Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Man Pages

Man Page or Keyword Search:
Man Architecture
Apropos Keyword Search (all sections) Output format
home | help
ED(1)			FreeBSD	General	Commands Manual			 ED(1)

NAME
     ed	-- text	editor

SYNOPSIS
     ed	[-] [-sx] [-p string] [file]

DESCRIPTION
     Ed	is a line-oriented text	editor.	 It is used to create, display,	modify
     and otherwise manipulate text files.

     If	invoked	with a file argument, then a copy of file is read into the
     editor's buffer.  Changes are made	to this	copy and not directly to file
     itself.  Upon quitting ed,	any changes not	explicitly saved  with a w
     command are lost.

     Editing is	done in	two distinct modes: command and	input.	When first
     invoked, ed is in command mode.  In this mode commands are	read from the
     standard input and	executed to manipulate the contents of the editor
     buffer.  A	typical	command	might look like:

     ,s/old/new/g

     which replaces all	occurrences of the string old with new.

     When an input command, such as a (append),	i (insert) or c	(change), is
     given, ed enters input mode.  This	is the primary means of	adding text to
     a file.  In this mode, no commands	are available; instead,	the standard
     input is written directly to the editor buffer.  Lines consist of text up
     to	and including a	newline	character.  Input mode is terminated by	enter-
     ing a single period (.)  on a line.

     All ed commands operate on	whole lines or ranges of lines;	e.g., the d
     command deletes lines; the	m command moves	lines, and so on.  It is pos-
     sible to modify only a portion of a line by means of replacement, as in
     the example above.	 However even here, the	s command is applied to	whole
     lines at a	time.

     In	general, ed commands consist of	zero or	more line addresses, followed
     by	a single character command and possibly	additional parameters; i.e.,
     commands have the structure:

     [address [,address]]command[parameters]

     The address(es) indicate the line or range	of lines to be affected	by the
     command.  If fewer	addresses are given than the command accepts, then
     default addresses are supplied.

OPTIONS
     The following options are available:

     -s	     Suppress diagnostics. This	should be used if ed's standard	input
	     is	from a script.

     -x	     Prompt for	an encryption key to be	used in	subsequent reads and
	     writes (see the x command).

     -p	string
	     Specify a command prompt.	This may be toggled on and off with
	     the P command.

     file    Specify the name of a file	to read.  If file is prefixed with a
	     bang (!), then it is interpreted as a shell command.  In this
	     case, what	is read	is the standard	output of file executed	via
	     sh(1).  To	read a file whose name begins with a bang, prefix the
	     name with a backslash (\).	 The default filename is set to	file
	     only if it	is not prefixed	with a bang.

LINE ADDRESSING
     An	address	represents the number of a line	in the buffer.	Ed maintains a
     current address which is typically	supplied to commands as	the default
     address when none is specified.  When a file is first read,  the current
     address is	set to the last	line of	the file.  In general, the current
     address is	set to the last	line affected by a command.

     A line address is constructed from	one of the bases in the	list below,
     optionally	followed by a numeric offset.  The offset may include any com-
     bination of digits, operators (i.e., +, - and ^) and whitespace.
     Addresses are read	from left to right, and	their values are computed rel-
     ative to the current address.

     One exception to the rule that addresses represent	line numbers is	the
     address 0 (zero).	This means "before the first line," and	is legal wher-
     ever it makes sense.

     An	address	range is two addresses separated either	by a comma or semi-
     colon. The	value of the first address in a	range cannot exceed the	value
     of	the second.  If	only one address is given in a range, then the second
     address is	set to the given address.  If an n-tuple of addresses is given
     where n _ 2, then the corresponding range is determined by	the last two
     addresses in the n-tuple. If only one address is expected,	then the last
     address is	used.

     Each address in a comma-delimited range is	interpreted relative to	the
     current address.  In a semi-colon-delimited range,	the first address is
     used to set the current address, and the second address is	interpreted
     relative to the first.

