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LESSKEY(1)                                                          LESSKEY(1)

       lesskey - specify key bindings for less

       lesskey [-o output] [--] [input]
       lesskey [--output=output] [--] [input]
       lesskey -V
       lesskey --version

       Lesskey  is  used  to  specify  a  set of key bindings to be used by less.  The input file is a text file which
       describes the key bindings, If the input file is "-", standard input is read.  If no input file is specified, a
       standard  filename  is used as the name of the input file, which depends on the system being used: On Unix sys-
       tems, $HOME/.lesskey is used; on MS-DOS systems, $HOME/_lesskey is used; and on OS/2 systems  $HOME/lesskey.ini
       is  used,  or $INIT/lesskey.ini if $HOME is undefined.  The output file is a binary file which is used by less.
       If no output file is specified, and the environment variable LESSKEY is set, the value of LESSKEY  is  used  as
       the  name  of  the  output  file.  Otherwise, a standard filename is used as the name of the output file, which
       depends on the system being used: On Unix and OS-9 systems, $HOME/.less is used; on MS-DOS systems, $HOME/_less
       is  used;  and on OS/2 systems, $HOME/less.ini is used, or $INIT/less.ini if $HOME is undefined.  If the output
       file already exists, lesskey will overwrite it.

       The -V or --version option causes lesskey to print its version number and immediately exit.  If -V or --version
       is present, other options and arguments are ignored.

       The  input  file consists of one or more sections.  Each section starts with a line that identifies the type of
       section.  Possible sections are:

              Defines new command keys.

              Defines new line-editing keys.

       #env   Defines environment variables.

       Blank lines and lines which start with a pound sign (#) are ignored, except  for  the  special  section  header

       The command section begins with the line


       If  the  command  section is the first section in the file, this line may be omitted.  The command section con-
       sists of lines of the form:

            string <whitespace> action [extra-string] <newline>

       Whitespace is any sequence of one or more spaces and/or tabs.  The string is the command  key(s)  which  invoke
       the action.  The string may be a single command key, or a sequence of up to 15 keys.  The action is the name of
       the less action, from the list below.  The characters in the string may appear literally, or be prefixed  by  a
       caret  to  indicate  a control key.  A backslash followed by one to three octal digits may be used to specify a
       character by its octal value.  A backslash followed by certain characters specifies input  characters  as  fol-

       \b     BACKSPACE

       \e     ESCAPE

       \n     NEWLINE

       \r     RETURN

       \t     TAB

       \ku    UP ARROW

       \kd    DOWN ARROW

       \kr    RIGHT ARROW

       \kl    LEFT ARROW

       \kU    PAGE UP

       \kD    PAGE DOWN

       \kh    HOME

       \ke    END

       \kx    DELETE

       A  backslash  followed  by  any  other character indicates that character is to be taken literally.  Characters
       which must be preceded by backslash include caret, space, tab and the backslash itself.

       An action may be followed by an "extra" string.  When such a command is entered while running less, the  action
       is  performed,  and  then the extra string is parsed, just as if it were typed in to less.  This feature can be
       used in certain cases to extend the functionality of a command.  For example, see the "{" and ":t" commands  in
       the  example below.  The extra string has a special meaning for the "quit" action: when less quits, first char-
       acter of the extra string is used as its exit status.

       The following input file describes the set of default command keys used by less:

