justify and unjustify functions.

'--disable-libmagic'
     Disable the use of the library of magic-number tests (for
     determining the file type and thus which syntax to use for
     colouring -- often the tests on filename extension and header line
     will be enough).

'--disable-linenumbers'
     Disable the line-numbering function ('M-#').  This also eliminates
     the '-l' command-line option, which turns line numbering on.

'--disable-mouse'
     Disable all mouse functionality.  This also eliminates the '-m'
     command-line option, which enables the mouse functionality.

'--disable-multibuffer'
     Disable support for opening multiple files at a time and switching
     between them on the fly.  This also eliminates the '-F'
     command-line option, which causes a file to be read into a separate
     buffer by default.

'--disable-nanorc'
     Disable support for reading the nanorc files at startup.  With such
     support, you can store custom settings in a system-wide and a
     per-user nanorc file rather than having to pass command-line
     options to get the desired behavior.  *Note Nanorc Files:: for more
     info.  Disabling this also eliminates the '-I' command-line option,
     which inhibits the reading of nanorc files.

'--disable-operatingdir'
     Disable setting the operating directory.  This also eliminates the
     '-o' command-line option, which sets the operating directory.

'--disable-speller'
     Disable use of the spell checker.  This also eliminates the '-s'
     command-line option, which allows specifying an alternate spell
     checker.

'--disable-tabcomp'
     Disable tab completion (when nano asks for a filename or a search
     string).

'--disable-wordcomp'
     Disable word completion ('^]').

'--disable-wrapping'
     Disable all hard-wrapping of overlong lines.  This also eliminates
     the '-w' command-line option, which switches long-line wrapping
     off.

'--enable-tiny'
     This option implies all of the above.  It also disables some other
     internals of the editor, like the marking code, the
     cut-to-end-of-line code, and the function toggles.  By using the
     enabling counterpart of the above options together with
     '--enable-tiny', specific features can be switched back on -- but a
     few cannot.

'--enable-debug'
     Enable support for runtime debug output.  This can get pretty
     messy, so chances are you only want this feature when you're
     working on the nano source.

'--disable-nls'
     Disables Native Language support.  This will disable the use of any
     available GNU 'nano' translations.

'--disable-wrapping-as-root'
     Disable hard-wrapping of overlong lines by default when 'nano' is
     run as root.

'--enable-utf8'
     Enable support for reading and writing Unicode files.  This will
     require either a wide version of curses, or a UTF-8-enabled version
     of Slang.

'--disable-utf8'
     Disable support for reading and writing Unicode files.  Normally
     the configure script auto-detects whether to enable UTF-8 support
     or not.  You can use this or the previous option to override that
     detection.

'--enable-altrcname=NAME'
     Use the file with the given NAME (in the user's home directory) as
     nano's settings file, instead of the default '.nanorc'.

'--with-slang'
     Compile 'nano' against Slang instead of against ncurses or other
     curses libraries.



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