     The following address symbols are recognized:

     .	     The current line (address)	in the buffer.

     $	     The last line in the buffer.

     n	     The nth, line in the buffer where n is a number in	the range
	     [0,$].

     - or ^  The previous line.	 This is equivalent to -1 and may be repeated
	     with cumulative effect.

     -n	or ^n
	     The nth previous line, where n is a non-negative number.

     +	     The next line.  This is equivalent	to +1 and may be repeated with
	     cumulative	effect.

     +n	     The nth next line,	where n	is a non-negative number.

     , or %  The first through last lines in the buffer.  This is equivalent
	     to	the address range 1,$.

     ;	     The current through last lines in the buffer.  This is equivalent
	     to	the address range .,$.

     /re/    The next line containing the regular expression re.  The search
	     wraps to the beginning of the buffer and continues	down to	the
	     current line, if necessary.  // repeats the last search.

     ?re?    The previous line containing the regular expression re.  The
	     search wraps to the end of	the buffer and continues up to the
	     current line, if necessary.  ?? repeats the last search.

     'lc     The line previously marked	by a k (mark) command, where lc	is a
	     lower case	letter.

REGULAR	EXPRESSIONS
     Regular expressions are patterns used in selecting	text.  For example,
     the command:

     g/string/

     prints all	lines containing string.  Regular expressions are also used by
     the s command for selecting old text to be	replaced with new.

     In	addition to a specifying string	literals, regular expressions can rep-
     resent classes of strings.	 Strings thus represented are said to be
     matched by	the corresponding regular expression.  If it is	possible for a
     regular expression	to match several strings in a line, then the left-most
     longest match is the one selected.

     The following symbols are used in constructing regular expressions:

     c	     Any character c not listed	below, including `{', '}', `(',	`)',
	     `<' and `>', matches itself.

     \c	     Any backslash-escaped character c,	except for `{',	'}', `(', `)',
	     `<' and `>', matches itself.

     .	     Match any single character.

     [char-class]
	     Match any single character	in char-class.	To include a  `]' in
	     char-class, it must be the	first character.  A range of charac-
	     ters may be specified by separating the end characters of the
	     range with	a `-', e.g., `a-z' specifies the lower case charac-
	     ters.  The	following literal expressions can also be used in
	     char-class	to specify sets	of characters:

	       [:alnum:]  [:cntrl:]  [:lower:]	[:space:]
	       [:alpha:]  [:digit:]  [:print:]	[:upper:]
	       [:blank:]  [:graph:]  [:punct:]	[:xdigit:]

	     If	`-' appears as the first or last character of char-class, then
	     it	matches	itself.	 All other characters in char-class match
	     themselves.

	     Patterns in char-class of the form:

	       [.col-elm.] or,	 [=col-elm=]

	     where col-elm is a	collating element are interpreted according to
	     locale(5) (not currently supported).  See regex(3)	for an expla-
	     nation of these constructs.

     [^char-class]
	     Match any single character, other than newline, not in
	     char-class.  Char-class is	defined	as above.

     ^	     If	^ is the first character of a regular expression, then it
	     anchors the regular expression to the beginning of	a line.	 Oth-
	     erwise, it	matches	itself.

     $	     If	$ is the last character	of a regular expression, it anchors
	     the regular expression to the end of a line.  Otherwise, it
	     matches itself.

     \<	     Anchor the	single character regular expression or subexpression
	     immediately following it to the beginning of a word.  (This may
	     not be available)

     \>	     Anchor the	single character regular expression or subexpression
	     immediately following it to the end of a word.  (This may not be
	     available)

     \(re\)  Define a subexpression re.	 Subexpressions	may be nested.	A sub-
	     sequent backreference of the form \n, where n is a	number in the
	     range [1,9], expands to the text matched by the nth subexpres-
	     sion.  For	example, the regular expression	`\(.*\)\1' matches any
	     string consisting of identical adjacent substrings.  Subexpres-
	     sions are ordered relative	to their left delimiter.

