Provided by: alpine-pico_2.21+dfsg1-1.1build1_amd64 bug


       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

       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 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

       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 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" 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 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 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 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 configure 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", indicating 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 number 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 specified.)

       -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  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: 2009-02-02 13:54:23 -0600 (Mon, 02 Feb 2009) $

                                           Version 5.08                                   pico(1)