Quick Reference for the Pico Text Editor

Pico is a simple text editor that displays a list of menu commands for manipulating text at the bottom of the screen. Most of the commands combine the control character with another character from the keyboard. Editing can be accomplished by entering text, navigating with the arrow keys and/or menu commands and manipulating text with the menu commands. Use the following command to edit the file called filename with the pico editor:

pico filename

The following pico commands are grouped by function

Commands to move around in your document

[Ctrl]-f or right arrow moves Forward a character
[Ctrl]-b or left arrow moves Backward a character
[Ctrl]-p or up arrow moves to the Previous line
[Ctrl]-n or down arrow moves to the Next line
[Ctrl]-a moves to the beginning of the current line
[Ctrl]-e moves to the End of the current line
[Ctrl]-v moves forward a page of text
[Ctrl]-y moves backward a page of text
[Ctrl]-w searches forward ignoring case
[Ctrl]-W [Return] searches again for the same string

Commands to delete or move text

[Ctrl]-d deletes the character under the cursor
[Delete] key deletes the character before the cursor
[Ctrl]-k deletes (Kills) the entire line at the cursor position or deletes a selected block of text
[Ctrl]-u Undeletes the last deleted line[s] at cursor position or undeletes a selected block of text
[Ctrl]-^ turns on selection for highlighting large blocks of text. Executing [Ctrl]-^ again before any editing action will turn the selection off.

Note: [Ctrl]-k followed by [Ctrl]-u can be used to move a block of text from one location to another

Commands to exit and save files

[Ctrl]-o writes out a file without exiting (defaults to current file name)
[Ctrl]-x exits Pico and prompts you to save if buffer has not been saved

Other formatting commands

[Ctrl]-i inserts a tab at current cursor position
[Ctrl]-j formats (justifies) the current paragraph
[Ctrl]-r inserts an external file at the current cursor position
[Ctrl]-t invokes the spell checker

Information commands

[Ctrl]-c reports the current cursor position
[Ctrl]-g displays Pico help
[Ctrl]-l clears information line (lowercase L not digit 1)