     *	     Match the single character	regular	expression or subexpression
	     immediately preceding it zero or more times.  If *	is the first
	     character of a regular expression or subexpression, then it
	     matches itself.  The * operator sometimes yields unexpected
	     results.  For example, the	regular	expression `b*'	matches	the
	     beginning of the string `abbb' (as	opposed	to the substring
	     `bbb'), since a null match	is the only left-most match.

     \{n,m\} or	\{n,\} or \{n\}
	     Match the single character	regular	expression or subexpression
	     immediately preceding it at least n and at	most m times.  If m is
	     omitted, then it matches at least n times.	 If the	comma is also
	     omitted, then it matches exactly n	times.

     Additional	regular	expression operators may be defined depending on the
     particular	regex(3) implementation.

COMMANDS
     All ed commands are single	characters, though some	require	additional
     parameters.  If a command's parameters extend over	several	lines, then
     each line except for the last must	be terminated with a backslash (\).

     In	general, at most one command is	allowed	per line.  However, most com-
     mands accept a print suffix, which	is any of p (print), l (list) ,	or n
     (enumerate), to print the last line affected by the command.

     An	interrupt (typically ^C) has the effect	of aborting the	current	com-
     mand and returning	the editor to command mode.

     Ed	recognizes the following commands.  The	commands are shown together
     with the default address or address range supplied	if none	is specified
     (in parenthesis).

     (.)a    Append text to the	buffer after the addressed line.  Text is
	     entered in	input mode.  The current address is set	to last	line
	     entered.

     (.,.)c  Change lines in the buffer.  The addressed	lines are deleted from
	     the buffer, and text is appended in their place.  Text is entered
	     in	input mode.  The current address is set	to last	line entered.

     (.,.)d  Delete the	addressed lines	from the buffer.  If there is a	line
	     after the deleted range, then the current address is set to this
	     line. Otherwise the current address is set	to the line before the
	     deleted range.

     e file  Edit file,	and sets the default filename.	If file	is not speci-
	     fied, then	the  default filename is used.	Any lines in the
	     buffer are	deleted	before the new file is read.  The current
	     address is	set to the last	line read.

     e !command
	     Edit the standard output of !command, (see	!command below).  The
	     default filename is unchanged.  Any lines in the buffer are
	     deleted before the	output of command is read.  The	current
	     address is	set to the last	line read.

     E file  Edit file unconditionally.	 This is similar to the	e command,
	     except that unwritten changes are discarded without warning.  The
	     current address is	set to the last	line read.

     f file  Set the default filename to file.	If file	is not specified, then
	     the default unescaped filename is printed.

     (1,$)g/re/command-list
	     Apply command-list	to each	of the addressed lines matching	a reg-
	     ular expression re.  The current address is set to	the line cur-
	     rently matched before command-list	is executed.  At the end of
	     the g command, the	current	address	is set to the last line
	     affected by command-list.

	     Each command in command-list must be on a separate	line, and
	     every line	except for the last must be terminated by a backslash
	     (\).  Any commands	are allowed, except for	g, G, v, and V.	 A
	     newline alone in command-list is equivalent to a p	command.

     (1,$)G/re/
	     Interactively edit	the addressed lines matching a regular expres-
	     sion re.  For each	matching line, the line	is printed, the	cur-
	     rent address is set, and the user is prompted to enter a
	     command-list.  At the end of the G	command, the current address
	     is	set to the last	line affected by (the last) command-list.

	     The format	of command-list	is the same as that of the g command.
	     A newline alone acts as a null command list.  A single `&'
	     repeats the last non-null command list.

     H	     Toggle the	printing of error explanations.	 By default, explana-
	     tions are not printed.  It	is recommended that ed scripts begin
	     with this command to aid in debugging.

     h	     Print an explanation of the last error.