            \r        forw-line
            \n        forw-line
            e         forw-line
            j         forw-line
            \kd  forw-line
            ^E        forw-line
            ^N        forw-line
            k         back-line
            y         back-line
            ^Y        back-line
            ^K        back-line
            ^P        back-line
            J         forw-line-force
            K         back-line-force
            Y         back-line-force
            d         forw-scroll
            ^D        forw-scroll
            u         back-scroll
            ^U        back-scroll
            \40  forw-screen
            f         forw-screen
            ^F        forw-screen
            ^V        forw-screen
            \kD  forw-screen
            b         back-screen
            ^B        back-screen
            \ev       back-screen
            \kU  back-screen
            z         forw-window
            w         back-window
            \e\40          forw-screen-force
            F         forw-forever
            R         repaint-flush
            r         repaint
            ^R        repaint
            ^L        repaint
            \eu       undo-hilite
            g         goto-line
            \kh  goto-line
            <         goto-line
            \e<       goto-line
            p         percent
            %         percent
            \e[       left-scroll
            \e]       right-scroll
            \e(       left-scroll
            \e)       right-scroll
            {         forw-bracket {}
            }         back-bracket {}
            (         forw-bracket ()
            )         back-bracket ()
            [         forw-bracket []
            ]         back-bracket []
            \e^F      forw-bracket
            \e^B      back-bracket
            G         goto-end
            \e>       goto-end
            >         goto-end
            \ke  goto-end
            =         status
            ^G        status
            :f        status
            /         forw-search
            ?         back-search
            \e/       forw-search *
            \e?       back-search *
            n         repeat-search
            \en       repeat-search-all
            N         reverse-search
            \eN       reverse-search-all
            &         filter
            m         set-mark
            '         goto-mark
            ^X^X      goto-mark
            E         examine
            :e        examine
            ^X^V      examine
            :n        next-file
            :p        prev-file
            t         next-tag
            T         prev-tag
            :x        index-file
            :d        remove-file
            -         toggle-option
            :t        toggle-option t
            s         toggle-option o
            _         display-option
            |         pipe
            v         visual
            !         shell
            +         firstcmd
            H         help
            h         help
            V         version
            0         digit
            1         digit
            2         digit
            3         digit
            4         digit
            5         digit
            6         digit
            7         digit
            8         digit
            9         digit
            q         quit
            Q         quit
            :q        quit
            :Q        quit
            ZZ        quit

       Commands specified by lesskey take precedence over the default commands.  A default command key may be disabled
       by including it in the input file with the action "invalid".  Alternatively, a key may be defined to do nothing
       by using the action "noaction".  "noaction" is similar to "invalid", but less will give an error  beep  for  an
       "invalid"  command,  but  not  for  a "noaction" command.  In addition, ALL default commands may be disabled by
       adding this control line to the input file:


       This will cause all default commands to be ignored.  The #stop line should be the last line in that section  of
       the file.

       Be  aware  that  #stop  can be dangerous.  Since all default commands are disabled, you must provide sufficient
       commands before the #stop line to enable all necessary actions.  For example, failure to provide a "quit"  com-
       mand can lead to frustration.

       The line-editing section begins with the line:


       This section specifies new key bindings for the line editing commands, in a manner similar to the way key bind-
       ings for ordinary commands are specified in the #command section.  The line-editing section consists of a  list
       of keys and actions, one per line as in the example below.

       The following input file describes the set of default line-editing keys used by less:

            \t        forw-complete
            \17       back-complete
            \e\t      back-complete
            ^L        expand
            ^V        literal
            ^A        literal
            \el       right
            \kr       right
            \eh       left
            \kl       left
            \eb       word-left
            \e\kl     word-left
            \ew       word-right
            \e\kr     word-right
            \ei       insert
            \ex       delete
            \kx       delete
            \eX       word-delete
            \ekx      word-delete
            \e\b      word-backspace
            \e0       home
            \kh       home
            \e$       end
            \ke       end
            \ek       up
            \ku       up
            \ej       down

       The environment variable section begins with the line


       Following  this line is a list of environment variable assignments.  Each line consists of an environment vari-
       able name, an equals sign (=) and the value to be assigned to the environment variable.  White space before and
       after  the  equals sign is ignored.  Variables assigned in this way are visible only to less.  If a variable is
       specified in the system environment and also in a lesskey file, the value in the lesskey file takes precedence.
       Although the lesskey file can be used to override variables set in the environment, the main purpose of assign-
       ing variables in the lesskey file is simply to have all less configuration information stored in one file.

       The following input file sets the -i option whenever less is  run,  and  specifies  the  character  set  to  be

            LESS = -i
            LESSCHARSET = latin1


       It is not possible to specify special keys, such as uparrow, in a keyboard-independent manner.  The only way to
       specify such keys is to specify the escape sequence which a particular  keyboard  sends  when  such  a  key  is

       On  MS-DOS  and  OS/2 systems, certain keys send a sequence of characters which start with a NUL character (0).
       This NUL character should be represented as \340 in a lesskey file.

       Copyright (C) 2000-2009  Mark Nudelman

       lesskey is part of the GNU project and is free software; you can redistribute it and/or  modify  it  under  the
       terms  of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at
       your option) any later version.

       lesskey is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even  the  implied
       warranty  of  MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License for more

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with lesskey; see the file COPYING.  If
       not, write to the Free Software Foundation, 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307, USA.

       Mark Nudelman <>
       Send bug reports or comments to the above address or to

                           Version 436: 07 Jul 2009                 LESSKEY(1)