nanorc.5   [plain text]

.\" Hey, EMACS: -*- nroff -*-
.\" nanorc.5 is Copyright (C) 2003 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
.\" This is free documentation, see the latest version of the GNU General
.\" Public License for copying conditions. There is NO warranty.
.\" $Id: nanorc.5,v 1.6 2003/06/29 02:25:46 dolorous Exp $
.TH NANORC 5 "June 19, 2003"
.\" Please adjust this date whenever revising the manpage.
nanorc \- GNU nano's rcfile
This manual page documents GNU \fBnano\fP's rcfile.
\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".
The \fInanorc\fP file contains the default settings for \fBnano\fP. 
During startup, \fBnano\fP will first read its system-wide settings from
.IR $SYSCONFDIR/nanorc ,
and then user-specific settings from
.IR ~/.nanorc .

The configuration file accepts a series of "set" and "unset" commands,
which can be used to configure nano on startup without using the
command-line options. Additionally, the "syntax" and "color" keywords
are used to define syntax highlighting rules for different text patterns.
GNU nano will read one command per line.

Options in rcfiles take precedence over nano's defaults, and command line
options override rcfile settings.

Options are unset by default, except for options that take an argument.

The supported commands and arguments are:

.TP 3
\fBset/unset autoindent\fP
Use auto-indentation.
\fBset/unset backup\fP
Create backup files in
.IR filename~ .
\fBset/unset const\fP
Constantly display the cursor position in the status bar.
\fBset/unset cut\fP
Use cut to end of line with ^K by default.
\fBset fill \fIn\fP\fP
Wrap lines at column number \fIn\fP.  If \fIn\fP is 0 or less, the line
length will be the screen width less \fIn\fP.  The default value is -8.
\fBset/unset historylog\fP
.I ~/.nano_history
for saving and reading search/replace strings.
\fBset/unset keypad\fP
Use alternate keypad routines.
\fBset/unset multibuffer\fP
Allow inserting files into their own buffers.
\fBset/unset noconvert\fP
Don't convert files from DOS/Mac format.
\fBset/unset nofollow\fP
Don't follow symlinks when writing files.
\fBset/unset nohelp\fP
Don't display the help lists at the bottom of the screen.
\fBset/unset nowrap\fP
Don't wrap text at all.
\fBset operatingdir "\fIdirectory\fP"\fP
\fBnano\fP will only read and write files inside \fIdirectory\fP and its
subdirectories.  Also, the current directory is changed to here, so files
are inserted from this dir.  By default the operating directory feature is
turned off.
\fBset/unset preserve\fP
Preserve the XON and XOFF keys (^Q and ^S).
\fBset quotestr "\fIstring\fP"\fP
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

	set quotestr "^([\ \\t]*[|>:}#])+"

if you have regexps, otherwise set quotestr ">\ ".  Note that '\\t' 
above stands for a literal Tab character.
\fBset/unset regexp\fP
Do regular expression searches by default.
\fBset/unset smooth\fP
Use smooth scrolling by default.
\fBset speller \fIspellprog\fP\fP
Use spelling checker \fIspellprog\fP instead of the built-in one, which
calls \fIspell\fP.
\fBset/unset suspend\fP
Allow nano to be suspended with ^Z.
\fBset tabsize \fIn\fP\fP
Use a tab size of \fIn\fP instead of the default (8); must be greater 
than 0.
\fBset/unset tempfile\fP
Save automatically on exit, don't prompt.
\fBset/unset view\fP
Disallow file modification.
.B syntax "\fIstr\fP" ["\fIfileregex\fP" ... ]
Defines a syntax named \fIstr\fP which can be activated via the 
\fB-Y\fP flag, or will be automatically activated if the current 
filename matches \fIfileregex\fP.  All following \fBcolor\fP statements 
will apply to \fIsyntax\fP until a new syntax is defined.
.B color \fIfgcolor\fP[,\fIbgcolor\fP] "\fIregex\fP" ...
For the currently defined syntax, display all expressions matching 
\fIregex\fP with foreground color \fIfgcolor\fP and optional background 
color \fIbgcolor\fP. Legal colors for foreground and background color are: 
white, black, red, blue, green, yellow, magenta, and cyan.  You may use 
the prefix "bright" to force a stronger color highlight.  If your 
terminal supports transparency, not specifying a \fIbgcolor\fP tells 
\fBnano\fP to attempt to use a transparent background.
.B color \fIfgcolor\fP[,\fIbgcolor\fP] start="\fIsr\fP" end="\fIer\fP"
Display expressions which start with \fIsr\fP and end with \fIer\fP 
with foreground color \fIfgcolor\fP and optional 
background color \fIbgcolor\fP.  This allows syntax highlighting to span 
multiple lines.  Note that all subsequent instances of \fIsr\fP after 
an initial \fIsr\fP is found will be highlighted until the first 
instance of \fIer\fP.

System-wide configuration file
.I ~/.nanorc
Per-user configuration file
.PD 0
\fI/usr/share/doc/nano/examples/nanorc.sample\fP (or equivalent on your 
Chris Allegretta <>, et al (see
for details).
This manual page was written by Jordi Mallach <>.