lesskey(1) — Linux manual page


LESSKEY(1)                 General Commands Manual                LESSKEY(1)

NAME         top

       lesskey - specify key bindings for less

SYNOPSIS         top

       lesskey [-o output] [--] [input]
       lesskey [--output=output] [--] [input]
       lesskey -V
       lesskey --version

DESCRIPTION         top

       Lesskey is used to specify a set of key bindings to be used by less.
       The input file is a text file which describes the key bindings.  If
       the input file is "-", standard input is read.  If no input file is
       specified, a standard filename is used as the name of the input file,
       which depends on the system being used: On Unix systems,
       $HOME/.lesskey is used; on MS-DOS systems, $HOME/_lesskey is used;
       and on OS/2 systems $HOME/lesskey.ini is used, or $INIT/lesskey.ini
       if $HOME is undefined.  The output file is a binary file which is
       used by less.  If no output file is specified, and the environment
       variable LESSKEY is set, the value of LESSKEY is used as the name of
       the output file.  Otherwise, a standard filename is used as the name
       of the output file, which depends on the system being used: On Unix
       and OS-9 systems, $HOME/.less is used; on MS-DOS systems, $HOME/_less
       is used; and on OS/2 systems, $HOME/less.ini is used, or
       $INIT/less.ini if $HOME is undefined.  If the output file already
       exists, lesskey will overwrite it.

       The -V or --version option causes lesskey to print its version number
       and immediately exit.  If -V or --version is present, other options
       and arguments are ignored.

       The input file consists of one or more sections.  Each section starts
       with a line that identifies the type of section.  Possible sections

              Defines new command keys.

              Defines new line-editing keys.

       #env   Defines environment variables.

       Blank lines and lines which start with a pound sign (#) are ignored,
       except for the special section header lines.


       The command section begins with the line


       If the command section is the first section in the file, this line
       may be omitted.  The command section consists of lines of the form:

            string <whitespace> action [extra-string] <newline>

       Whitespace is any sequence of one or more spaces and/or tabs.  The
       string is the command key(s) which invoke the action.  The string may
       be a single command key, or a sequence of up to 15 keys.  The action
       is the name of the less action, from the list below.  The characters
       in the string may appear literally, or be prefixed by a caret to
       indicate a control key.  A backslash followed by one to three octal
       digits may be used to specify a character by its octal value.  A
       backslash followed by certain characters specifies input characters
       as follows:

       \b     BACKSPACE

       \e     ESCAPE

       \n     NEWLINE

       \r     RETURN

       \t     TAB

       \ku    UP ARROW

       \kd    DOWN ARROW

       \kr    RIGHT ARROW

       \kl    LEFT ARROW

       \kU    PAGE UP

       \kD    PAGE DOWN

       \kh    HOME

       \ke    END

       \kx    DELETE

       A backslash followed by any other character indicates that character
       is to be taken literally.  Characters which must be preceded by
       backslash include caret, space, tab and the backslash itself.

       An action may be followed by an "extra" string.  When such a command
       is entered while running less, the action is performed, and then the
       extra string is parsed, just as if it were typed in to less.  This
       feature can be used in certain cases to extend the functionality of a
       command.  For example, see the "{" and ":t" commands in the example
       below.  The extra string has a special meaning for the "quit" action:
       when less quits, first character of the extra string is used as its
       exit status.

EXAMPLE         top

       The following input file describes the set of default command keys
       used by less:

            \r        forw-line
            \n        forw-line
            e         forw-line
            j         forw-line
            \kd       forw-line
            ^E        forw-line
            ^N        forw-line
            k         back-line
            y         back-line
            ^Y        back-line
            ^K        back-line
            ^P        back-line
            J         forw-line-force
            K         back-line-force
            Y         back-line-force
            d         forw-scroll
            ^D        forw-scroll
            u         back-scroll
            ^U        back-scroll
            \40       forw-screen
            f         forw-screen
            ^F        forw-screen
            ^V        forw-screen
            \kD       forw-screen
            b         back-screen
            ^B        back-screen
            \ev       back-screen
            \kU       back-screen
            z         forw-window
            w         back-window
            \e\40          forw-screen-force
            F         forw-forever
            \eF       forw-until-hilite
            R         repaint-flush
            r         repaint
            ^R        repaint
            ^L        repaint
            \eu       undo-hilite
            g         goto-line
            \kh       goto-line
            <         goto-line
            \e<       goto-line
            p         percent
            %         percent
            \e[       left-scroll
            \e]       right-scroll
            \e(       left-scroll
            \e)       right-scroll
            \kl       left-scroll
            \kr       right-scroll
            \e{       no-scroll
            \e}       end-scroll
            {         forw-bracket {}
            }         back-bracket {}
            (         forw-bracket ()
            )         back-bracket ()
            [         forw-bracket []
            ]         back-bracket []
            \e^F      forw-bracket
            \e^B      back-bracket
            G         goto-end
            \e>       goto-end
            >         goto-end
            \ke       goto-end
            \eG       goto-end-buffered
            =         status
            ^G        status
            :f        status
            /         forw-search
            ?         back-search
            \e/       forw-search *
            \e?       back-search *
            n         repeat-search
            \en       repeat-search-all
            N         reverse-search
            \eN       reverse-search-all
            &         filter
            m         set-mark
            M         set-mark-bottom
            \em       clear-mark
            '         goto-mark
            ^X^X      goto-mark
            E         examine
            :e        examine
            ^X^V      examine
            :n        next-file
            :p        prev-file
            t         next-tag
            T         prev-tag
            :x        index-file
            :d        remove-file
            -         toggle-option
            :t        toggle-option t
            s         toggle-option o
            _         display-option
            |         pipe
            v         visual
            !         shell
            +         firstcmd
            H         help
            h         help
            V         version
            0         digit
            1         digit
            2         digit
            3         digit
            4         digit
            5         digit
            6         digit
            7         digit
            8         digit
            9         digit
            q         quit
            Q         quit
            :q        quit
            :Q        quit
            ZZ        quit