     (.)i    Insert text in the	buffer before the current line.	 Text is
	     entered in	input mode.  The current address is set	to the last
	     line entered.

     (.,.+1)j
	     Join the addressed	lines.	The addressed lines are	deleted	from
	     the buffer	and replaced by	a single line containing their joined
	     text.  The	current	address	is set to the resultant	line.

     (.)klc  Mark a line with a	lower case letter lc.  The  line can then be
	     addressed as 'lc (i.e., a single quote followed by	lc ) in	subse-
	     quent commands.  The mark is not cleared until the	line is
	     deleted or	otherwise modified.

     (.,.)l  Print the addressed lines unambiguously.  If a single line	fills
	     for than one screen (as might be the case when viewing a binary
	     file, for instance), a `--More--' prompt is printed on the	last
	     line.  Ed waits until the RETURN key is pressed before displaying
	     the next screen.  The current address is set to the last line
	     printed.

     (.,.)m(.)
	     Move lines	in the buffer.	The addressed lines are	moved to after
	     the right-hand destination	address, which may be the address 0
	     (zero).  The current address is set to the	last line moved.

     (.,.)n  Print the addressed lines along with their	line numbers.  The
	     current address is	set to the last	line printed.

     (.,.)p  Print the addressed lines.	The current address is set to the last
	     line printed.

     P	     Toggle the	command	prompt on and off.  Unless a prompt was	speci-
	     fied by with command-line option -p string, the command prompt is
	     by	default	turned off.

     q	     Quit ed.

     Q	     Quit ed unconditionally.  This is similar to the q	command,
	     except that unwritten changes are discarded without warning.

     ($)r file
	     Read file to after	the addressed line.  If	file is	not specified,
	     then the default filename is used.	 If there was no default file-
	     name prior	to the command,	then the default filename is set to
	     file.  Otherwise, the default filename is unchanged.  The current
	     address is	set to the last	line read.

     ($)r !command
	     Read to after the addressed line the standard output of !command,
	     (see the !command below).	The default filename is	unchanged.
	     The current address is set	to the last line read.

     (.,.)s/re/replacement/

     (.,.)s/re/replacement/g

     (.,.)s/re/replacement/n
	     Replace text in the addressed lines matching a regular expression
	     re	with replacement.  By default, only the	first match in each
	     line is replaced.	If the g (global) suffix is given, then	every
	     match to be replaced.  The	n suffix, where	n is a positive	num-
	     ber, causes only the nth match to be replaced.  It	is an error if
	     no	substitutions are performed on any of the addressed lines.
	     The current address is set	the last line affected.

	     Re	and replacement	may be delimited by any	character other	than
	     space and newline (see the	s command below).  If one or two of
	     the last delimiters is omitted, then the last line	affected is
	     printed as	though the print suffix	p were specified.

	     An	unescaped `&' in replacement is	replaced by the	currently
	     matched text.  The	character sequence \m, where m is a number in
	     the range [1,9], is replaced by the m th backreference expression
	     of	the matched text.  If replacement consists of a	single `%',
	     then replacement from the last substitution is used.  Newlines
	     may be embedded in	replacement if they are	escaped	with a back-
	     slash (\).

     (.,.)s  Repeat the	last substitution.  This form of the s command accepts
	     a count suffix n, or any combination of the characters r, g, and
	     p.	 If a count suffix n is	given, then only the nth match is
	     replaced.	The r suffix causes the	regular	expression of the last
	     search to be used instead of the that of the last substitution.
	     The g suffix toggles the global suffix of the last	substitution.
	     The p suffix toggles the print suffix of the last substitution
	     The current address is set	to the last line affected.

     (.,.)t(.)
	     Copy (i.e., transfer) the addressed lines to after	the right-hand
	     destination address, which	may be the address 0 (zero).  The cur-
	     rent address is set to the	last line copied.

     u	     Undo the last command and restores	the current address to what it
	     was before	the command.  The global commands g, G,	v, and V.  are
	     treated as	a single command by undo.  u is	its own	inverse.

