nano.1   [plain text]

.\" Hey, EMACS: -*- nroff -*-
.\" nano.1 is Copyright (C) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005,
.\" 2006 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 1.50 2006/10/28 19:21:12 dolorous Exp $
.TH NANO 1 "version 2.0.0" "October 28, 2006"
.\" Please adjust this date whenever revising the manpage.

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

.B nano

This manual page briefly documents 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 and column number".

Places cursor at line number \fILINE\fP and column number \fICOLUMN\fP
(at least one of which must be specified) on startup, instead of the
default of line 1, column 1.
.B \-?
Same as \fB-h (\-\-help)\fP.
.B \-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
.B \-B (\-\-backup)
When saving a file, back up the previous version of it to the current
filename suffixed with a ~.
.B \-C \fIdir\fP (\-\-backupdir=\fIdir\fP)
Set the directory where \fBnano\fP puts unique backup files if file
backups are enabled.
.B \-D (\-\-boldtext)
Use bold text instead of reverse video text.
.B \-E (\-\-tabstospaces)
Convert typed tabs to spaces.
.B \-F (\-\-multibuffer)
Enable multiple file buffers, if available.
.B \-H (\-\-historylog)
Log search and replace strings to \fI~/.nano_history\fP, so they can be
retrieved in later sessions, if nanorc support is available.
.B \-I (\-\-ignorercfiles)
Don't look at \fISYSCONFDIR/nanorc\fP or \fI~/.nanorc\fP, if nanorc
support is available.
.B \-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.
.B \-L (\-\-nonewlines)
Don't add newlines to the ends of files.
.B \-N (\-\-noconvert)
Disable automatic conversion of files from DOS/Mac format.
.B \-O (\-\-morespace)
Use the blank line below the titlebar as extra editing space.
.B \-Q \fIstr\fP (\-\-quotestr=\fIstr\fP)
Set the quoting string for justifying.  The default is
"\fI^([\ \\t]*[#:>\\|}])+\fP" if extended regular expression support is
available, or "\fI>\ \fP" otherwise.  Note that \fI\\t\fP stands for a
.B \-R (\-\-restricted)
Restricted mode: don't read or write to any file not specified on the
command line; read any nanorc files; allow suspending; allow a file
to be appended to, prepended to, or saved under a different name if it
already has one; or use backup files or spell checking.  Also accessible
by invoking \fBnano\fP with any name beginning with 'r' (e.g. "rnano").
.B \-S (\-\-smooth)
Enable smooth scrolling.  Text will scroll line-by-line, instead of the
usual chunk-by-chunk behavior.
.B \-T \fIcols\fP (\-\-tabsize=\fIcols\fP)
Set the size (width) of a tab to \fIcols\fP columns.  The value of
\fIcols\fP must be greater than 0.  The default value is 8.
.B \-U (\-\-quickblank)
Do quick statusbar blanking.  Statusbar messages will disappear after 1
keystroke instead of 25.  Note that \fB-c\fP overrides this.
.B \-V (\-\-version)
Show the current version number and exit.
.B \-W (\-\-wordbounds)
Detect word boundaries more accurately by treating punctuation
characters as part of a word.
.B \-Y \fIstr\fP (\-\-syntax=\fIstr\fP)
Specify a specific syntax highlighting from the \fInanorc\fP to use, if
.B \-c (\-\-const)
Constantly show the cursor position.  Note that this overrides \fB-U\fP.
.B \-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.
.B \-h (\-\-help)
Show a summary of command line options and exit.
.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.
.B \-l (\-\-nofollow)
If the file being edited is a symbolic link, replace the link with
a new file instead of following it.  Good for editing files in
\fI/tmp\fP, perhaps?
.B \-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.
.B \-o \fIdir\fP (\-\-operatingdir=\fIdir\fP)
Set operating directory.  Makes \fBnano\fP 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.  If this value is 0 or less, wrapping
will occur at the width of the screen less \fIcols\fP columns, allowing
the wrap point to vary along with the width of the screen if the screen
is resized.  The default value is -8.
.B \-s \fIprog\fP (\-\-speller=\fIprog\fP)
Enable alternative spell checker command.
.B \-t (\-\-tempfile)
Always save changed buffer without prompting.  Same as Pico's \fB-t\fP
.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 order:
\fISYSCONFDIR/nanorc\fP, then \fI~/.nanorc\fP.  Please see
\fBnanorc(5)\fP and the example file \fBnanorc.sample\fP, both of which
should be provided with \fBnano\fP.

If no alternative spell checker command is specified on the command
line or in one of the nanorc files, \fBnano\fP will check the
\fBSPELL\fP environment variable for one.

In some cases \fBnano\fP will try to dump the buffer into an emergency
file.  This will happen mainly if \fBnano\fP receives a SIGHUP or
SIGTERM or runs out of memory.  It will write the buffer into a file
named \\fP 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, \fBnano\fP will write all the open
buffers to their respective emergency files.

Please send any comments or bug reports to \\fP.

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

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


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

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