MirOS Manual: less(1), more(1), page(1)

LESS(1)                      BSD Reference Manual                      LESS(1)

NAME

     less, more - view files on a CRT

SYNOPSIS

     less | more -?
     less | more --help
     less | more -V
     less | more --version
     less | more [-[+]aBcCdeEfFgGiIJLmMnNqQrRsSuUVwWX~] [-b space] [-h lines]
          [-j line] [-k keyfile] [-o | -O logfile] [-p pattern] [-P prompt]
          [-t tag] [-T tagsfile] [-x tab,...] [-y lines] [-[z] lines]
          [-# shift] [+[+]cmd] [--] [filename ...]

DESCRIPTION

     less is a program similar to the traditional more(1), but which allows
     backward movement in the file as well as forward movement. Also, less
     does not have to read the entire input file before starting, so with
     large input files it starts up faster than text editors like vi(1). less
     uses termcap (or terminfo on some systems), so it can run on a variety of
     terminals. There is even limited support for hardcopy terminals. (On a
     hardcopy terminal, lines which should be printed at the top of the screen
     are prefixed with a caret.)

     This version of less also acts as more(1) if it is called as more. In
     this mode, the differences are in the prompt and that more exits by de-
     fault when it gets to the end of the file. Commands are based on both
     traditional more and vi(1). Commands may be preceded by a decimal number,
     called N in the descriptions below. The number is used by some commands,
     as indicated.

COMMANDS

     In the following descriptions, ^X means control-X. ESC stands for the ES-
     CAPE key; for example ESC-v means the two character sequence "ESCAPE",
     then "v".

     h | H
           Help: display a summary of these commands. If you forget all the
           other commands, remember this one.

     SPACE | ^V | f | ^F
           Scroll forward N lines, default one window (see option -z below).
           If N is more than the screen size, only the final screenful is
           displayed. Warning: some systems use ^V as a special literalization
           character.

     z     Like SPACE, but if N is specified, it becomes the new window size.

     ESC-SPACE
           Like SPACE, but scrolls a full screensful, even if it reaches end-
           of-file in the process.

     RETURN | ^N | e | ^E | j | ^J
           Scroll forward N lines, default 1. The entire N lines are
           displayed, even if N is more than the screen size.

     d | ^D
           Scroll forward N lines, default one half of the screen size. If N
           is specified, it becomes the new default for subsequent d and u
           commands.

     b | ^B | ESC-v
           Scroll backward N lines, default one window (see option -z below).
           If N is more than the screen size, only the final screenful is
           displayed.
     w     Like ESC-v, but if N is specified, it becomes the new window size.

     y | ^Y | ^P | k | ^K
           Scroll backward N lines, default 1. The entire N lines are
           displayed, even if N is more than the screen size. Warning: some
           systems use ^Y as a special job control character.

     u | ^U
           Scroll backward N lines, default one half of the screen size. If N
           is specified, it becomes the new default for subsequent d and u
           commands.

     ESC-) | RIGHTARROW
           Scroll horizontally right N characters, default half the screen
           width (see the -# option). If a number N is specified, it becomes
           the default for future RIGHTARROW and LEFTARROW commands. While the
           text is scrolled, it acts as though the -S option (chop lines) were
           in effect.

     ESC-( | LEFTARROW
           Scroll horizontally left N characters, default half the screen
           width (see the -# option). If a number N is specified, it becomes
           the default for future RIGHTARROW and LEFTARROW commands.

     r | ^R | ^L
           Repaint the screen.

     R     Repaint the screen, discarding any buffered input. Useful if the
           file is changing while it is being viewed.

     F     Scroll forward, and keep trying to read when the end of file is
           reached. Normally this command would be used when already at the
           end of the file. It is a way to monitor the tail of a file which is
           growing while it is being viewed. (The behavior is similar to the
           "tail -f" command.)

     g | < | ESC-<
           Go to line N in the file, default 1 (beginning of file). (Warning:
           this may be slow if N is large.)

     G | > | ESC->
           Go to line N in the file, default the end of the file. (Warning:
           this may be slow if N is large, or if N is not specified and stan-
           dard input, rather than a file, is being read.)

     p | %
           Go to a position N percent into the file. N should be between 0 and
           100.

     {     If a left curly bracket appears in the top line displayed on the
           screen, the { command will go to the matching right curly bracket.
           The matching right curly bracket is positioned on the bottom line
           of the screen. If there is more than one left curly bracket on the
           top line, a number N may be used to specify the N-th bracket on the
           line.

     }     If a right curly bracket appears in the bottom line displayed on
           the screen, the } command will go to the matching left curly brack-
           et. The matching left curly bracket is positioned on the top line
           of the screen. If there is more than one right curly bracket on the
           top line, a number N may be used to specify the N-th bracket on the
           line.

     (     Like {, but applies to parentheses rather than curly brackets.

     )     Like }, but applies to parentheses rather than curly brackets.

     [     Like {, but applies to square brackets rather than curly brackets.

     ]     Like }, but applies to square brackets rather than curly brackets.

     ESC-^F
           Followed by two characters, acts like {, but uses the two charac-
           ters as open and close brackets, respectively. For example, "ESC ^F
           < >" could be used to go forward to the > which matches the < in
           the top displayed line.

     ESC-^B
           Followed by two characters, acts like }, but uses the two charac-
           ters as open and close brackets, respectively. For example, "ESC ^B
           < >" could be used to go backward to the < which matches the > in
           the bottom displayed line.

     m     Followed by any lowercase letter, marks the current position with
           that letter.

     '     (Single quote.) Followed by any lowercase letter, returns to the
           position which was previously marked with that letter. Followed by
           another single quote, returns to the position at which the last
           "large" movement command was executed. Followed by a ^ or $, jumps
           to the beginning or end of the file respectively. Marks are
           preserved when a new file is examined, so the ' command can be used
           to switch between input files.

     ^X^X  Same as single quote.

     /pattern
           Search forward in the file for the N-th line containing the pat-
           tern. N defaults to 1. The pattern is a regular expression, as
           recognized by ed(1). The search starts at the second line displayed
           (but see the -a and -j options, which change this).

           Certain characters are special if entered at the beginning of the
           pattern; they modify the type of search rather than become part of
           the pattern:

           ^N | !  Search for lines which do NOT match the pattern.

