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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 message system composer.  As with Alpine,
       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.

       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 immediately 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-^),  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 posi-

       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 sub-
       stitute  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

       -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 visit.

       -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 line.

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

       -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 specified 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 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.

              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 control 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 Justifying paragraphs.  A common quote string is "> ".

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

       -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 setlocale.

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

       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 "".

Color Support
       If your terminal supports colors, Pico can be configured to color text. Users can configure the  color  of  the
       text,  the text in the key menu, the titlebar, messages and prompt in the status line. As an added feature Pico
       can also be used to configure the color of up to three different levels of quoted text, and the signature of an
       email message. This is useful when Pico is used as a tool (with the -t command line switch.)

       Pico  can tell you the number of colors that your terminal supports, when started with the switch -color_codes.
       In addition Pico will print a table showing the numerical code of every color supported in  that  terminal.  In
       order to configure colors, one must use these numerical codes. For example, 0 is for black, so in order to con-
       figure a black color, one must use its code, the number 0.

       In order to activate colors, one must use the option -ncolors with a numerical value indicating the  number  of
       colors  that your terminal supports, for example, -ncolors 256 indicates that the user wishes to use a table of
       256 colors.

       All options that control color, are four letter options. Their last two letters are either "fc" or "bc",  indi-
       cating foreground color and bacground color, respectively. The first two letters indicate the type of text that
       is being configured, for example "nt" stands for normal text, so that -ntfc represents the color of the  normal
       text,  while  -ntbc represents the color of the background of normal text. Here is a complete list of the color
       options supported by Pico.

              displays the number of colors supported by the terminal, and a table showing the association  of  colors
              and numerical codes

              activates color support in Pico, and tells Pico how many colors to use.  Depending on your terminal num-
              ber could be 8, 16, or 256.

       -ntfc  specifies the number num of the color to be used to color normal text.

       -ntbc  specifies the number num of the color of the background for normal text.

       -rtfc  number of the color of reverse text. Default: same as background color of normal text (if specified.)

       -rtbc  number of the color of the background of reverse text. Default: same as color of normal text (if  speci-

       -tbfc  number of color of text of the title bar. Default: same as foreground color of reverse text.

       -tbbc  number of the color of background of the title bar.

       -klfc  number of the color of the text of the key label.

       -klbc  number of color of background of the key label.

       -knfc  number of color of text of the key name.

       -knbc  number of color of background of the key name.

       -stfc  number of color of text of the status line.

       -stbc  number of color of background of the status line.

       -prfc  number of color of text of a prompt.

       -prbc  number of color of background of a prompt.

       -q1fc  number of color of text of level one of quoted text.

       -q1bc  number  of  color  of  background  of level one of quoted text. If the option -q1bc is used, the default
              value of this option is the background color or normal text.

       -q2fc  number of color of text of level two of quoted text.

       -q2bc  number of color of background of level two of quoted text. If the option  -q1bc  is  used,  the  default
              value of this option is the background color or normal text.

       -q3fc  number of color of text of level three of quoted text.

       -sbfc  number of color of text of signature block text.

       -sbbc  number of color of background of signature block text.

       The  manner in which lines longer than the display width are dealt is not immediately obvious.  Lines that con-
       tinue 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: 2009-02-02 13:54:23 -0600 (Mon, 02 Feb 2009) $

                                 Version 5.08                          pico(1)