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LESSPIPE.SH(1)                   User Commands                  LESSPIPE.SH(1)

NAME - a filter for less



       Usually is called as an input filter to less With the help
       of that filter less will display  the  uncompressed  contents  of  com-
       pressed  (gzip,  bzip2, compress, rar, 7-zip, lzip or lzma) files.  For
       files containing archives and directories, a table of contents will  be
       displayed  (e.g tar, ar rar, jar, rpm and deb formats). Other supported
       formats include nroff, pdf, ps, dvi, shared library, MS  word,  Openof-
       fice,  debian  package,  html,  mp3,  jpg, png, iso images, MacOSX bom,
       plist and archive formats, perl storable data and gpg encrypted  files.
       This does require additional helper programs being installed.

       The  filter does not only display the above mentioned file formats, but
       can also be applied recursively up to a depth of  6  where  applying  a
       decompression algorithm counts as a separate level.

       In  a  few  rare  cases the file command does not recognize the correct
       format (especially with nroff).  In such cases filtering  can  be  sup-
       pressed by a trailing colon on the file name.

       Some  converting  between UTF-8, ISO-8859-1 and UTF-16 character encod-
       ings is done.  If text in the "wrong" encoding  is  detected  then  the
       text  is  transformed into the native encoding used by the system. This
       does make assumptions concerning the encodings and may not in all cases
       improve the display


       The  filter  is  called  from  less  provided  the environment variable
       LESSOPEN is set properly. For the shells csh and tcsh the command

       setenv LESSOPEN "| %s"

       should be used, for other shells the command

       LESSOPEN="| %s"; export LESSOPEN

       does activate the filter for less. Use the  fully  qualified  path,  if  is not in the search path. The command to set LESSOPEN can
       also be displayed by calling without  arguments.  This  can
       even be used to set LESSOPEN directly:

       eval ``

       Having  set the environment variable as described above, less will then
       display textual information for a wide range of file formats.


       This version of allows you to view  individual  files  con-
       tained in a file archive, which itself may even be contained in another

       The notation for viewing files in multifile archives is

       less archive_file:contained_file

       or even

       less super_archive:archive_file:contained_file

       To display a file in raw format, a colon (:) has to be appended to  the
       file  name.   To suppress the decompression of files two colons have to
       be appended. This does apply as well to the last file in the colon sep-
       arated chain of file names as described above.

       To display files without engaging temporarily, the command

       cat filename | less

       can be used instead of unsetting the environment variable LESSOPEN


       The  filter  is  able  to do syntax highlighting for the languages ada,
       asm, awk, c, c++, groff, html, xml, java, javascript, lisp,  m4,  make,
       pascal,  patch,  perl,  povray,  python, ruby shellscript and sql.  The
       choice of colors is just a first guess (proof  of  concept)  and  still
       needs refinements.

       ATTENTION:  Syntax  highlighting  is only activated, if the environment
       variable LESS exists and contains the option -R or -r or less is called
       with  one  of  these  options. This guarantees, that instead of literal
       escape sequences, colors are displayed.  The  detection  of  the  -r/-R
       presence at runtime is rather dependent on the operating system and may
       not work in all cases.  Putting the  option  in  the  LESS  environment
       variable is guaranteed to work.

       As  syntax  highlighting is rather resource intense, it can be switched
       off by appending a colon after the file name, if the output was  color-
       ful.  If  the  wrong  language was chosen for syntax highlighting, then
       another one can be forced by appending a colon and a suffix to the file

       The following suffixes are recognized:

       .ada  .asm  .inc  .awk .c .h .cpp .cxx .groff .html .php .xml .java .js
       .lsp .m4 Makefile .pas .patch .diff .pm .pl .pod .pov .py .rb .sh .sql


       Written by Wolfgang Friebel


       Report bugs to <Wolfgang.Friebel AT>.


       Copyright (C) 2005-2008 Wolfgang Friebel
       This is free software; see the source for copying conditions.  There is
       NO  warranty;  not even for MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR



       A description of is also contained in the file README  con-
       tained in the source code package                        Aug 2008                     LESSPIPE.SH(1)

lesspipe 1.60 - Generated Fri Dec 5 19:35:29 CST 2008
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