           ^E | *  Search multiple files. That is, if the search reaches the
                   END of the current file without finding a match, the search
                   continues in the next file in the command line list.

           ^F | @  Begin the search at the first line of the FIRST file in the
                   command line list, regardless of what is currently
                   displayed on the screen or the settings of the -a or -j op-
                   tions.

           ^K      Highlight any text which matches the pattern on the current
                   screen, but don't move to the first match (KEEP current po-
                   sition).

           ^R      Don't interpret regular expression metacharacters; that is,
                   do a simple textual comparison.

     ?pattern
           Search backward in the file for the N-th line containing the pat-
           tern. The search starts at the line immediately before the top line
           displayed.

           Certain characters are special, as in the / command:

           ^N | !  Search for lines which do NOT match the pattern.

           ^E | *  Search multiple files. That is, if the search reaches the
                   beginning of the current file without finding a match, the
                   search continues in the previous file in the command line
                   list.

           ^F | @  Begin the search at the last line of the last file in the
                   command line list, regardless of what is currently
                   displayed on the screen or the settings of the -a or -j op-
                   tions.

           ^K      As in forward searches.

           ^R      As in forward searches.

     ESC-/pattern
           Same as "/*".

     ESC-?pattern
           Same as "?*".

     n     Repeat previous search, for N-th line containing the last pattern.
           If the previous search was modified by ^N, the search is made for
           the N-th line NOT containing the pattern. If the previous search
           was modified by ^E, the search continues in the next (or previous)
           file if not satisfied in the current file. If the previous search
           was modified by ^R, the search is done without using regular ex-
           pressions. There is no effect if the previous search was modified
           by ^F or ^K.

     N     Repeat previous search, but in the reverse direction.

     ESC-n
           Repeat previous search, but crossing file boundaries. The effect is
           as if the previous search were modified by *.

     ESC-N
           Repeat previous search, but in the reverse direction and crossing
           file boundaries.

     ESC-u
           Undo search highlighting. Turn off highlighting of strings matching
           the current search pattern. If highlighting is already off because
           of a previous ESC-u command, turn highlighting back on. Any search
           command will also turn highlighting back on. (Highlighting can also
           be disabled by toggling the -G option; in that case search commands
           do not turn highlighting back on.)

     :e [filename]
           Examine a new file. If the filename is missing, the "current" file
           (see the :n and :p commands below) from the list of files in the
           command line is re-examined. A percent sign (%) in the filename is
           replaced by the name of the current file. A pound sign (#) is re-
           placed by the name of the previously examined file. However, two
           consecutive percent signs are simply replaced with a single percent
           sign. This allows you to enter a filename that contains a percent
           sign in the name. Similarly, two consecutive pound signs are re-
           placed with a single pound sign. The filename is inserted into the
           command line list of files so that it can be seen by subsequent :n
           and :p commands. If the filename consists of several files, they
           are all inserted into the list of files and the first one is exam-
           ined. If the filename contains one or more spaces, the entire
           filename should be enclosed in double quotes (also see the -" op-
           tion).

     ^X^V | E
           Same as :e. Warning: some systems use ^V as a special literaliza-
           tion character. On such systems, you may not be able to use ^V.

     :n    Examine the next file (from the list of files given in the command
           line). If a number N is specified, the N-th next file is examined.

     :p    Examine the previous file in the command line list. If a number N
           is specified, the N-th previous file is examined.

     :t    Go to the specified tag.

     :x    Examine the first file in the command line list. If a number N is
           specified, the N-th file in the list is examined.

     :d    Remove the current file from the list of files.

     t     Go to the next tag, if there were more than one matches for the
           current tag. See the -t option for more details about tags.

     T     Go to the previous tag, if there were more than one matches for the
           current tag.

     = | ^G | :f
           Prints some information about the file being viewed, including its
           name and the line number and byte offset of the bottom line being
           displayed. If possible, it also prints the length of the file, the
           number of lines in the file and the percent of the file above the
           last displayed line.

     -     Followed by one of the command line option letters (see OPTIONS
           below), this will change the setting of that option and print a
           message describing the new setting. If a ^P (CONTROL-P) is entered
           immediately after the dash, the setting of the option is changed
           but no message is printed. If the option letter has a numeric value
           (such as -b or -h), or a string value (such as -P or -t), a new
           value may be entered after the option letter. If no new value is
           entered, a message describing the current setting is printed and
           nothing is changed.

     --    Like the - command, but takes a long option name (see OPTIONS
           below) rather than a single option letter. You must press RETURN
           after typing the option name. A ^P immediately after the second
           dash suppresses printing of a message describing the new setting,
           as in the - command.

     -+    Followed by one of the command line option letters this will reset
           the option to its default setting and print a message describing
           the new setting. (The "-+X" command does the same thing as "-+X" on
           the command line.) This does not work for string-valued options.

     --+   Like the -+ command, but takes a long option name rather than a
           single option letter.

     -!    Followed by one of the command line option letters, this will reset
           the option to the "opposite" of its default setting and print a
           message describing the new setting. This does not work for numeric
           or string-valued options.

     --!   Like the -! command, but takes a long option name rather than a
           single option letter.

     _     (Underscore.) Followed by one of the command line option letters,
           this will print a message describing the current setting of that
           option. The setting of the option is not changed.

     __    (Double underscore.) Like the _ (underscore) command, but takes a
           long option name rather than a single option letter. You must press
           RETURN after typing the option name.

     +cmd  Causes the specified cmd to be executed each time a new file is ex-
           amined. For example, +G causes less to initially display each file
           starting at the end rather than the beginning.

     V     Prints the version number of less being run.

     q | Q | :q | :Q | ZZ
           Exits less.

     The following four commands may or may not be valid, depending on your
     particular installation.

     v     Invokes an editor to edit the current file being viewed. The editor
           is taken from the environment variable VISUAL, if defined, or
           EDITOR if VISUAL is not defined, or defaults to "vi" if neither
           VISUAL nor EDITOR is defined. See also the discussion of LESSEDIT
           under the section on PROMPTS below.

