Friday, July 25, 2014

pico: One Alternative to vi in Linux/Unix

  • pico is a simple text editor based upon the Pine Message/mail System. It is far easier to use than vi, with the tradeoff that is isn't as powerful.
  • Editing commands are entered using control-key combinations. The most important commands are displayed at the bottom of the screen, facilitating ease of use.
  • To start pico, simply use the command "pico" followed by the name of the file you wish to edit. If the file exists, pico will start with that file. If it does not exist, then pico will assume that it is a new file.
  • The basic commands provided by pico include:
  •      CTRL-G   - get help 
         CTRL-X   - exit 
         CTRL-O   - write out to a file 
         CTRL-J   - justify text 
         CTRL-R   - read a file 
         CTRL-W   - where is (search) 
         CTRL-Y   - previous page 
         CTRL-V   - next page 
         CTRL-^   - mark cursor position as start of selected text
         CTRL-K   - cut text 
         CTRL-U   - uncut text / paste 
         CTRL-T   - check spelling 
         CTRL-C   - cursor position information 
         CTRL-F   - move forward a character
         CTRL-B   - move backward a character
         CTRL-P   - move to the previous line
         CTRL-N   - move to the next line
         CTRL-A   - move to the beginning of the current line
         CTRL-E   - move to the end of the current line
         CTRL-L   - refresh the display
         CTRL-D   - delete the character at the cursor position
         CTRL-I   - insert a tab at the current cursor position
         Note that cursor positioning can also be accomplished by 
         using the up, down, right and left arrow keys.
  • A few additional comments/notes:
    • The manner in which lines longer than the display width are dealt is not immediately obvious. Lines that continue beyond the edge of the display are indicated by a '$' character at the end of the line. Long lines are scrolled horizontally as the cursor moves through them.
    • Context sensitive help is a feature included with pico.
    • A file browser is included as part of the "write" and "read" file commands.
  • For additional details, see the pico man page.



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