EX(1) General Commands Manual EX(1)
ex, edit - text editor
ex [ - ] [ -v ] [ -t tag ] [ -r ] [ +command ] [ -l ] name ...
edit [ ex options ]
Ex is the root of a family of editors: edit, ex and vi. Ex is a superset of ed, with the most notable extension being a display editing
facility. Display based editing is the focus of vi.
If you have not used ed, or are a casual user, you will find that the editor edit is convenient for you. It avoids some of the complexi-
ties of ex used mostly by systems programmers and persons very familiar with ed.
If you have a CRT terminal, you may wish to use a display based editor; in this case see vi(1), which is a command which focuses on the
display editing portion of ex.
The document Edit: A tutorial (USD:14) provides a comprehensive introduction to edit assuming no previous knowledge of computers or the
The Ex Reference Manual - Version 3.7 (USD:16) is a comprehensive and complete manual for the command mode features of ex, but you cannot
learn to use the editor by reading it. For an introduction to more advanced forms of editing using the command mode of ex see the editing
documents written by Brian Kernighan for the editor ed; the material in the introductory and advanced documents works also with ex.
An Introduction to Display Editing with Vi (USD:15) introduces the display editor vi and provides reference material on vi. In addition,
the Vi Quick Reference card summarizes the commands of vi in a useful, functional way, and is useful with the Introduction.
/usr/share/misc/exstrings error messages
/usr/libexec/exrecover recover command
/usr/sbin/expreserve preserve command
/etc/termcap describes capabilities of terminals
~/.exrc editor startup file
/tmp/Exnnnnn editor temporary
/tmp/Rxnnnnn named buffer temporary
/usr/preserve preservation directory
awk(1), ed(1), grep(1), sed(1), grep(1), vi(1), termcap(5), environ(7)
Originally written by William Joy
Mark Horton has maintained the editor since version 2.7, adding macros, support for many unusual terminals, and other features such as word
The undo command causes all marks to be lost on lines changed and then restored if the marked lines were changed.
Undo never clears the buffer modified condition.
The z command prints a number of logical rather than physical lines. More than a screen full of output may result if long lines are
File input/output errors don't print a name if the command line `-' option is used.
There is no easy way to do a single scan ignoring case.
The editor does not warn if text is placed in named buffers and not used before exiting the editor.
Null characters are discarded in input files, and cannot appear in resultant files.
4th Berkeley Distribution October 21, 1996 EX(1)
Check Out this Related Man Page
edit(1) User Commands edit(1)
edit - text editor (variant of ex for casual users)
/usr/bin/edit [ -| -s] [-l] [-L] [-R] [ -r [filename]] [-t tag] [-v] [-V] [-x] [-wn] [-C] [+command | -c command] filename...
/usr/xpg4/bin/edit [ -| -s] [-l] [-L] [-R] [ -r [filename]] [-t tag] [-v] [-V] [-x] [-wn] [-C] [+command | -c command] filename...
/usr/xpg6/bin/edit [ -| -s] [-l] [-L] [-R] [ -r [filename]] [-t tag] [-v] [-V] [-x] [-wn] [-C] [+command | -c command] filename...
The edit utility is a variant of the text editor ex recommended for new or casual users who wish to use a command-oriented editor. It oper-
ates precisely as ex with the following options automatically set:
The following brief introduction should help you get started with edit. If you are using a CRT terminal you might want to learn about the
display editor vi.
To edit the contents of an existing file you begin with the command edit name to the shell. edit makes a copy of the file that you can then
edit, and tells you how many lines and characters are in the file. To create a new file, you also begin with the command edit with a file-
name: edit name; the editor tells you it is a [New File].
The edit command prompt is the colon (:), which you should see after starting the editor. If you are editing an existing file, then you
have some lines in edit's buffer (its name for the copy of the file you are editing). When you start editing, edit makes the last line of
the file the current line. Most commands to edit use the current line if you do not tell them which line to use. Thus if you say print
(which can be abbreviated p) and type carriage return (as you should after all edit commands), the current line is printed. If you delete
(d) the current line, edit prints the new current line, which is usually the next line in the file. If you delete the last line, then the
new last line becomes the current one.
If you start with an empty file or wish to add some new lines, then the append (a) command can be used. After you execute this command
(typing a carriage return after the word append), edit reads lines from your terminal until you type a line consisting of just a dot (.);
it places these lines after the current line. The last line you type then becomes the current line. The insert (i) command is like append,
but places the lines you type before, rather than after, the current line.
The edit utility numbers the lines in the buffer, with the first line having number 1. If you execute the command 1, then edit types the
first line of the buffer. If you then execute the command d, edit deletes the first line, line 2 becomes line 1, and edit prints the cur-
rent line (the new line 1) so you can see where you are. In general, the current line is always the last line affected by a command.
You can make a change to some text within the current line by using the substitute (s) command: s/old/new/ where old is the string of char-
acters you want to replace and new is the string of characters you want to replace old with.