     ! shell-command
           Invokes a shell to run the shell-command given. A percent sign (%)
           in the command is replaced by the name of the current file. A pound
           sign (#) is replaced by the name of the previously examined file.
           "!!" repeats the last shell command. "!" with no shell command sim-
           ply invokes a shell. The shell is taken from the environment vari-
           able SHELL, or defaults to "sh".

     | <m> shell-command
           <m> represents any mark letter. Pipes a section of the input file
           to the given shell command. The section of the file to be piped is
           between the first line on the current screen and the position
           marked by the letter. <m> may also be ^ or $ to indicate beginning
           or end of file respectively. If <m> is . or newline, the current
           screen is piped.

     s filename
           Save the input to a file. This only works if the input is a pipe,
           not an ordinary file.

OPTIONS

     Command line options are described below. Most options may be changed
     while less is running, via the "-" command.

     Most options may be given in one of two forms: either a dash followed by
     a single letter, or two dashes followed by a long option name. A long op-
     tion name may be abbreviated as long as the abbreviation is unambiguous.
     For example, --quit-at-eof may be abbreviated --quit, but not --qui,
     since both --quit-at-eof and --quiet begin with --qui. Some long option
     names are in uppercase, such as --QUIT-AT-EOF, as distinct from --quit-
     at-eof. Such option names need only have their first letter capitalized;
     the remainder of the name may be in either case. For example, --Quit-at-
     eof is equivalent to --QUIT-AT-EOF.

     Options are also taken from the environment variable LESS if the command
     is less, or from the environment variable MORE if the command is more.
     For example, to avoid typing "less -options ..." each time less is in-
     voked, you might tell csh(1):

           setenv LESS -options

     or if you use sh(1):

           LESS="-options"; export LESS

     The environment variable is parsed before the command line, so command
     line options override the LESS environment variable. If an option appears
     in the LESS variable, it can be reset to its default value on the command
     line by beginning the command line option with "-+".

     For options like -P which take a following string, a dollar sign ($) must
     be used to signal the end of the string. For example, to separate a
     prompt value from any other options with dollar sign between them:

           LESS="-Ps--More--$-C -e"

     -? | --help
           This option displays a summary of the commands accepted by less
           (the same as the h command). (Depending on how your shell inter-
           prets the question mark, it may be necessary to quote the question
           mark, thus: "-\?".)

     -a | --search-skip-screen
           Causes searches to start after the last line displayed on the
           screen, thus skipping all lines displayed on the screen. By de-
           fault, searches start at the second line on the screen (or after
           the last found line; see the -j option).

     -bn | --buffers=n
           Specifies the amount of buffer space less will use for each file,
           in units of kilobytes (1024 bytes). By default 64K of buffer space
           is used for each file (unless the file is a pipe; see the -B op-
           tion). The -b option specifies instead that n kilobytes of buffer
           space should be used for each file. If n is -1, buffer space is un-
           limited; that is, the entire file is read into memory.

     -B | --auto-buffers
           By default, when data is read from a pipe, buffers are allocated
           automatically as needed. If a large amount of data is read from the
           pipe, this can cause a large amount of memory to be allocated. The
           -B option disables this automatic allocation of buffers for pipes,
           so that only 64K (or the amount of space specified by the -b op-
           tion) is used for the pipe. Warning: use of -B can result in er-
           roneous display, since only the most recently viewed part of the
           file is kept in memory; any earlier data is lost.

     -c | --clear-screen
           Causes full screen repaints to be painted from the top line down.
           By default, full screen repaints are done by scrolling from the
           bottom of the screen.

     -C | --CLEAR-SCREEN
           The -C option is like -c, but the screen is cleared before it is
           repainted.

     -d | --dumb (less only)
           The -d option suppresses the error message normally displayed if
           the terminal is dumb; that is, lacks some important capability,
           such as the ability to clear the screen or scroll backward. The -d
           option does not otherwise change the behavior of less on a dumb
           terminal. This option is on by default when invoked as more.

     -d (more only)
           The -d option causes the default prompt to include the basic direc-
           tions ``[Press space to continue, 'q' to quit.]''. The -d option
           also causes the message ``[Press 'h' for instructions.]'' to be
           displayed when an invalid command is entered (normally, the bell is
           rung). This option is useful in environments where users may not be
           experienced with pagers.

     -e | --quit-at-eof
           Causes less to automatically exit the second time it reaches end-
           of-file. By default, the only way to exit less is via the "q" com-
           mand.

     -E | --QUIT-AT-EOF
           Causes less to automatically exit the first time it reaches end-
           of-file.

     -f | --force
           Forces non-regular files to be opened. (A non-regular file is a
           directory or a device special file.) Also suppresses the warning
           message when a binary file is opened. By default, less will refuse
           to open non-regular files.

     -F | --quit-if-one-screen
           Causes less to automatically exit if the entire file can be
           displayed on the first screen.

     -g | --hilite-search
           Normally, less will highlight ALL strings which match the last
           search command. The -g option changes this behavior to highlight
           only the particular string which was found by the last search com-
           mand. This can cause less to run somewhat faster than the default.

     -G | --HILITE-SEARCH
           The -G option suppresses all highlighting of strings found by
           search commands.

     -hn | --max-back-scroll=n
           Specifies a maximum number of lines to scroll backward. If it is
           necessary to scroll backward more than n lines, the screen is
           repainted in a forward direction instead. (If the terminal does not
           have the ability to scroll backward, -h0 is implied.)

     -i | --ignore-case
           Causes searches to ignore case; that is, uppercase and lowercase
           are considered identical. This option is ignored if any uppercase
           letters appear in the search pattern; in other words, if a pattern
           contains uppercase letters, then that search does not ignore case.

     -I | --IGNORE-CASE
           Like -i, but searches ignore case even if the pattern contains up-
           percase letters.

     -jn | --jump-target=n
           Specifies a line on the screen where the "target" line is to be po-
           sitioned. A target line is the object of a text search, tag search,
           jump to a line number, jump to a file percentage, or jump to a
           marked position. The screen line is specified by a number: the top
           line on the screen is 1, the next is 2, and so on. The number may
           be negative to specify a line relative to the bottom of the screen:
           the bottom line on the screen is -1, the second to the bottom is
           -2, and so on. If the -j option is used, searches begin at the line
           immediately after the target line. For example, if "-j4" is used,
           the target line is the fourth line on the screen, so searches begin
           at the fifth line on the screen.

