pico(1) General Commands Manual pico(1)
pico - simple text editor in the style of the Pine Composer
pico [-f] [+n] [-nn] [-t] [-v] [-w] [-z] [file]
Pico is a simple, display-oriented text editor based on the Pine message system composer. As with Pine, commands are displayed at the bot-
tom of the screen, and context-sensitive help is provided. As characters are typed they are immediately inserted into the text. Editing
commands are entered using control-key combinations. As a work-around for communications programs that swallow certain control characters,
you can emulate a control key by pressing ESCAPE twice, followed by the desired control character, e.g. "ESC ESC c" would be equivalent to
entering a ctrl-c. The editor has five basic features: paragraph justification, searching, block cut/paste, a spelling checker, and a file
Paragraph justification (or filling) takes place in the paragraph that contains the cursor, or, if the cursor is between lines, in the
paragraph immediately below. Paragraphs are delimited by blank lines, or by lines beginning with a space or tab. Unjustification can be
done immediately after justification using the control-U key combination.
String searches are not sensitive to case. A search begins at the current cursor position and wraps around the end of the text. The most
recent search string is offered as the default in subsequent searches.
Blocks of text can be moved, copied or deleted with creative use of the command for mark (ctrl-underscore), delete (ctrl-k) and undelete
(ctrl-u). The delete command will remove text between the "mark" and the current cursor position, and place it in the "cut" buffer. The
undelete command effects a "paste" at the current cursor position.
The spell checker examines all words in the text. It then offers, in turn, each misspelled word for correction while highlighting it in
the text. Spell checking can be cancelled at any time. Alternatively, pico will substitute for the default spell checking routine a rou-
tine defined by the SPELL environment variable. The replacement routine should read standard input and write standard output.
The file browser is offered as an option in the "Read File" and "Write Out" command prompts. It is intended to help in searching for spe-
cific files and navigating directory hierarchies. Filenames with sizes and names of directories in the current working directory are pre-
sented for selection. The current working directory is displayed on the top line of the display while the list of available commands takes
up the bottom two. Several basic file manipulation functions are supported: file renaming, copying, and deletion.
More specific help is available in pico's online help.
-f Use function keys for commands. This option supported only in conjunction with UW Enhanced NCSA telnet.
+n Causes pico to be started with the cursor located n lines into the file. (Note: no space between "+" sign and number)
-nn The -nn option enables new mail notification. The n argument is optional, and specifies how often, in seconds, your mailbox is
checked for new mail. For example, -n60 causes pico to check for new mail once every minute. The default interval is 180 seconds,
while the minimum allowed is 30. (Note: no space between "n" and the number)
-t Enable "tool" mode. Intended for when pico is used as the editor within other tools (e.g., Elm, Pnews). Pico will not prompt for
save on exit, and will not rename the buffer during the "Write Out" command.
-v View the file only, disallowing any editing.
-w Disable word wrap (thus allow editing of long lines).
-z Enable ^Z suspension of pico.
Lastly, when a running pico is disconnected (i.e., receives a SIGHUP), pico will save the current work if needed before exiting. Work is
saved under the current filename with ".save" appended. If the current work is unnamed, it is saved under the filename "pico.save".
The manner in which lines longer than the display width are dealt is not immediately obvious. Lines that continue beyond the edge of the
display are indicated by a '$' character at the end of the line. Long lines are scrolled horizontally as the cursor moves through them.
pico.save Unnamed interrupted work saved here.
*.save Interrupted work on a named file is saved here.
Michael Seibel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurence Lundblade, email@example.com
Pico was originally derived from MicroEmacs 3.6, by Dave G. Conroy.
Pico is a trademark of the University of Washington.
Copyright 1989-1994 by the University of Washington.
Source distribution (part of the Pine Message System):
Version 2.4 pico(1)