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

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
NANO(1)			    General Commands Manual		       NANO(1)

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

       nano [options] [[+line,column] file]...

       nano  is	 a small, free and friendly editor which aims to replace Pico,
       the default editor included in the non-free Pine	package.   On  top  of
       copying	Pico's	look  and  feel, nano also implements some missing (or
       disabled	by default) features in	Pico, such as "search and replace" and
       "go to line and column number".

       Entering	 text  and  moving around in a file is straightforward:	typing
       the letters and using the normal	cursor movement	 keys.	 Commands  are
       entered by using	the Control (^)	and the	Alt or Meta (M-) keys.	Typing
       ^K deletes the current line and puts it in the cutbuffer.   Consecutive
       ^Ks  will  put all deleted lines	together in the	cutbuffer.  Any	cursor
       movement	or executing any other command will cause the next ^K to over-
       write  the cutbuffer.  A	^U will	paste the current contents of the cut-
       buffer at the current cursor position.

       When a more precise piece of text needs to be cut or  copied,  one  can
       mark  its  start	 with  ^6, move	the cursor to its end (the marked text
       will be highlighted), and then use ^K to	cut it,	or M-6 to copy	it  to
       the  cutbuffer. One can also save the marked text to a file with	^O, or
       spell check it with ^T.

       The two lines at	the bottom of the screen show the most important  com-
       mands;  the  built-in  help (^G)	lists all the available	ones.  The de-
       fault key  bindings  can	 be  changed  via  the	.nanorc	 file  --  see

	      Places  the cursor on line number	line and at column number col-
	      umn (at least one	of which must be specified)  on	 startup,  in-
	      stead of the default line	1, column 1.

       -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 back-
	      wards).  If the cursor is	already	at that	position, it will jump
	      to the true beginning of the line.

       -B, --backup
	      When  saving  a  file, back up the previous version of it, using
	      the current filename suffixed with a tilde (~).

       -C directory, --backupdir=directory
	      Make and keep not	just one backup	file,  but  make  and  keep  a
	      uniquely numbered	one every time a file is saved -- when backups
	      are enabled.  The	uniquely numbered  files  are  stored  in  the
	      specified	directory.

       -D, --boldtext
	      Use bold text instead of reverse video text.

       -E, --tabstospaces
	      Convert typed tabs to spaces.

       -F, --multibuffer
	      Enable  multiple file buffers (if	support	for them has been com-
	      piled in).

       -G, --locking
	      Enable vim-style file locking when editing files.

       -H, --historylog
	      Log search and replace  strings  to  ~/.nano/search_history,  so
	      they can be retrieved in later sessions.

       -I, --ignorercfiles
	      Don't look at the	system's nanorc	nor at ~/.nanorc.

       -K, --rebindkeypad
	      Interpret	 the  numeric  keypad keys so that they	all work prop-
	      erly.  You should	only need to use this option if	they don't, as
	      mouse support won't work properly	with this option enabled.

       -L, --nonewlines
	      Don't add	newlines to the	ends of	files.

       -N, --noconvert
	      Disable automatic	conversion of files from DOS/Mac format.

       -O, --morespace
	      Use the blank line below the titlebar as extra editing space.

       -P, --positionlog
	      For the 200 most recent files, log the last position of the cur-
	      sor, and place it	at that	position again upon reopening  such  a
	      file.  (The old form of this option, --poslog, is	deprecated.)

       -Q "characters",	--quotestr="characters"
	      Set   the	  quoting  string  for	justifying.   The  default  is
	      "^([ \t]*[#:>\|}])+" if extended regular expression  support  is
	      available, or "> " otherwise.  Note that \t stands for a Tab.

       -R, --restricted
	      Restricted  mode:	 don't read or write to	any file not specified
	      on the command line; don't read any  nanorc  files  nor  history
	      files;  don't allow suspending nor spell checking; don't allow a
	      file to be appended to, prepended	to, or saved under a different
	      name  if	it  already has	one; and don't use backup files.  This
	      restricted mode is also accessible by  invoking  nano  with  any
	      name beginning with 'r' (e.g. "rnano").

       -S, --smooth
	      Enable smooth scrolling.	Text will scroll line-by-line, instead
	      of the usual chunk-by-chunk behavior.

       -T number, --tabsize=number
	      Set the size (width) of a	tab to number columns.	The  value  of
	      number must be greater than 0.  The default value	is 8.

       -U, --quickblank
	      Do  quick	statusbar blanking.  Statusbar messages	will disappear
	      after 1 keystroke	instead	of 25.	Note that -c overrides this.