     -J | --status-column
           Displays a status column at the left edge of the screen. The status
           column shows the lines that matched the current search. The status
           column is also used if the -w or -W option is in effect.

     -kfilename | --lesskey-file=filename
           Causes less to open and interpret the named file as a lesskey(1)
           file. Multiple -k options may be specified. If the LESSKEY or
           LESSKEY_SYSTEM environment variable is set, or if a lesskey file is
           found in a standard place (see KEY BINDINGS), it is also used as a
           lesskey file.

     -L | --no-lessopen
           Ignore the LESSOPEN environment variable (see the INPUT
           PREPROCESSOR section below). This option can be set from within
           less, but it will apply only to files opened subsequently, not to
           the file which is currently open. When invoked as more, the
           LESSOPEN environment variable is ignored by default.

     -m | --long-prompt
           Causes less to prompt verbosely (like more), with the percent into
           the file. By default, less prompts with a colon.

     -M | --LONG-PROMPT
           Causes less to prompt even more verbosely than more.

     -n | --line-numbers
           Suppresses line numbers. The default (to use line numbers) may
           cause less to run more slowly in some cases, especially with a very
           large input file. Suppressing line numbers with the -n option will
           avoid this problem. Using line numbers means: the line number will
           be displayed in the verbose prompt and in the = command, and the v
           command will pass the current line number to the editor (see also
           the discussion of LESSEDIT in PROMPTS below).

     -N | --LINE-NUMBERS
           Causes a line number to be displayed at the beginning of each line
           in the display.

     -ofilename | --log-file=filename
           Causes less to copy its input to the named file as it is being
           viewed. This applies only when the input file is a pipe, not an or-
           dinary file. If the file already exists, less will ask for confir-
           mation before overwriting it.

     -Ofilename | --LOG-FILE=filename
           The -O option is like -o, but it will overwrite an existing file
           without asking for confirmation.

           If no log file has been specified, the -o and -O options can be
           used from within less to specify a log file. Without a file name,
           they will simply report the name of the log file. The "s" command
           is equivalent to specifying -o from within less.

     -ppattern | --pattern=pattern
           The -p option on the command line is equivalent to specifying
           +/pattern; that is, it tells less to start at the first occurrence
           of pattern in the file.

     -Pprompt | --prompt=prompt
           Provides a way to tailor the three prompt styles to your own
           preference. This option would normally be put in the LESS environ-
           ment variable, rather than being typed in with each less command.
           Such an option must either be the last option in the LESS variable,
           or be terminated by a dollar sign. -Ps followed by a string changes
           the default (short) prompt to that string. -Pm changes the medium
           (-m) prompt. -PM changes the long (-M) prompt. -Ph changes the
           prompt for the help screen. -P= changes the message printed by the
           = command. -Pw changes the message printed while waiting for data
           (in the F command). All prompt strings consist of a sequence of
           letters and special escape sequences. See the section on PROMPTS
           for more details.

     -q | --quiet | --silent
           Causes moderately "quiet" operation: the terminal bell is not rung
           if an attempt is made to scroll past the end of the file or before
           the beginning of the file. If the terminal has a "visual bell", it
           is used instead. The bell will be rung on certain other errors,
           such as typing an invalid character. The default is to ring the
           terminal bell in all such cases.

     -Q | --QUIET | --SILENT
           Causes totally "quiet" operation: the terminal bell is never rung.

     -r | --raw-control-chars
           Causes "raw" control characters to be displayed. The default is to
           display control characters using the caret notation; for example, a
           control-A (octal 001) is displayed as "^A". Warning: when the -r
           option is used, less cannot keep track of the actual appearance of
           the screen (since this depends on how the screen responds to each
           type of control character). Thus, various display problems may
           result, such as long lines being split in the wrong place.

     -R | --RAW-CONTROL-CHARS
           Like -r, but tries to keep track of the screen appearance where
           possible. This works only if the input consists of normal text and
           possibly some ANSI "color" escape sequences, which are sequences of
           the form:

                ESC [ ... m

           where the "..." is zero or more characters other than "m". For the
           purpose of keeping track of screen appearance, all control charac-
           ters and all ANSI color escape sequences are assumed to not move
           the cursor. You can make less think that characters other than "m"
           can end ANSI color escape sequences by setting the environment
           variable LESSANSIENDCHARS to the list of characters which can end a
           color escape sequence.

     -s | --squeeze-blank-lines
           Causes consecutive blank lines to be squeezed into a single blank
           line. This is useful when viewing nroff(1) output.

     -S | --chop-long-lines
           Causes lines longer than the screen width to be chopped rather than
           folded. That is, the portion of a long line that does not fit in
           the screen width is not shown. The default is to fold long lines;
           that is, display the remainder on the next line.

     -ttag | --tag=tag
           The -t option, followed immediately by a TAG, will edit the file
           containing that tag. For this to work, tag information must be
           available; for example, there may be a file in the current directo-
           ry called "tags", which was previously built by ctags(1) or an
           equivalent command. If the environment variable LESSGLOBALTAGS is
           set, it is taken to be the name of a command compatible with
           global, and that command is executed to find the tag. (See
           http://www.gnu.org/software/global/global.html). The -t option may
           also be specified from within less (using the - command) as a way
           of examining a new file. The command ":t" is equivalent to specify-
           ing -t from within less.

     -Ttagsfile | --tag-file=tagsfile
           Specifies a tags file to be used instead of "tags".

     -u | --underline-special
           Causes backspaces and carriage returns to be treated as printable
           characters; that is, they are sent to the terminal when they appear
           in the input.

     -U | --UNDERLINE-SPECIAL
           Causes backspaces, tabs and carriage returns to be treated as con-
           trol characters; that is, they are handled as specified by the -r
           option.

           By default, if neither -u nor -U is given, backspaces which appear
           adjacent to an underscore character are treated specially: the
           underlined text is displayed using the terminal's hardware under-
           lining capability. Also, backspaces which appear between two ident-
           ical characters are treated specially: the overstruck text is
           printed using the terminal's hardware boldface capability. Other
           backspaces are deleted, along with the preceding character. Car-
           riage returns immediately followed by a newline are deleted. Other
           carriage returns are handled as specified by the -r option. Text
           which is overstruck or underlined can be searched for if neither -u
           nor -U is in effect.