     (1,$)v/re/command-list
	     Apply command-list	to each	of the addressed lines not matching a
	     regular expression	re.  This is similar to	the g command.

     (1,$)V/re/
	     Interactively edit	the addressed lines not	matching a regular
	     expression	re.  This is similar to	the G command.

     (1,$)w file
	     Write the addressed lines to file.	 Any previous contents of file
	     is	lost without warning.  If there	is no default filename,	then
	     the default filename is set to file, otherwise it is unchanged.
	     If	no filename is specified, then the default filename is used.
	     The current address is unchanged.

     (1,$)wq file
	     Write the addressed lines to file,	and then executes a q command.

     (1,$)w !command
	     Write the addressed lines to the standard input of	!command, (see
	     the !command below).  The default filename	and current address
	     are unchanged.

     (1,$)W file
	     Append the	addressed lines	to the end of file.  This is similar
	     to	the w command, expect that the previous	contents of file is
	     not clobbered.  The current address is unchanged.

     x	     Prompt for	an encryption key which	is used	in subsequent reads
	     and writes.  If a newline alone is	entered	as the key, then
	     encryption	is turned off.	Otherwise, echoing is disabled while a
	     key is read.  Encryption/decryption is done using the bdes(1)
	     algorithm.

     (.+1)zn
	     Scroll n lines at a time starting at addressed line.  If n	is not
	     specified,	then the current window	size is	used.  The current
	     address is	set to the last	line printed.

     !command
	     Execute command via sh(1).	 If the	first character	of command is
	     `!', then it is replaced by text of the previous !command.	 Ed
	     does not process command for backslash (\)	escapes.  However, an
	     unescaped % is replaced by	the default filename.  When the	shell
	     returns from execution, a `!'  is printed to the standard output.
	     The current line is unchanged.

     ($)=    Print the line number of the addressed line.

     (.+1)newline
	     Print the addressed line, and sets	the current address to that
	     line.

FILES
     /tmp/ed.*	buffer file
     ed.hup	the file to which ed attempts to write the  buffer if the ter-
		minal hangs up

SEE ALSO
     bdes(1), sed(1), sh(1), vi(1), regex(3)

     USD:12-13

     B.	W. Kernighan and P. J. Plauger,	Software Tools in Pascal, 1981,
     Addison-Wesley.

LIMITATIONS
     Ed	processes file arguments for backslash escapes,	i.e.,  in a filename,
     any characters preceded by	a backslash (\)	are interpreted	literally.

     If	a text (non-binary) file is not	terminated by a	newline	character,
     then ed appends one on reading/writing it.	 In the	case of	a binary file,
     ed	does not append	a newline on reading/writing.

     per line overhead:	4 ints

DIAGNOSTICS
     When an error occurs, ed prints a `?' and either returns to command mode
     or	exits if its input is from a script.  An explanation of	the last error
     can be printed with the h (help) command.

     Since the g (global) command  masks any errors from failed	searches and
     substitutions, it can be used to perform conditional operations in
     scripts; e.g.,

     g/old/s//new/

     replaces any occurrences of old with new.	If the u (undo)	command	occurs
     in	a global command list, then the	command	list is	executed only once.

     If	diagnostics are	not disabled, attempting to quit ed or edit another
     file before writing a modified buffer results in an error.	 If the	com-
     mand is entered a second time, it succeeds, but any changes to the	buffer
     are lost.

HISTORY
     A ed command appeared in Version 1	AT&T UNIX.

FreeBSD	9.3			 May 21, 1993			   FreeBSD 9.3

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | OPTIONS | LINE ADDRESSING | REGULAR EXPRESSIONS | COMMANDS | FILES | SEE ALSO | LIMITATIONS | DIAGNOSTICS | HISTORY

Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:
<http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/man.cgi?query=ed&sektion=1&manpath=FreeBSD+3.2-RELEASE>

home | help