The filename (f) command tells you how many lines there are in the buffer you are editing and says [Modified] if you have changed the buf-
fer. After modifying a file, you can save the contents of the file by executing a write (w) command. You can leave the editor by issuing a
quit (q) command. If you run edit on a file, but do not change it, it is not necessary (but does no harm) to write the file back. If you
try to quit from edit after modifying the buffer without writing it out, you receive the message No write since last change (:quit! over-
rides), and edit waits for another command. If you do not want to write the buffer out, issue the quit command followed by an exclamation
point (q!). The buffer is then irretrievably discarded and you return to the shell.
By using the d and a commands and giving line numbers to see lines in the file, you can make any changes you want. You should learn at
least a few more things, however, if you use edit more than a few times.
The change (c) command changes the current line to a sequence of lines you supply (as in append, you type lines up to a line consisting of
only a dot (.). You can tell change to change more than one line by giving the line numbers of the lines you want to change, that is, 3,5c.
You can print lines this way too: 1,23p prints the first 23 lines of the file.
The undo (u) command reverses the effect of the last command you executed that changed the buffer. Thus if you execute a substitute command
that does not do what you want, type u and the old contents of the line are restored. You can also undo an undo command. edit gives you a
warning message when a command affects more than one line of the buffer. Note that commands such as write and quit cannot be undone.
To look at the next line in the buffer, type carriage return. To look at a number of lines, type ^D (while holding down the control key,
press d) rather than carriage return. This shows you a half-screen of lines on a CRT or 12 lines on a hardcopy terminal. You can look at
nearby text by executing the z command. The current line appears in the middle of the text displayed, and the last line displayed becomes
the current line; you can get back to the line where you were before you executed the z command by typing ''. The z command has other
options: z- prints a screen of text (or 24 lines) ending where you are; z+ prints the next screenful. If you want less than a screenful of
lines, type z.11 to display five lines before and five lines after the current line. (Typing z.n, when n is an odd number, displays a
total of n lines, centered about the current line; when n is an even number, it displays n-1 lines, so that the lines displayed are cen-
tered around the current line.) You can give counts after other commands; for example, you can delete 5 lines starting with the current
line with the command d5.
To find things in the file, you can use line numbers if you happen to know them; since the line numbers change when you insert and delete
lines this is somewhat unreliable. You can search backwards and forwards in the file for strings by giving commands of the form /text/ to
search forward for text or ?text? to search backward for text. If a search reaches the end of the file without finding text, it wraps
around and continues to search back to the line where you are. A useful feature here is a search of the form /^text/ which searches for
text at the beginning of a line. Similarly /text$/ searches for text at the end of a line. You can leave off the trailing / or ? in these
The current line has the symbolic name dot (.); this is most useful in a range of lines as in .,$p which prints the current line plus the
rest of the lines in the file. To move to the last line in the file, you can refer to it by its symbolic name $. Thus the command $d
deletes the last line in the file, no matter what the current line is. Arithmetic with line references is also possible. Thus the line $-5
is the fifth before the last and .+20 is 20 lines after the current line.
You can find out the current line by typing `.='. This is useful if you wish to move or copy a section of text within a file or between
files. Find the first and last line numbers you wish to copy or move. To move lines 10 through 20, type 10,20d a to delete these lines from
the file and place them in a buffer named a. edit has 26 such buffers named a through z. To put the contents of buffer a after the current
line, type put a. If you want to move or copy these lines to another file, execute an edit (e) command after copying the lines; following
the e command with the name of the other file you wish to edit, that is, edit chapter2. To copy lines without deleting them, use yank (y)
in place of d. If the text you wish to move or copy is all within one file, it is not necessary to use named buffers. For example, to move
lines 10 through 20 to the end of the file, type 10,20m $.
These options can be turned on or off using the set command in ex(1).
-C Encryption option; same as the -x option, except that vi simulates the C command of ex. The C command is like the X
command of ex, except that all text read in is assumed to have been encrypted.
-l Set up for editing LISP programs.
-L List the name of all files saved as the result of an editor or system crash.
-R Readonly mode; the readonly flag is set, preventing accidental overwriting of the file.
-r filename Edit filename after an editor or system crash. (Recovers the version of filename that was in the buffer when the
-t tag Edit the file containing the tag and position the editor at its definition.
-v Start up in display editing state using vi. You can achieve the same effect by simply typing the vi command itself.
-V Verbose. When ex commands are read by means of standard input, the input is echoed to standard error. This can be
useful when processing ex commands within shell scripts.
-x Encryption option; when used, edit simulates the X command of ex and prompts the user for a key. This key is used
to encrypt and decrypt text using the algorithm of the crypt command. The X command makes an educated guess to
determine whether text read in is encrypted or not. The temporary buffer file is encrypted also, using a trans-
formed version of the key typed in for the -x option.
-wn Set the default window size to n. This is useful when using the editor over a slow speed line.
+command | -c command Begin editing by executing the specified editor command (usually a search or positioning command).
- | -s Suppress all interactive user feedback. This is useful when processing editor scripts.
The filename argument indicates one or more files to be edited.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Availability |SUNWcsu |
|CSI |Enabled |
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Availability |SUNWxcu4 |
|CSI |Enabled |
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
|Availability |SUNWxcu6 |
|CSI |Enabled |
ed(1), ex(1), vi(1), attributes(5), XPG4(5)
The encryption options are provided with the Security Administration Utilities package, which is available only in the United States.
SunOS 5.10 11 Jun 2004 edit(1)