     -V | --version
           Displays the version number of less.

     -w | --hilite-unread
           Temporarily highlights the first "new" line after a forward move-
           ment of a full page. The first "new" line is the line immediately
           following the line previously at the bottom of the screen. Also
           highlights the target line after a g or p command. The highlight is
           removed at the next command which causes movement. The entire line
           is highlighted, unless the -J option is in effect, in which case
           only the status column is highlighted.

     -W | --HILITE-UNREAD
           Like -w, but temporarily highlights the first new line after any
           forward movement command larger than one line.

     -xn,... | --tabs=n,...
           Sets tab stops. If only one n is specified, tab stops are set at
           multiples of n. If multiple values separated by commas are speci-
           fied, tab stops are set at those positions, and then continue with
           the same spacing as the last two. For example, -x9,17 will set tabs
           at positions 9, 17, 25, 33, etc. The default for n is 8.

     -X | --no-init
           Disables sending the termcap initialization and deinitialization
           strings to the terminal. This is sometimes desirable if the deini-
           tialization string does something unnecessary, like clearing the
           screen.

     --no-keypad
           Disables sending the keypad initialization and deinitialization
           strings to the terminal. This is sometimes useful if the keypad
           strings make the numeric keypad behave in an undesirable manner.

     -yn | --max-forw-scroll=n
           Specifies a maximum number of lines to scroll forward. If it is
           necessary to scroll forward more than n lines, the screen is
           repainted instead. The -c or -C option may be used to repaint from
           the top of the screen if desired. By default, any forward movement
           causes scrolling.

     -[z]n | --window=n
           Changes the default scrolling window size to n lines. The default
           is one screenful. The z and w commands can also be used to change
           the window size. The "z" may be omitted for compatibility with
           more. If the number n is negative, it indicates n lines less than
           the current screen size. For example, if the screen is 24 lines,
           -z-4 sets the scrolling window to 20 lines. If the screen is
           resized to 40 lines, the scrolling window automatically changes to
           36 lines.

     -cc | --quotes=cc
           Changes the filename quoting character. This may be necessary if
           you are trying to name a file which contains both spaces and quote
           characters. Followed by a single character, this changes the quote
           character to that character. Filenames containing a space should
           then be surrounded by that character rather than by double quotes.
           Followed by two characters, changes the open quote to the first
           character, and the close quote to the second character. Filenames
           containing a space should then be preceded by the open quote char-
           acter and followed by the close quote character. Note that even
           after the quote characters are changed, this option remains -" (a
           dash followed by a double quote).

     -~ | --tilde
           Normally lines after end of file are displayed as a single tilde
           (~). This option causes lines after end of file to be displayed as
           blank lines.

     -# | --shift
           Specifies the default number of positions to scroll horizontally in
           the RIGHTARROW and LEFTARROW commands. If the number specified is
           zero, it sets the default number of positions to one half of the
           screen width.

     --    A command line argument of "--" marks the end of option arguments.
           Any arguments following this are interpreted as filenames. This can
           be useful when viewing a file whose name begins with a "-" or "+".

     +     If a command line option begins with +, the remainder of that op-
           tion is taken to be an initial command to less. For example, +G
           tells less to start at the end of the file rather than the begin-
           ning, and +/xyz tells it to start at the first occurrence of "xyz"
           in the file. As a special case, +<number> acts like +<number>g;
           that is, it starts the display at the specified line number (howev-
           er, see the caveat under the "g" command above). If the option
           starts with ++, the initial command applies to every file being
           viewed, not just the first one. The + command described previously
           may also be used to set (or change) an initial command for every
           file.

LINE EDITING

     When entering command line at the bottom of the screen (for example, a
     filename for the :e command, or the pattern for a search command), cer-
     tain keys can be used to manipulate the command line. Most commands have
     an alternate form in [ brackets ] which can be used if a key does not ex-
     ist on a particular keyboard. Any of these special keys may be entered
     literally by preceding it with the "literal" character, either ^V or ^A.
     A backslash itself may also be entered literally by entering two
     backslashes.

     LEFTARROW [ESC-h]
             Move the cursor one space to the left.

     RIGHTARROW [ESC-l]
             Move the cursor one space to the right.

     ^LEFTARROW [ESC-b or ESC-LEFTARROW]
             (That is, CONTROL and LEFTARROW simultaneously.) Move the cursor
             one word to the left.

     ^RIGHTARROW [ESC-w or ESC-RIGHTARROW]
             (That is, CONTROL and RIGHTARROW simultaneously.) Move the cursor
             one word to the right.

     HOME [ESC-0]
             Move the cursor to the beginning of the line.

     END [ESC-$]
             Move the cursor to the end of the line.

     BACKSPACE
             Delete the character to the left of the cursor, or cancel the
             command if the command line is empty.

     DELETE or [ESC-x]
             Delete the character under the cursor.

     ^BACKSPACE [ESC-BACKSPACE]
             (That is, CONTROL and BACKSPACE simultaneously.) Delete the word
             to the left of the cursor.

     ^DELETE [ESC-X or ESC-DELETE]
             (That is, CONTROL and DELETE simultaneously.) Delete the word
             under the cursor.

     UPARROW [ESC-k]
             Retrieve the previous command line.

     DOWNARROW [ESC-j]
             Retrieve the next command line.

     TAB     Complete the partial filename to the left of the cursor. If it
             matches more than one filename, the first match is entered into
             the command line. Repeated TABs will cycle through the other
             matching filenames. If the completed filename is a directory, a
             "/" is appended to the filename. The environment variable
             LESSSEPARATOR can be used to specify a different character to ap-
             pend to a directory name.

     BACKTAB [ESC-TAB]
             Like TAB, but cycles in the reverse direction through the match-
             ing filenames.

     ^L      Complete the partial filename to the left of the cursor. If it
             matches more than one filename, all matches are entered into the
             command line (if they fit).

     ^U      Delete the entire command line, or cancel the command if the com-
             mand line is empty. If you have changed your line-kill character
             to something other than ^U, that character is used instead of ^U.

