Manual Reference Pages  - NANORC (5)

NAME

nanorc - GNU nano’s rcfile

CONTENTS

Description
Options
Key Bindings
Files
See Also
Author

DESCRIPTION

This manual page briefly documents GNU nano’s rcfile.

nano is a small, free and friendly editor which aims to replace Pico, the default editor included in the non-free Pine package. Rather than just 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".

The nanorc file contains the default settings for nano. It should not be in DOS or Mac format. During startup, nano will first read its system-wide settings from SYSCONFDIR/nanorc, and then user-specific settings from ~/.nanorc.

OPTIONS

The configuration file accepts a series of set and unset commands, which can be used to configure nano on startup without using the command line options. Additionally, the syntax, color, and icolor keywords are used to define syntax highlighting rules for different text patterns. nano will read one command per line.

Options in nanorc files take precedence over nano’s defaults, and command line options override nanorc settings. Also, options are unset by default, except for those that take arguments.

Quotes inside string parameters don’t have to be escaped with backslashes. The last double quote in the string will be treated as its end. For example, for the brackets option, ""’)>]}" will match ", , ), >, ], and }.

The supported commands and arguments are:

set/unset allow_insecure_backup
  When backing up files, allow the backup to succeed even if its permissions can’t be (re)set due to special OS considerations. You should NOT enable this option unless you are sure you need it.
set/unset autoindent
  Use auto-indentation.
set/unset backup
  Create backup files in filename~.
set backupdir directory
  Set the directory where nano puts unique backup files if file backups are enabled.
set/unset backwards
  Do backwards searches by default.
set/unset boldtext
  Use bold text instead of reverse video text.
set brackets string
  Set the characters treated as closing brackets when justifying paragraphs. They cannot contain blank characters. Only closing punctuation, optionally followed by closing brackets, can end sentences. The default value is ""’)>]}".
set/unset casesensitive
  Do case sensitive searches by default.
set/unset const
  Constantly display the cursor position in the status bar.
set/unset cut
  Use cut to end of line by default.
set fill n
  Wrap lines at column number n. If n is 0 or less, the maximum line length will be the screen width less n columns. The default value is -8.
set/unset historylog
  Enable ~/.nano_history for saving and reading search/replace strings.
set matchbrackets string
  Set the opening and closing brackets that can be found by bracket searches. They cannot contain blank characters. The former set must come before the latter set, and both must be in the same order. The default value is "(<[{)>]}".
set/unset morespace
  Use the blank line below the titlebar as extra editing space.
set/unset mouse
  Enable mouse support, if available for your system. When enabled, 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.
set/unset multibuffer
  Allow inserting files into their own buffers.
set/unset noconvert
  Don’t convert files from DOS/Mac format.
set/unset nofollow
  Don’t follow symlinks when writing files.
set/unset nohelp
  Don’t display the help lists at the bottom of the screen.
set/unset nonewlines
  Don’t add newlines to the ends of files.
set/unset nowrap
  Don’t wrap text at all.
set operatingdir directory
  nano will only read and write files inside directory and its subdirectories. Also, the current directory is changed to here, so files are inserted from this diractory. By default, the operating directory feature is turned off.
set/unset preserve
  Preserve the XON and XOFF keys (^Q and ^S).
set punct string
  Set the characters treated as closing punctuation when justifying paragraphs. They cannot contain blank characters. Only closing punctuation, optionally followed by closing brackets, can end sentences. The default value is "!.?".
set/unset quiet
  nano will not report errors in the nanorc file and ask them to be acknowledged by pressing enter at startup. If this is used it should be placed at the top of the file to be fully effective.
set/unset quickblank
  Do quick statusbar blanking. Statusbar messages will disappear after 1 keystroke instead of 25.
set quotestr string
  The email-quote string, used to justify email-quoted paragraphs. This is an extended regular expression if your system supports them, otherwise a literal string. The default value is "^([ \t]*[#:>\|}])+" if you have extended regular expression support, or "> " otherwise. Note that ’\t’ stands for a literal Tab character.
set/unset 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.
set/unset rebindkeypad
  Interpret the numeric keypad keys so that they all work properly. You should only need to use this option if they don’t, as mouse support won’t work properly with this option enabled.
set/unset regexp
  Do extended regular expression searches by default.
set/unset 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 backwards). If the cursor is already at that position, it will jump to the true beginning of the line.
set/unset smooth
  Use smooth scrolling by default.
set/unset softwrap
  Enable soft line wrapping for easier viewing of very long lones.
set speller spellprog
  Use spelling checker spellprog instead of the built-in one, which calls spell.
set/unset suspend
  Allow nano to be suspended.
set tabsize n
  Use a tab size of n columns. The value of n must be greater than 0. The default value is 8.
set/unset tabstospaces
  Convert typed tabs to spaces.
set/unset tempfile
  Save automatically on exit, don’t prompt.
set/unset undo
  Enable experimental generic-purpose undo code.
set/unset view
  Disallow file modification.
set/unset softwrap
  Enable soft line wrapping for easier viewing of very long lones.
set whitespace string
  Set the two characters used to display the first characters of tabs and spaces. They must be single-column characters.
set/unset wordbounds
  Detect word boundaries more accurately by treating punctuation characters as parts of words.
syntax str [ fileregex ... ]
  Defines a syntax named str which can be activated via the -Y/--syntax command line option, or will be automatically activated if the current filename matches the extended regular expression fileregex. All following color and icolor statements will apply to syntax until a new syntax is defined.

