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pico(1)                                                                pico(1)


       pico - simple text editor in the style of the Alpine Composer


       pico [ options ] [ file ]


       Pico is a simple, display-oriented text editor based on the Alpine mes-
       sage system composer.  As with Alpine, commands are  displayed  at  the
       bottom of the screen, and context-sensitive help is provided.  As char-
       acters 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 browser.

       Paragraph justification (or filling) takes place in the paragraph  that
       contains  the  cursor, or, if the cursor is between lines, in the para-
       graph 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 cur-
       rent  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-^), delete (ctrl-k) and undelete (ctrl-u).   The
       delete command will remove text between the "mark" and the current cur-
       sor 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  routine
       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 specific
       files and navigating directory hierarchies.  Filenames with  sizes  and
       names of directories in the current working directory are presented 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.


       +n     Causes  pico  to be started with the cursor located n lines into
              the file. (Note: no space between "+" sign and number)

       -a     Display all files including those beginning with a period (.).

       -b     Enable the option to Replace text matches found using the "Where
              is"  command.  This  now  does  nothing.  Instead, the option is
              always turned on (as if the -b flag had been specified).

       -d     Rebind the "delete" key so the character the  cursor  is  on  is
              rubbed out rather than the character to its left.

       -e     Enable file name completion.

       -f     Use  function  keys for commands.  This option supported only in
              conjunction with UW Enhanced NCSA telnet.

       -h     List valid command line options.

       -j     Enable "Goto" command in the file  browser.   This  enables  the
              command  to  permit  explicitly telling pilot which directory to

       -g     Enable "Show Cursor" mode in file browser.  Cause cursor  to  be
              positioned  before  the  current selection rather than placed at
              the lower left of the display.

       -k     Causes "Cut Text" command to remove characters from  the  cursor
              position  to  the  end of the line rather than remove the entire

       -m     Enable mouse functionality.  This only works when  pico  is  run
              from within an X Window System "xterm" window.

       -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)

       -o dir Sets operating directory.  Only files within this directory  are
              accessible.  Likewise, the file browser is limited to the speci-
              fied directory subtree.

       -rn    Sets column used to limit the "Justify" command's right margin

       -s speller
              Specify an alternate program spell to use when spell checking.

       -t     Enable "tool" mode.  Intended for when pico is used as the  edi-
              tor 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.

              Print Pico version and exit.

       -w     Disable word wrap (thus allow editing of long lines).

       -x     Disable keymenu at the bottom of the screen.

       -z     Enable ^Z suspension of pico.

       -p     Preserve the "start" and "stop" characters, typically Ctrl-Q and
              Ctrl-S, which are sometimes used in communications paths to con-
              trol data flow between devices that operate at different speeds.

       -Q quotestr
              Set the quote string.  Especially useful when  composing  email,
              setting this allows the quote string to be checked for when Jus-
              tifying paragraphs.  A common quote string is "> ".

       -W word_separators
              If characters listed here appear in the middle of  a  word  sur-
              rounded  by  alphanumeric characters that word is split into two
              words. This is used by the Forward and  Backward  word  commands
              and by the spell checker.

       -q     Termcap  or  terminfo  definition for input escape sequences are
              used in preference to sequences defined by default.  This option
              is  only  available  if  pico was compiled with the TERMCAP_WINS
              define turned on.

              Do setlocale(LC_CTYPE) if available. Default is to not  do  this

              Do  not  do  setlocale(LC_COLLATE). Default is to do this setlo-

       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 "".


       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.

Files        Unnamed interrupted work saved here.
       *.save           Interrupted work on a named file is saved here.


       Michael Seibel <>
       Laurence Lundblade <>
       Pico was originally derived from MicroEmacs 3.6, by Dave G. Conroy.
       Copyright 1989-2008 by the University of Washington.

See Also

       Source distribution (part of the Alpine Message System):

       $Date: 2008-08-22 13:40:16 -0700 (Fri, 22 Aug 2008) $

                                 Version 5.04                          pico(1)

alpine 2.00 - Generated Sun Sep 28 09:56:14 CDT 2008
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