KEY BINDINGS

     You may define your own less commands by using the program lesskey(1) to
     create a lesskey file. This file specifies a set of command keys and an
     action associated with each key. You may also use lesskey to change the
     line-editing keys (see LINE EDITING), and to set environment variables.
     If the environment variable LESSKEY is set, less uses that as the name of
     the lesskey file. Otherwise, less looks for a lesskey file called
     "$HOME/.less". See the lesskey(1) manual page for more details.

     A system-wide lesskey file may also be set up to provide key bindings. If
     a key is defined in both a local lesskey file and in the system-wide
     file, key bindings in the local file take precedence over those in the
     system-wide file. If the environment variable LESSKEY_SYSTEM is set, less
     uses that as the name of the system-wide lesskey file. Otherwise, less
     looks in a standard place for the system-wide lesskey file: On OpenBSD,
     the system-wide lesskey file is /etc/sysless.

INPUT PREPROCESSOR

     You may define an "input preprocessor" for less. Before less opens a
     file, it first gives your input preprocessor a chance to modify the way
     the contents of the file are displayed. An input preprocessor is simply
     an executable program (or shell script), which writes the contents of the
     file to a different file, called the replacement file. The contents of
     the replacement file are then displayed in place of the contents of the
     original file. However, it will appear to the user as if the original
     file is opened; that is, less will display the original filename as the
     name of the current file.

     An input preprocessor receives one command line argument, the original
     filename, as entered by the user. It should create the replacement file,
     and when finished print the name of the replacement file to its standard
     output. If the input preprocessor does not output a replacement filename,
     less uses the original file, as normal. The input preprocessor is not
     called when viewing standard input. To set up an input preprocessor, set
     the LESSOPEN environment variable to a command line which will invoke
     your input preprocessor. This command line should include one occurrence
     of the string "%s", which will be replaced by the filename when the input
     preprocessor command is invoked.

     When less closes a file opened in such a way, it will call another pro-
     gram, called the input postprocessor, which may perform any desired
     clean-up action (such as deleting the replacement file created by
     LESSOPEN). This program receives two command line arguments, the original
     filename as entered by the user, and the name of the replacement file. To
     set up an input postprocessor, set the LESSCLOSE environment variable to
     a command line which will invoke your input postprocessor. It may include
     two occurrences of the string "%s"; the first is replaced with the origi-
     nal name of the file and the second with the name of the replacement
     file, which was output by LESSOPEN.

     For example, these two scripts will allow you to keep files in compressed
     format, but still let less view them directly:

     lessopen.sh:

           #!/bin/mksh
           case "$1" in
           *.Z)    uncompress -c $1  >/tmp/less.$$  2>/dev/null
                   if [ -s /tmp/less.$$ ]; then
                           echo /tmp/less.$$
                   else
                           rm -f /tmp/less.$$
                   fi
                   ;;
           esac

     lessclose.sh:

           #!/bin/mksh
           rm $2

     To use these scripts, put them both where they can be executed and set
     LESSOPEN="lessopen.sh %s", and LESSCLOSE="lessclose.sh %s %s". More com-
     plex LESSOPEN and LESSCLOSE scripts may be written to accept other types
     of compressed files, and so on.

     It is also possible to set up an input preprocessor to pipe the file data
     directly to less, rather than putting the data into a replacement file.
     This avoids the need to decompress the entire file before starting to
     view it. An input preprocessor that works this way is called an input
     pipe. An input pipe, instead of writing the name of a replacement file on
     its standard output, writes the entire contents of the replacement file
     on its standard output. If the input pipe does not write any characters
     on its standard output, then there is no replacement file and less uses
     the original file, as normal. To use an input pipe, make the first char-
     acter in the LESSOPEN environment variable a vertical bar (|) to signify
     that the input preprocessor is an input pipe.

     For example, this script will work like the previous example scripts:

     lesspipe.sh:

           #!/bin/mksh
           case "$1" in
           *.Z)    uncompress -c $1  2>/dev/null
                   ;;
           esac

     To use this script, put it where it can be executed and set
     LESSOPEN="|lesspipe.sh %s". When an input pipe is used, a LESSCLOSE post-
     processor can be used, but it is usually not necessary since there is no
     replacement file to clean up. In this case, the replacement file name
     passed to the LESSCLOSE postprocessor is "-".

NATIONAL CHARACTER SETS

     There are three types of characters in the input file:

     normal characters   Can be displayed directly to the screen.

     control characters  Should not be displayed directly, but are expected to
                         be found in ordinary text files (such as backspace
                         and tab).

     binary characters   Should not be displayed directly and are not expected
                         to be found in text files.

     A "character set" is simply a description of which characters are to be
     considered normal, control, and binary. The LESSCHARSET environment vari-
     able may be used to select a character set. Possible values for
     LESSCHARSET are:

     ascii     BS, TAB, NL, CR, and formfeed are control characters, all chars
               with values between 32 and 126 are normal, and all others are
               binary.

     iso8859   Selects an ISO 8859 character set. This is the same as ASCII,
               except characters between 160 and 255 are treated as normal
               characters.

     latin1    Same as iso8859.

     latin9    Same as iso8859.

     dos       Selects a character set appropriate for MS-DOS.

     ebcdic    Selects an EBCDIC character set.

     IBM-1047  Selects an EBCDIC character set used by OS/390 Unix Services.
               This is the EBCDIC analogue of latin1. You get similar results
               by setting either LESSCHARSET=IBM-1047 or LC_CTYPE=en_US in
               your environment.

     koi8-r    Selects a Russian character set.

     next      Selects a character set appropriate for NeXT computers.

     utf-8     Selects the UTF-8 encoding of the ISO 10646 character set.

     In special cases, it may be desired to tailor less to use a character set
     other than the ones definable by LESSCHARSET. In this case, the environ-
     ment variable LESSCHARDEF can be used to define a character set. It
     should be set to a string where each character in the string represents
     one character in the character set. The character "." is used for a nor-
     mal character, "c" for control, and "b" for binary. A decimal number may
     be used for repetition. For example, "bccc4b." would mean character 0 is
     binary, 1, 2 and 3 are control, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are binary, and 8 is nor-
     mal. All characters after the last are taken to be the same as the last,
     so characters 9 through 255 would be normal. (This is an example, and
     does not necessarily represent any real character set.)