The none syntax is reserved; specifying it on the command line is the same as not having a syntax at all. The default syntax is special: it takes no fileregex, and applies to files that don’t match any other syntax’s fileregex.

color fgcolor,bgcolor regex ...
  For the currently defined syntax, display all expressions matching the extended regular expression regex with foreground color fgcolor and background color bgcolor, at least one of which must be specified. Legal colors for foreground and background color are: white, black, red, blue, green, yellow, magenta, and cyan. You may use the prefix "bright" to force a stronger color highlight for the foreground. If your terminal supports transparency, not specifying a bgcolor tells nano to attempt to use a transparent background.
icolor fgcolor,bgcolor regex ...
  Same as above, except that the expression matching is case insensitive.
color fgcolor,bgcolor start= sr end= er
  Display expressions which start with the extended regular expression sr and end with the extended regular expression er with foreground color fgcolor and background color bgcolor, at least one of which must be specified. This allows syntax highlighting to span multiple lines. Note that all subsequent instances of sr after an initial sr is found will be highlighted until the first instance of er.
icolor fgcolor,bgcolor start= sr end= er
  Same as above, except that the expression matching is case insensitive.
include syntaxfile
  Read in self-contained color syntaxes from syntaxfile. Note that syntaxfile can only contain syntax, color, and icolor commands.

