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UT Arlington
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Using the Pico Editor

Description:

Pico is a user friendly text editor which is designed to work like the editor in the e-mail utility Pine. As in Pine, the commands available for each screen are listed at the bottom of the screen along with a short description. If you are familiar with Pine, using Pico will be very simple.

Starting and Quitting Pico

Getting Help

Opening Files

Creating Files

Saving Files


Starting and Quitting Pico

Once you have logged in to your OMEGA or GAMMA2 account, you can access the Pico text editor by doing the following:

  • type pico <enter> at the system prompt

You will see the screen shown in the figure below. This is the Pico main screen.

.Alt Text

To leave Pico at any time:

  • Press <ctrl-x>. You will be prompted with "Save modified buffer (ANSWERING "No" WILL DESTROY CHANGES)" ?

  • If you want to save your work, type Y. You will be prompted with "File Name to write:." Type in a name for your file and press <enter>.

  • If you do not want to save your work, press N. You will now be out of Pico and at the system prompt again.

Getting Help

The commands available in Pico are shown at the bottom of the screen. For more options or for further explanations of the features of Pico, you can access the help screen at any time by doing the following:

  • Press <ctrl-g>. You will see the help screen shown in the figure below, listing some of the commands available in this utility.

Alt Text

  • Press <ctrl-x> to exit the help screen and return to the Pico main screen.

Opening Files

Once in Pico, you can open a file by doing the following:

  • From the Pico main screen, press <ctrl-r> to read a file.

  • If you know the name of the file you wish to open, type the filename when prompted with "Insert file from home directory:."

  • If you do not know the name of the file, press <ctrl-t> to go to a listing of your files. Use the arrow keys to cursor down and highlight the name of the file you wish to open. Once you have highlighted the file, press <enter> to open the file.

You will now be back in the Pico main screen with the file opened that you selected. You are ready to edit the file using the commands listed at the bottom of the main screen if needed.

Note: If you know the filename of the file you wish to open, you can type pico filename <enter> at the system prompt, where filename is the name of that file. This will get you directly into the Pico main screen loaded with the contents of that file.

Creating Files

To create a new file:

  • Start typing your work in the Pico main screen.

  • When you have completed the contents, or you just want to periodically save your work, type <ctrl-x> to exit. You will be prompted to save your file.

  • Type Y to save, or type N if you don't wish to save (see section "Saving Files").

  • You can press <ctrl-c> at any time to cancel.

Note: Once you have named the file and opened it, you will not have to type in the name of the file again when exiting or saving. Pico will put the name of the file in automatically when you open the file. When you exit or save the file, you will be prompted with "File Name to write:." You can just confirm saving to that filename by pressing <enter>.

Saving Files

When you have completed your work in Pico, or you just want to periodically save your work, follow these steps to save the file:

  • Type <ctrl-x> to exit. You will be prompted with "Save modified buffer (ANSWERING "No" WILL DESTROY CHANGES)?"

  • Type Y to save, or type N if you don't wish to save.

  • If you choose to save, you will be prompted with "File Name to write:," as shown in the figure below. Type in a name for the file you are saving, and press <enter>. You will now be at the system prompt. You can type pico to get into the main screen again if you need to continue editing the file. Refer to the section "Opening Files" of this document to open the file again and continue editing.

  • You can press <ctrl-c> at any time to cancel.

Pico Command Reference

Command

Function

^G

Display commands (get help)

^F

Move forward a character

^B

Move backward a character

^P

Move to previous line

^N

Move to next line

^A

Move to beginning of current line

^E

Move to end of current line

^V

Move to next page of text

^Y

Move to previous page of text

^W

Search for a word in text

^L

Refresh screen display

^D

Delete character under cursor

^K

Delete (kill) entire line under cursor
Tip: ^K (cut) to delete text.

^U

Undelete last deleted line(s) under cursor
Tip: ^U (paste) to undelete text.

^I

Insert tab at current cursor position

^J

Justify current paragraph
TIP: Paragraphs are delimited by blank lines or indentation.

^T

Run spelling checker program

^C

Report current position of cursor

^R

Insert external file at current cursor position

^O

Output (save) message to file

^\

Upload ASCII file from PC/Mac into text at cursor
TIP: See instructions in "Advanced Topics"

^X

Exit Pico Editor and return to Elm

Available To:

  • Currently Enrolled UT Arlington Students
  • Students Admitted to UT Arlington