     This table shows the value of LESSCHARDEF which is equivalent to each of
     the possible values for LESSCHARSET:

           ascii           8bcccbcc18b95.b
           dos             8bcccbcc12bc5b95.b.
           ebcdic          5bc6bcc7bcc41b.9b7.9b5.b..8b6.10b6.b9.7b
                           9.8b8.17b3.3b9.7b9.8b8.6b10.b.b.b.
           IBM-1047        4cbcbc3b9cbccbccbb4c6bcc5b3cbbc4bc4bccbc
                           191.b
           iso8859         8bcccbcc18b95.33b.
           koi8-r          8bcccbcc18b95.b128.
           latin1          8bcccbcc18b95.33b.
           next            8bcccbcc18b95.bb125.bb

     If neither LESSCHARSET nor LESSCHARDEF is set, but the string "UTF-8" is
     found in the LC_ALL, LC_TYPE or LANG environment variables, then the de-
     fault character set is utf-8.

     If that string is not found, but your system supports the setlocale in-
     terface, less will use setlocale to determine the character set. setlo-
     cale is controlled by setting the LANG or LC_CTYPE environment variables.

     Finally, if the setlocale interface is also not available, the default
     character set is latin1.

     Control and binary characters are displayed in standout (reverse video).
     Each such character is displayed in caret notation if possible (e.g. ^A
     for control-A). Caret notation is used only if inverting the 0100 bit
     results in a normal printable character. Otherwise, the character is
     displayed as a hex number in angle brackets. This format can be changed
     by setting the LESSBINFMT environment variable. LESSBINFMT may begin with
     a "*" and one character to select the display attribute: "*k" is blink-
     ing, "*d" is bold, "*u" is underlined, "*s" is standout, and "*n" is nor-
     mal. If LESSBINFMT does not begin with a "*", normal attribute is as-
     sumed. The remainder of LESSBINFMT is a string which may include one
     printf-style escape sequence (a % followed by x, X, o, d, etc.). For ex-
     ample, if LESSBINFMT is "*u[%x]", binary characters are displayed in
     underlined hexadecimal surrounded by brackets. The default if no LESS-
     BINFMT is specified is "*s<%X>".

PROMPTS

     The -P option allows you to tailor the prompt to your preference. The
     string given to the -P option replaces the specified prompt string. Cer-
     tain characters in the string are interpreted specially. The prompt
     mechanism is rather complicated to provide flexibility, but the ordinary
     user need not understand the details of constructing personalized prompt
     strings.

     A percent sign followed by a single character is expanded according to
     what the following character is:

     %bX     Replaced by the byte offset into the current input file. The b is
             followed by a single character (shown as X above) which specifies
             the line whose byte offset is to be used. If the character is a
             "t", the byte offset of the top line in the display is used, an
             "m" means use the middle line, a "b" means use the bottom line, a
             "B" means use the line just after the bottom line, and a "j"
             means use the "target" line, as specified by the -j option.

     %B      Replaced by the size of the current input file.

     %c      Replaced by the column number of the text appearing in the first
             column of the screen.

     %dX     Replaced by the page number of a line in the input file. The line
             to be used is determined by the X, as with the %b option.

     %D      Replaced by the number of pages in the input file, or equivalent-
             ly, the page number of the last line in the input file.

     %E      Replaced by the name of the editor (from the VISUAL environment
             variable, or the EDITOR environment variable if VISUAL is not de-
             fined). See the discussion of the LESSEDIT feature below.

     %f      Replaced by the name of the current input file.

     %i      Replaced by the index of the current file in the list of input
             files.

     %lX     Replaced by the line number of a line in the input file. The line
             to be used is determined by the X, as with the %b option.

     %L      Replaced by the line number of the last line in the input file.

     %m      Replaced by the total number of input files.

     %pX     Replaced by the percent into the current input file, based on
             byte offsets. The line used is determined by the X, as with the
             %b option.

     %PX     Replaced by the percent into the current input file, based on
             line numbers. The line used is determined by the X, as with the
             %b option.

     %s      Same as %B.

     %t      Causes any trailing spaces to be removed. Usually used at the end
             of the string, but may appear anywhere.

     %x      Replaced by the name of the next input file in the list.

     If any item is unknown (for example, the file size if input is a pipe), a
     question mark is printed instead.

     The format of the prompt string can be changed depending on certain con-
     ditions. A question mark followed by a single character acts like an
     "IF": depending on the following character, a condition is evaluated. If
     the condition is true, any characters following the question mark and
     condition character, up to a period, are included in the prompt. If the
     condition is false, such characters are not included. A colon appearing
     between the question mark and the period can be used to establish an
     "ELSE": any characters between the colon and the period are included in
     the string, if and only if the IF condition is false. Condition charac-
     ters (which follow a question mark) may be:

     ?a      True if any characters have been included in the prompt so far.

     ?bX     True if the byte offset of the specified line is known.

     ?B      True if the size of the current input file is known.

     ?c      True if the text is horizontally shifted (%c is not zero).

     ?dX     True if the page number of the specified line is known.

     ?e      True if at end-of-file.

     ?f      True if there is an input filename (that is, if input is not a
             pipe).

     ?lX     True if the line number of the specified line is known.

     ?L      True if the line number of the last line in the file is known.

     ?m      True if there is more than one input file.

     ?n      True if this is the first prompt in a new input file.

     ?pX     True if the percent into the current input file, based on byte
             offsets, of the specified line is known.

     ?PX     True if the percent into the current input file, based on line
             numbers, of the specified line is known.

     ?s      Same as "?B".

     ?x      True if there is a next input file (that is, if the current input
             file is not the last one).

     Any characters other than the special ones (question mark, colon, period,
     percent, and backslash) become literally part of the prompt. Any of the
     special characters may be included in the prompt literally by preceding
     it with a backslash.

     Some examples:

           ?f%f:Standard input.

     This prompt prints the filename, if known; otherwise the string "Standard
     input".

           ?f%f .?ltLine %lt:?pt%pt\%:?btByte %bt:-...

     This prompt would print the filename, if known. The filename is followed
     by the line number, if known, otherwise the percent if known, otherwise
     the byte offset if known. Otherwise, a dash is printed. Notice how each
     question mark has a matching period, and how the % after the %pt is in-
     cluded literally by escaping it with a backslash.

