nano.1   [plain text]

.\" Hey, EMACS: -*- nroff -*-
.\" nano.1 is copyright (C) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 by
.\" Chris Allegretta <>
.\" This is free documentation, see the latest version of the GNU General
.\" Public License for copying conditions. There is NO warranty.
.\" $Id: nano.1,v 1.41 2003/06/29 02:25:46 dolorous Exp $
.TH NANO 1 "June 19, 2003"
.\" Please adjust this date whenever revising the manpage.

nano \- Nano's ANOther editor, an enhanced free Pico clone

.B nano
.I [\+LINE]\ [options]\ [file]

This manual page documents briefly the \fBnano\fP command.
.\" TeX users may be more comfortable with the \fB<whatever>\fP and
.\" \fI<whatever>\fP escape sequences to invoke bold face and italics, 
.\" respectively.
\fBnano\fP is a small, free and friendly editor which aims to replace
Pico, the default editor included in the non-free Pine package. Rather
than just copying Pico's look and feel, \fBnano\fP also implements some
missing (or disabled by default) features in Pico, such as "search and
replace" and "go to line number".

.B \+\fILINE\fP
Places cursor at \fILINE\fP on startup.
.B \-B (\-\-backup)
When saving a file, back up the previous version of it to the current
filename suffixed with a ~.
.B \-D (\-\-dos)
Write file in DOS format.
.B \-F (\-\-multibuffer)
Enable multiple file buffers, if available.
.B \-H (\-\-historylog)
Log search and replace strings to
.I ~/.nano_history
so they may be stored for later editing, if nanorc support is 
.B \-I (\-\-ignorercfiles)
Don't look at
.IR ~/.nanorc ,
if nanorc support is available.
.B \-K (\-\-keypad)
Do not use the ncurses keypad() call unless necessary.  Try this flag if
you find that the arrow keys on the numeric keypad do not work for you
under nano.
.B \-M (\-\-mac)
Write file in Mac format.
.B \-N (\-\-noconvert)
Disable automatic conversion of files from DOS/Mac format.
.B \-Q \fIstr\fP (\-\-quotestr=\fIstr\fP)
Set the quoting string for justifying.  The default is
"^([\ \\t]*[|>:}#])+" if regular expression support is available, or
">\ " otherwise.
.B \-R (\-\-regexp)
Enable regular expression matching for search strings, as well as
\\n subexpression replacement for replace strings, if available.
.B \-S (\-\-smooth)
Enable smooth scrolling. Text will scroll line-by-line, instead of the
usual chunk-by-chunk behavior.
.B \-T \fInum\fP (\-\-tabsize=\fInum\fP)
Set the size (width) of a tab.
.B \-V (\-\-version)
Show the current version number and author.
.B \-Y \fIstr\fP (\-\-syntax=\fIstr\fP)
Specify a specific syntax highlighting from the
.I .nanorc
to use, if available.
.B \-c (\-\-const)
Constantly show the cursor position.
.B \-h (\-\-help)
Display a summary of command line options.
.B \-i (\-\-autoindent)
Indent new lines to the previous line's indentation. Useful when editing
source code.
.B \-k (\-\-cut)
Enable cut from cursor to end of line with ^K.
.B \-l (\-\-nofollow)
If the file being edited is a symbolic link, replace the link with
a new file, do not follow it.  Good for editing files in
.IR /tmp ,
.B \-m (\-\-mouse)
Enable mouse support (if available for your system).
.B \-o \fIdir\fP (\-\-operatingdir=\fIdir\fP)
Set operating directory. Makes nano set up something similar to a
.B \-p (\-\-preserve)
Preserve the XON and XOFF sequences (^Q and ^S) so they will be 
caught by the terminal.
.B \-r \fIcols\fP (\-\-fill=\fIcols\fP)
Wrap lines at column \fIcols\fP.  By default, this is the width of the
screen, less eight.  If this value is negative, wrapping will occur at
\fIcols\fP columns from the right of the screen, allowing the wrap point 
to vary along with the screen width if resized.
.B \-s \fIprog\fP (\-\-speller=\fIprog\fP)
Enable alternative spell checker command.
.B \-t (\-\-tempfile)
Always save changed buffer without prompting.  Same as Pico -t option.
.B \-v (\-\-view)
View file (read only) mode.
.B \-w (\-\-nowrap)
Disable wrapping of long lines.
.B \-x (\-\-nohelp)
Disable help screen at bottom of editor.
.B \-z (\-\-suspend)
Enable suspend ability.
.B \-a, \-b, \-e, \-f, \-g, \-j
Ignored, for compatibility with Pico.

\fBnano\fP will read initialization files in the following 
.IR $SYSCONFDIR/nanorc ,
.IR ~/.nanorc .
Please see
.BR nanorc (5)
and the example file \fBnanorc.sample\fP which should be provided with 

\fBnano\fP will try to dump the buffer into an emergency file in some
cases.  Mainly, this will happen if \fBnano\fP receives a SIGHUP or
SIGTERM or runs out of memory, when it will write the buffer into a file
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, ".save" and a number (e.g. ".save.1") 
will be suffixed to the current filename in order to make it unique. In 
multibuffer mode, \fBnano\fP will write all the open buffers to the 
respective emergency files.

Please send any comments or bug reports to
.BR .

The \fBnano\fP mailing list is available from
.BR .

To subscribe, email to
with a subject of "subscribe".


.PD 0
\fI/usr/share/doc/nano/\fP (or equivalent on your system)

Chris Allegretta <>, et al (see
for details). This manual page was originally written by Jordi Mallach
<>, for the Debian GNU system (but may be
used by others).