PRECEDENCE         top

       Commands specified by lesskey take precedence over the default
       commands.  A default command key may be disabled by including it in
       the input file with the action "invalid".  Alternatively, a key may
       be defined to do nothing by using the action "noaction".  "noaction"
       is similar to "invalid", but less will give an error beep for an
       "invalid" command, but not for a "noaction" command.  In addition,
       ALL default commands may be disabled by adding this control line to
       the input file:


       This will cause all default commands to be ignored.  The #stop line
       should be the last line in that section of the file.

       Be aware that #stop can be dangerous.  Since all default commands are
       disabled, you must provide sufficient commands before the #stop line
       to enable all necessary actions.  For example, failure to provide a
       "quit" command can lead to frustration.


       The line-editing section begins with the line:


       This section specifies new key bindings for the line editing
       commands, in a manner similar to the way key bindings for ordinary
       commands are specified in the #command section.  The line-editing
       section consists of a list of keys and actions, one per line as in
       the example below.

EXAMPLE         top

       The following input file describes the set of default line-editing
       keys used by less:

            \t        forw-complete
            \17       back-complete
            \e\t      back-complete
            ^L        expand
            ^V        literal
            ^A        literal
            \el       right
            \kr       right
            \eh       left
            \kl       left
            \eb       word-left
            \e\kl     word-left
            \ew       word-right
            \e\kr     word-right
            \ei       insert
            \ex       delete
            \kx       delete
            \eX       word-delete
            \ekx      word-delete
            \e\b      word-backspace
            \e0       home
            \kh       home
            \e$       end
            \ke       end
            \ek       up
            \ku       up
            \ej       down
            ^G        abort


       The environment variable section begins with the line


       Following this line is a list of environment variable assignments.
       Each line consists of an environment variable name, an equals sign
       (=) and the value to be assigned to the environment variable.  White
       space before and after the equals sign is ignored.  Variables
       assigned in this way are visible only to less.  If a variable is
       specified in the system environment and also in a lesskey file, the
       value in the lesskey file takes precedence.  Although the lesskey
       file can be used to override variables set in the environment, the
       main purpose of assigning variables in the lesskey file is simply to
       have all less configuration information stored in one file.

EXAMPLE         top

       The following input file sets the -i option whenever less is run, and
       specifies the character set to be "latin1":

            LESS = -i
            LESSCHARSET = latin1

SEE ALSO         top


WARNINGS         top

       On MS-DOS and OS/2 systems, certain keys send a sequence of
       characters which start with a NUL character (0).  This NUL character
       should be represented as \340 in a lesskey file.

COPYRIGHT         top

       Copyright (C) 1984-2019  Mark Nudelman

       less is part of the GNU project and is free software.  You can
       redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either (1) the
       GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software
       Foundation; or (2) the Less License.  See the file README in the less
       distribution for more details regarding redistribution.  You should
       have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with the
       source for less; see the file COPYING.  If not, write to the Free
       Software Foundation, 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA
       02111-1307, USA.  You should also have received a copy of the Less
       License; see the file LICENSE.

       less is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
       ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or
       FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License
       for more details.

AUTHOR         top

       Mark Nudelman
       Send bug reports or comments to <bug-less@gnu.org>.

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the less (A file pager) project.  Information
       about the project can be found at 
       ⟨http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less/⟩.  If you have a bug report
       for this manual page, see
       ⟨http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less/faq.html#bugs⟩.  This page was
       obtained from the tarball less-551.tar.gz fetched from
       ⟨http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less/download.html⟩ on 2020-09-18.
       If you discover any rendering problems in this HTML version of the
       page, or you believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for
       the page, or you have corrections or improvements to the information
       in this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page),
       send a mail to man-pages@man7.org

                          Version 551: 11 Jun 2019                LESSKEY(1)

Pages that refer to this page: less(1)