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 NANO(1)                         August 2019                         NANO(1)
                                 version 4.4

      nano - Nano's ANOther editor, inspired by Pico

      nano [options] [[+line[,column

      nano [options] [[+[

      Starting with version 4.0, nano no longer hard-wraps an overlong line
      by default.  It further uses smooth scrolling by default, and by
      default includes the line below the title bar into the editing area.

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

      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.
      The cursor can be put on the first or last occurrence of a specific
      string by specifying that string after +/ or +? before the filename.
      The string can be made case sensitive and/or caused to be interpreted
      as a regular expression by inserting c and/or r after the + sign.
      These search modes can be explicitly disabled by using the uppercase
      variant of those letters: C and/or R.  When the string contains
      spaces, it needs to be enclosed in quotes.  To give an example: to
      open a file at the first occurrence of the word "Foo", one would do:

          nano +c/Foo file

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

      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

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      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

      -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

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           executed commands, so they can be easily reused in later

      -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 text does not end with
           one.  (This can cause you to save non-POSIX text 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
           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

      -Q 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.

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           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,
           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

      -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).

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      -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

      -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.

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      -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 [arg...]", --speller="program [arg...]"
           Use this alternative command to perform spell checking.

      -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

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           specify this option last when using other options (e.g. 'nano
           -wS$') or pass it separately (e.g. 'nano -wS -$').

      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.

      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.

      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
      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.

      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:

      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.


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

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