Simple text editor, in the style of the Pine Composer. commands are displayed at the bottom of the screen, and context- sensitive help is provided. As characters are typed they are immediately inserted into the text.

      pico [options] [file]

       -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.

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 paragraph immediately below. Paragraphs are delimited by blank lines, or by lines beginning with a space or tab. Unjustification can be done immedi- ately 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 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.

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".

More specific help is available in pico's online help.

"True Ease in Writing comes from Art, not Chance, As those move easiest who have learned to dance" ~ Alexander Pope

Related macOS commands

Nano - basic GNU editor with colour syntax highlighting.
pine(1) - Source distribution.

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