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How to Use Pico
Instructions and commands for the popular text editor.

What is Pico?

Pico is one of the most basic UN*X text editors available on the MartNet servers. It's also the editor of the Pine mailer program. While editing a document, regular text can be entered directly; however, editing commands are entered using control-key combinations.
The editor has five basic features: paragraph justification, searching, block cut/paste, a spelling checker, and a file browser.


Starting Pico

To start Pico, simply enter Pico, along with the name of a file to edit, at the MartNet shell prompt:

home:~$ pico

The Pico screen is divided into three parts. The first and top part, a single line, is Picoís status line, and it contains information about the version of Pico being used and the name of the file being edited.

The bottom part of the screen, consisting of the last three lines of the screen, displays a menu of Pico commands and any informative messages from Pico. The carot symbol (^) represents pressing the <Ctrl> key.

The middle part of the screen will display the file being edited..


Moving Around In Pico

Pico uses the arrow keys to move around. In addition, the following control key sequences are used (where a control key sequence means the <Ctrl> key is held down, while another key is pressed):

<Ctrl>+A - moves to the beginning of the current line
<Ctrl>+E - moves to the end of the current line
<Ctrl>+V - moves forwards in the file a screenís worth of text at a time
<Ctrl>+Y- moves backwards in the file a screen's worth of text at a time

Searches will move you to the location of the search text. <Ctrl>+Wwill initiate a search. Pico responds in the message area at the bottom
of the screen, asking for text to search with. If found, Pico will place the cursor at the start of the search text. Searches are not case
sensitive.

Using <Ctrl>+Y or <Ctrl>+V while executing a search with < Ctrl>+W will move to the first or last line of the file respectively.


Adding and Deleting Text

New text may be entered by simply typing. Pico uses the following commands for making deletions or restores:

Backspace - deletes the character to the left of the cursor
<Ctrl>+D deletes the character under the cursor
<Ctrl>+K deletes the current line
<Ctrl>+U - restores the most recently cut text at the current cursor position

Pico also supports block cutting and pasting. To perform a block cut, first position the cursor at the start of the text to be cut or copied. At this position a mark must be set. This is done with the key sequence <Ctrl>+^ To perform this key sequence, first hold down the <Ctrl> key, next hold down the shift key (so that both the control and shift keys are held down), then press the 6 key on the main part of the keyboard (do not use the numeric keypad 6). Pico will display a message saying the mark has been set.

Next, move around in the file (using either the arrow keys or <Ctrl>+ Y or <Ctrl>+V ) to the end of the text to be cut or copied; as this is done the text will become highlighted. To cut, or delete, the text, press <Ctrl>+K. To paste the text elsewhere, move to the desired location and press <Ctrl>+U to paste in the cut text.


Exiting Pico

Use <Ctrl>+X to exit Pico. If you have made changes to the file, Pico will display a message asking if the changes should be saved. If you answer N (for "no"), Pico will exit without saving changes. If you answer Y (for yes), Pico will prompt for a name to save the file under. Simply pressing the Enter or Return key will save the file under its current name; alternatively the file may be saved under a different name by entering in a new name.

Use <Ctrl>+X to exit Pico. If you have made changes to the file, Pico will display a message asking if the changes should be saved. If you answer N (for "no"), Pico will exit without saving changes. If you answer Y (for yes), Pico will prompt for a name to save the file under. Simply pressing the Enter or Return key will save the file under its current name; alternatively the file may be saved under a different name by entering in a new name.



Miscellaneous Commands

To read in an external file at the current cursor position, press <Ctrl>+R. Pico will ask for the name of the file to be inserted.

To update changes to the file without exiting Pico, press <Ctrl>+O. As with <Ctrl>+X, the exit command, Pico will allow renaming of the file
at this point.

To justify text (i.e., reformat to fit the edges of the screen), press <Ctrl>


Help

Help is available within Pico by typing <Ctrl>+g. Use <Ctrl>+V and <Ctrl>+Y to move forward and backwards respectively within the help information.

Some individual Pico commands have their own help text, and are also accessed by <Ctrl>+G.

Type <Ctrl>+X to exit the help screen and return to the file.


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