       -V, --version
	      Show the current version number and exit.

       -W, --wordbounds
	      Detect word boundaries more accurately by	 treating  punctuation
	      characters as part of a word.

       -Y name,	--syntax=name
	      Specify  the  name  of the syntax	highlighting to	use from among
	      the ones defined in the nanorc files.

       -c, --constantshow
	      Constantly show the cursor position.  Note that  this  overrides

       -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.

       -h, --help
	      Show a summary of	the available command-line options and exit.

       -i, --autoindent
	      Indent  new  lines  to  the previous line's indentation.	Useful
	      when editing source code.

       -k, --cut
	      Make the 'Cut Text' command (normally ^K)	cut from  the  current
	      cursor  position	to the end of the line,	instead	of cutting the
	      entire line.

       -m, --mouse
	      Enable mouse support, if available for your  system.   When  en-
	      abled,  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.	Text can still be selected through dragging by holding
	      down the Shift key.

       -n, --noread
	      Treat  any  name	given on the command line as a new file.  This
	      allows nano to write to named pipes: it will start with a	 blank
	      buffer,  and  will  write	 to  the  pipe when the	user saves the
	      "file".  This way	nano can be used as an editor  in  combination
	      with  for	instance gpg without having to write sensitive data to
	      disk first.

       -o directory, --operatingdir=directory
	      Set the operating	directory.  This makes nano set	 up  something
	      similar to a chroot.

       -p, --preserve
	      Preserve	the XON	and XOFF sequences (^Q and ^S) so they will be
	      caught by	the terminal.

       -q, --quiet
	      Do not report errors in the nanorc files nor ask them to be  ac-
	      knowledged by pressing Enter at startup.

       -r number, --fill=number
	      Hard-wrap	 lines	at column number.  If this value is 0 or less,
	      wrapping will occur at the width of the screen less number  col-
	      umns,  allowing  the  wrap point to vary along with the width of
	      the screen if the	screen is resized.  The	default	value  is  -8.
	      This  option  conflicts  with -w -- the last one given takes ef-

       -s program, --speller=program
	      Use this alternative spell checker command.

       -t, --tempfile
	      Always save a changed buffer without prompting.  Same as	Pico's
	      -t option.

       -u, --unix
	      Save  a  file  by	default	in Unix	format.	 This overrides	nano's
	      default behavior of saving a file	in the	format	that  it  had.
	      (This option has no effect when you also use --noconvert.)

       -v, --view
	      View-file	(read-only) mode.

       -w, --nowrap
	      Disable  the hard-wrapping of long lines.	 This option conflicts
	      with -r -- the last one given takes effect.

       -x, --nohelp
	      Don't show the two help lines at the bottom of the screen.

       -z, --suspend
	      Enable the suspend ability.

       -$, --softwrap
	      Enable 'soft wrapping'.  This will make nano attempt to  display
	      the  entire  contents of any line, even if it is longer than the
	      screen width, by	continuing  it	over  multiple	screen	lines.
	      Since  '$'  normally refers to a variable	in the Unix shell, you
	      should specify this option last when using other	options	 (e.g.
	      'nano -wS$') or pass it separately (e.g. 'nano -wS -$').

       -a, -b, -e, -f, -g, -j
	      Ignored, for compatibility with Pico.

       nano  will  read	 initialization	files in the following order: the sys-
       tem's nanorc (if	it exists), and	then the user's	~/.nanorc (if  it  ex-
       ists).	Please see nanorc(5) for more information on the possible con-
       tents of	those files.

       If no alternative spell checker command is  specified  on  the  command
       line nor	in one of the nanorc files, nano will check the	SPELL environ-
       ment variable for one.

       In some cases nano will try to dump the buffer into an emergency	 file.
       This  will  happen  mainly if nano receives a SIGHUP or SIGTERM or runs
       out of memory.  It will write the buffer	into a file named 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  ex-
       ists  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, nano will write all the open buffers to their respec-
       tive emergency files.

       Justifications (^J) and reindentations (M-{ and M-}) are	not  yet  cov-
       ered  by	the general undo system.  So after a justification that	is not
       immediately undone, or after any	reindentation, earlier edits cannot be
       undone any more.	 The workaround	is, of course, to exit without saving.

       Please  report  any  other  bugs	 that you encounter via	https://savan-



       Chris Allegretta	<>, et al (see the  files  AUTHORS  and
       THANKS  for details).  This manual page was originally written by Jordi
       Mallach <>,	for the	Debian system (but may be used by oth-

February 2016			 version 2.5.3			       NANO(1)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help