           ?n?f%f .?m(file %i of %m) ..?e(END) ?x- Next\: %x..%t

     This prints the filename if this is the first prompt in a file, followed
     by the "file N of N" message if there is more than one input file. Then,
     if we are at end-of-file, the string "(END)" is printed followed by the
     name of the next file, if there is one. Finally, any trailing spaces are
     truncated. This is the default prompt. For reference, here are the de-
     faults for the other two prompts (-m and -M respectively). Each is broken
     into two lines here for readability only.

           ?n?f%f .?m(file %i of %m) ..?e(END) ?x- Next\: %x.:
                   ?pB%pB\%:byte %bB?s/%s...%t

           ?f%f .?n?m(file %i of %m) ..?ltlines %lt-%lb?L/%L. :
                   byte %bB?s/%s. .?e(END) ?x- Next\: %x.:?pB%pB\%..%t

     And here is the default message produced by the = command:

           ?f%f .?m(file %i of %m) .?ltlines %lt-%lb?L/%L. .
                   byte %bB?s/%s. ?e(END) :?pB%pB\%..%t

     The prompt expansion features are also used for another purpose: if an
     environment variable LESSEDIT is defined, it is used as the command to be
     executed when the v command is invoked. The LESSEDIT string is expanded
     in the same way as the prompt strings. The default value for LESSEDIT is:

           %E ?lm+%lm. %f

     Note that this expands to the editor name, followed by a + and the line
     number, followed by the file name. If your editor does not accept the
     "+linenumber" syntax, or has other differences in invocation syntax, the
     LESSEDIT variable can be changed to modify this default.

SECURITY

     When the environment variable LESSSECURE is set to 1, less runs in a
     "secure" mode. This means these features are disabled:

     !       The shell command.

     |       The pipe command.

     :e      The examine command.

     v       The editing command.

     s -o    Log files.

     -k      Use of lesskey files.

     -t      Use of tags files.

             Metacharacters in filenames, such as "*".

             Filename completion (TAB, ^L).

     Less can also be compiled to be permanently in "secure" mode.

ENVIRONMENT

     Environment variables may be specified either in the system environment
     as usual, or in a lesskey(1) file. If environment variables are defined
     in more than one place, variables defined in a local lesskey file take
     precedence over variables defined in the system environment, which take
     precedence over variables defined in the system-wide lesskey file.

     COLUMNS
             Sets the number of columns on the screen. Takes precedence over
             the number of columns specified by the TERM variable. (But if you
             have a windowing system which supports TIOCGWINSZ or WIOCGETD,
             the window system's idea of the screen size takes precedence over
             the LINES and COLUMNS environment variables.)

     EDITOR  The name of the editor (used for the v command).

     HOME    Name of the user's home directory (used to find a lesskey file).

     LANG    Language for determining the character set.

     LC_CTYPE
             Language for determining the character set.

     LESS    Options which are passed to less automatically.

     LESSANSIENDCHARS
             Characters which are assumed to end an ANSI color escape sequence
             (default "m").

     LESSBINFMT
             Format for displaying non-printable, non-control characters.

     LESSCHARDEF
             Defines a character set.

     LESSCHARSET
             Selects a predefined character set.

     LESSCLOSE
             Command line to invoke the (optional) input-postprocessor.

     LESSEDIT
             Editor prototype string (used for the v command). See discussion
             under PROMPTS.

     LESSGLOBALTAGS
             Name of the command used by the -t option to find global tags.
             Normally should be set to "global" if your system has the global
             command. If not set, global tags are not used.

     LESSKEY
             Name of the default lesskey(1) file.

     LESSKEY_SYSTEM
             Name of the default system-wide lesskey(1) file.

     LESSMETACHARS
             List of characters which are considered "metacharacters" by the
             shell.

     LESSMETAESCAPE
             Prefix which less will add before each metacharacter in a command
             sent to the shell. If LESSMETAESCAPE is an empty string, commands
             containing metacharacters will not be passed to the shell.

     LESSOPEN
             Command line to invoke the (optional) input-preprocessor.

     LESSSECURE
             Runs less in "secure" mode. See discussion under SECURITY.

     LESSSEPARATOR
             String to be appended to a directory name in filename completion.

     LINES   Sets the number of lines on the screen. Takes precedence over the
             number of lines specified by the TERM variable. (But if you have
             a windowing system which supports TIOCGWINSZ or WIOCGETD, the
             window system's idea of the screen size takes precedence over the
             LINES and COLUMNS environment variables.)

     SHELL   The shell used to execute the ! command, as well as to expand
             filenames.

     TERM    The type of terminal on which less is being run.

     VISUAL  The name of the editor (used for the v command).

SEE ALSO

     lesskey(1)

AUTHORS

     Mark Nudelman <markn@greenwoodsoftware.com>

     Send bug reports or comments to the above address or to
     <bug-less@gnu.org>.

     For more information, see the less homepage at
     http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less.

CAVEATS

     The = command and prompts (unless changed by -P) report the line numbers
     of the lines at the top and bottom of the screen, but the byte and per-
     cent of the line after the one at the bottom of the screen.

     If the :e command is used to name more than one file, and one of the
     named files has been viewed previously, the new files may be entered into
     the list in an unexpected order.

     On certain older terminals (the so-called "magic cookie" terminals),
     search highlighting will cause an erroneous display. On such terminals,
     search highlighting is disabled by default to avoid possible problems.

     In certain cases, when search highlighting is enabled and a search pat-
     tern begins with a ^, more text than the matching string may be
     highlighted. (This problem does not occur when less is compiled to use
     the POSIX regular expression package.)

     When viewing text containing ANSI color escape sequences using the -R op-
     tion, searching will not find text containing an embedded escape se-
     quence. Also, search highlighting may change the color of some of the
     text which follows the highlighted text.

     On some systems, setlocale claims that ASCII characters 0 through 31 are
     control characters rather than binary characters. This causes less to
     treat some binary files as ordinary, non-binary files. To workaround this
     problem, set the environment variable LESSCHARSET to "ascii" (or whatever
     character set is appropriate).

     See http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less for the latest list of known
     bugs in this version of less.

MirOS BSD #10-current          January 17, 2003                             20

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