KEY BINDINGS

Key bindings may be reassigned via the following commands:
bind key function menu
  Rebinds the key key to a new function named function in the context of menu menu. The format of key should be one of:
^ followed by an alpha character or the word "Space". Example: ^C
M- followed by a printable character or the word "Space". Example: M-C
F followed by a numeric value from 1 to 16. Example: F10
Valid function names to be bound include:
help
  Invoke the help menu.
cancel
  Cancel the current command.
exit
  Exit from the program.
writeout
  Write the current buffer to disk.
justify
  Justify the current text.
insert
  Insert a file into the current buffer (or into a new buffer when multibuffer is enabled).
whereis
  Search for text in the current buffer.
searchagain
  Repeat the last search command.
up Move up in the editor or browser.
down
  Move down in the editor or browser.
left
  Move left in the editor or browser.
right
  Move right in the editor or browser.
cut Cut the current line of text and store it.
uncut
  Copy the currently stored text into the current buffer position.
curpos
  Show the current line, column, word positions in the file.
firstline
  Move to the first line of the file.
lastline
  Move to the last line of the file.
gotoline
  Move to a specific line (and column if specified).
replace
  Interactively replace text within the current buffer.
mark
  Begin selecting text for cutting or pasting at the current position.
copytext
  Copy the currently marked text without deleting it.
indent
  Indent the currently marked text (shift to the right).
unindent
  Un-indent the currently marked text (shift to the left).
nextword
  Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word.
prevword
  Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word.
home
  Move the cursor to the beginning of the current line.
end Move the cursor to the end of the current line.
beginpara
  Move the cursor to the beginning of the current paragraph.
endpara
  Move the cursor to the end of the current paragraph.
findbracket
  Move the cursor to the matching bracket (brace, parenthesis, etc.) of the one under the cursor.
scrollup
  Scroll up one line of text from the current position.
scrolldown
  Scroll down one line of text from the current position.
prevbuf
  Switch to editing/viewing the previous buffer when using multibuffer mode.
nextbuf
  Switch to editing/viewing the next buffer when using multibuffer mode.
verbatim
  Insert the next character verbatim into the file.
tab Insert a tab at the current cursor location.
enter
  Insert a new line below the current one.
delete
  Delete the character under the cursor.
fulljustify
  Justify the entire current file.
wordcount
  Count the number of words in the current buffer.
refresh
  Refresh the screen.
undo
  Undo the text action peformed (add text, delete text, etc).
redo
  Redo the last undone action (i.e., undo an undo).
suspend
  Suspend the editor (if the suspend function is enabled, see the "suspendenable" entry below).
casesens
  Toggle case sensitivity in searching (search/replace menus only).
regexp
  Toggle whether searching/replacing is based on literal strings or regular expressions.
prevhistory
  Show the previous history entry in the prompt menus (e.g. search).
nexthistory
  Show the next history entry in the prompt menus (e.g. search).
dontreplace
  Switch back to searching instead of replacing.
gototext
  Search for files matching a string in the file browser (reading or writing files).
dosformat
  When writing a file, switch to writing a DOS format (CR/LF).
macformat
  When writing a file, switch to writing a Mac format.
append
  When writing a file, append to the end instead of overwriting.
prepend
  When writing a file, ’prepend’ (write at the beginning) instead of overwriting.
backup
  When writing a file, create a backup of the current file.
firstfile
  Move to the first file when using the file browser (reading or writing files).
lastfile
  Move to the last file when using the file browser (reading or writing files).
nohelp
  Toggle showing/hiding the two-line list of key bindings at the bottom of the screen.
constupdate
  Constantly display the current line, column, word positions.
morespace
  Toggle showing/hiding the blank line which ’separates’ the ’title’ from the file text.
smoothscroll
  Toggle smooth scrolling when moving via the arrow keys.
whitespacedisplay
  Toggle whether whitespace is shown.
smarthome
  Toggle whether the smart home key function is enabled.
autoindent
  Toggle whether new lines will contain the same amount of whitespace as the line above.
cuttoend
  Toggle whether cutting text will cut the whole line or just from the current cursor position to the end of the line.
nowrap
  Toggle whether long lines will be wrapped to the next line.
suspendenable
  Toggle whether the suspend sequence (normally ^Z) will suspend the editor window.

Valid menu sections are:
main
  The main editor window where text is entered.
search
  The search menu (AKA whereis).
replace
  The ’search to replace’ menu.
replacewith
  The ’replace with’ menu, which comes up after ’search to replace’.
gotoline
  The ’goto line (and column)’ menu.
writeout
  The ’write file’ menu.
insert
  The ’insert file’ menu.
extcmd
  The menu for inserting output from an external comman, reached from the insert menu.
help
  The help menu.
spell
  The interactive spell checker Yes/no menu.
browser
  The file browser for inserting or writing a file.
whereisfile
  The ’search for a file’ menu in the file browser.
gotodir
  The ’go to directory’ menu.
all A special name meaning: apply to all menus where this function exists.

unbind key menu
  Unbind the key key from the menu named menu or from all menus by using all. Same key syntax as for binding. Rebinds the key key to a new function named function in the context of menu menu. The format of key should be one of:

FILES

SYSCONFDIR/nanorc
  System-wide configuration file
~/.nanorc
  Per-user configuration file

SEE ALSO

nano(1)
/usr/share/doc/nano/examples/nanorc.sample (or equivalent on your system)

AUTHOR

Chris Allegretta <chrisa@asty.org>, et al (see AUTHORS and THANKS for details). This manual page was originally written by Jordi Mallach <jordi@gnu.org>, for the Debian system (but may be used by others).


August 23, 2007 NANORC (5) version 2.0.0
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