nano Help
Linux Commands - Shells

Nano provides a help option that contains most of the solutions to possible questions you might have.


Lesson 2 | Lesson 4

Use ^G and the help file will open.   You may be a little concerned about how to move around in this file. Note the commands have changed at the bottom of the screen.

nano help

Get some practice moving around in the file by using the ^V and ^Y to move by page and use ^P and ^N to move by line.

Now the Meta  Key is represented by an "M".  The Meta key can use several options but the first one to try is whenever you see the "M" it means the Alt key. So if you want to go the first line in the file use Alt+-\ and the last line in the file is Alt+-/.

nano help text

The nano editor is designed to emulate the functionality and ease-of-use of
the UW Pico text editor.  There are four main sections of the editor.  The top
line shows the program version, the current filename being edited, and whether
or not the file has been modified.  Next is the main editor window showing the
file being edited.  The status line is the third line from the bottom and
shows important messages.  The bottom two lines show the most commonly used
shortcuts in the editor.

The notation for shortcuts is as follows: Control-key sequences are notated
with a caret (^) symbol and can be entered either by using the Control (Ctrl)
key or pressing the Escape (Esc) key twice.  Escape-key sequences are notated
with the Meta (M) symbol and can be entered using either the Esc, Alt, or Meta
key depending on your keyboard setup.  Also, pressing Esc twice and then
typing a three-digit decimal number from 000 to 255 will enter the character
with the corresponding value.  The following keystrokes are available in the
main editor window.  Alternative keys are shown in parentheses:

^G      (F1)            Display this help text
^X      (F2)            Close the current file buffer / Exit from nano
^O      (F3)            Write the current file to disk
^J      (F4)            Justify the current paragraph

^R      (F5)            Insert another file into the current one
^W      (F6)            Search for a string or a regular expression
^Y      (F7)            Move to the previous screen
^V      (F8)            Move to the next screen

^K      (F9)            Cut the current line and store it in the cutbuffer
^U      (F10)           Uncut from the cutbuffer into the current line
^C      (F11)           Display the position of the cursor
^T      (F12)           Invoke the spell checker, if available

^_      (F13)   (M-G)   Go to line and column number
^\      (F14)   (M-R)   Replace a string or a regular expression
^^      (F15)   (M-A)   Mark text at the cursor position
(F16)   (M-W)   Repeat last search
M-^             (M-6)   Copy the current line and store it in the cutbuffer
M-}                     Indent marked text
M-{                     Unindent marked text

^F                      Move forward one character
^B                      Move back one character
^Space                  Move forward one word
M-Space                 Move back one word
^P                      Move to the previous line
^N                      Move to the next line

^A                      Move to the beginning of the current line
^E                      Move to the end of the current line
M-(             (M-9)   Move to the beginning of the current paragraph
M-)             (M-0)   Move to the end of the current paragraph
M-\             (M-|)   Move to the first line of the file
M-/             (M-?)   Move to the last line of the file

M-]                     Move to the matching bracket
M--             (M-_)   Scroll up one line without scrolling the cursor
M-+             (M-=)   Scroll down one line without scrolling the cursor

M-<             (M-,)   Switch to the previous file buffer
M->             (M-.)   Switch to the next file buffer

M-V                     Insert the next keystroke verbatim
^I                      Insert a tab at the cursor position
^M                      Insert a newline at the cursor position
^D                      Delete the character under the cursor
^H                      Delete the character to the left of the cursor
M-T                     Cut from the cursor position to the end of the file

M-J                     Justify the entire file
M-D                     Count the number of words, lines, and characters
^L                      Refresh (redraw) the current screen

M-X                     Help mode enable/disable
M-C                     Constant cursor position display enable/disable
M-O                     Use of more space for editing enable/disable
M-S                     Smooth scrolling enable/disable
M-P                     Whitespace display enable/disable
M-Y                     Color syntax highlighting enable/disable

M-H                     Smart home key enable/disable
M-I                     Auto indent enable/disable
M-K                     Cut to end enable/disable
M-L                     Long line wrapping enable/disable
M-Q                     Conversion of typed tabs to spaces enable/disable

M-B                     Backup files enable/disable
M-F                     Multiple file buffers enable/disable
M-M                     Mouse support enable/disable
M-N                     No conversion from DOS/Mac format enable/disable
M-Z                     Suspension enable/disable



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