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Old 10-10-2006, 01:54 PM   #1
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
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Tip for non-Power Users: Moving from "less" directly into an editor

Real power users and gurus already know this, but I just ran across it yesterday, and thought it was worth sharing. To scan thru a medium to large size file most people use "less" rather than "more" because you can move backwards as well as forward. The "v" key used in "less" automatically opens the file in the editor of your choice. Make changes, and exit the editor, and you are returned to "less."

This action is dependent on the environment variables EDITOR, or VISUAL. Some distros come with those variables loaded (usually with vi or vim), and in others, such as Debian, you have to load them yourself. Try
debian64:~$ echo $EDITOR
debian64:~$ echo $VISUAL
If you come up blank there,
$ EDITOR=vim
$ VISUAL=vim
If you like it, add those lines to your /etc/profile file.

You could, of course, choose to use nano, pico, emacs, or any other editor.

Last edited by rickh; 10-10-2006 at 03:25 PM.
Old 10-11-2006, 10:16 AM   #2
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Thanks for the tip. I knew it could be done but had forgotten how and have been too lazy to go looking for istructions.


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