MCEDIT(1)                   GNU Midnight Commander                   MCEDIT(1)


       mcedit - Internal file editor of GNU Midnight Commander.


       mcedit [-bcCdfhstVx?] [+number] file


       mcedit  is  a  link  to mc, the main GNU Midnight Commander executable.
       Executing GNU Midnight Commander under this name requests  staring  the
       internal  editor  and  opening  the file specified on the command line.
       The editor is based on the terminal version of  cooledit  -  standalone
       editor for X Window System.


              Go   to the line specified by number (do not put a space between
              the + sign and the number).

       -b     Force black and white display.

       -c     Force ANSI color mode on terminals that don’t seem to have color

       -C <keyword>=<FGcolor>,<BGcolor>:<keyword>= ...
              Specify  a different color set.  See the Colors section in mc(1)
              for more information.

       -d     Disable mouse support.

       -f     Display the compiled-in search path for GNU  Midnight  Commander
              data files.

       -t     Force  using  termcap database instead of terminfo.  This option
              is only applicable if GNU Midnight Commander was  compiled  with
              S-Lang library with terminfo support.

       -V     Display the version of the program.

       -x     Force  xterm mode.  Used when running on xterm-capable terminals
              (two screen modes, and able to send mouse escape sequences).


       The internal file editor is a full-featured full screen editor.  It can
       edit  files  up  to 64 megabytes.  It is possible to edit binary files.
       The features it presently supports are: block copy, move, delete,  cut,
       paste;  key  for  key undo; pull-down menus; file insertion; macro com-
       mands; regular expression search and replace (and our own  scanf-printf
       search and replace); shift-arrow text highlighting (if supported by the
       terminal); insert-overwrite toggle; word wrap; autoindent; tunable  tab
       size; syntax highlighting for various file types; and an option to pipe
       text blocks through shell commands like indent and ispell.


       The editor is easy to use and can be used without learning.  The  pull-
       down menu is invoked by pressing F9.  You can learn other keys from the
       menu and from the button bar labels.

       In addition to that, Shift combined with arrows does text  highlighting
       (if   supported   by   the  terminal):  Ctrl-Ins  copies  to  the  file
       ~/.mc/cedit/cooledit.clip,        Shift-Ins         pastes         from
       ~/.mc/cedit/cooledit.clip, Shift-Del cuts to ~/.mc/cedit/cooledit.clip,
       and Ctrl-Del deletes highlighted text.  Mouse highlighting  also  works
       on  some terminals.  To use the standard mouse support provided by your
       terminal, hold the Shift key.  Please note that the  mouse  support  in
       the terminal doesn’t share the clipboard with mcedit.

       The  completion  key (usually Alt-Tab or Escape Tab) completes the word
       under the cursor using the words used earlier in the file.

       To define a macro, press Ctrl-R and then type out the keys you want  to
       be  executed.   Press  Ctrl-R again when finished.  You can then assign
       the macro to any key you like by pressing that key.  The macro is  exe-
       cuted  when  you  press Ctrl-A and then the assigned key.  The macro is
       also executed if you press Meta, Ctrl, or Esc  and  the  assigned  key,
       provided  that  the  key is not used for any other function.  The macro
       commands are stored in the file  ~/.mc/cedit/cooledit.macros.   Do  NOT
       edit this file if you are going to use macros again in the same editing
       session, because mcedit caches macro key defines in memory.  mcedit now
       overwrites  a macro if a macro with the same key already exists, so you
       won’t have to edit this file. You will also have to restart other  run-
       ning editors for macros to take effect.

       F19  will  format C, C++, Java or HTML code when it is highlighted.  An
       executable file called ~/.mc/cedit/edit.indent.rc will be  created  for
       you from the default template.  Feel free to edit it if you need.

       C-p  will  run  ispell on a block of text in a similar way.  The script
       file will be called ~/.mc/cedit/edit.spell.rc.

       If some keys don’t work, you can use Learn Keys in the Options menu.


       mcedit supports syntax highlighting.  This means that keywords and con-
       texts  (like C comments, string constants, etc) are highlighted in dif-
       ferent colors.  The following section explains the format of  the  file
       ~/.mc/cedit/Syntax.     If    this   file   is   missing,   system-wide
       /usr/share/mc/syntax/Syntax is used.  The  file  ~/.mc/cedit/Syntax  is
       rescanned on opening of a any new editor file.  The file contains rules
       for highlighting, each of which is given on a separate line, and define
       which keywords will be highlighted to what color.

       The  file is divided into sections, each beginning with a line with the
       file command.  The sections are normally put into separate files  using
       the include command.

       The  file command has three arguments.  The first argument is a regular
       expression that is applied to the file name to determine if the follow-
       ing  section  applies to the file.  The second argument is the descrip-
       tion of the file type.  It is used  in  cooledit;  future  versions  of
       mcedit  may  use  it as well.  The third optional argument is a regular
       expression to match the first line of text of the file.  The  rules  in
       the  following  section apply if either the file name or the first line
       of text matches.

       A section ends with the start of  another  section.   Each  section  is
       divided into contexts, and each context contains rules.  A context is a
       scope within the text that a particular set of rules belongs  to.   For
       instance,  the  text  within a C style comment (i.e. between /* and */)
       has its own color.  This is a context, although it has no further rules
       inside  it  because  there is probably nothing that we want highlighted
       within a C comment.

       A trivial C programming section might look like this:

       file .\*\\.c C\sProgram\sFile (#include|/\\\*)

       wholechars abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ_

       # default colors
       define  comment   brown
       context default
         keyword  whole  if       yellow
         keyword  whole  else     yellow
         keyword  whole  for      yellow
         keyword  whole  while    yellow
         keyword  whole  do       yellow
         keyword  whole  switch   yellow
         keyword  whole  case     yellow
         keyword  whole  static   yellow
         keyword  whole  extern   yellow
         keyword         {        brightcyan
         keyword         }        brightcyan
         keyword         ’*’      green

       # C comments
       context /\* \*/ comment

       # C preprocessor directives
       context linestart # \n red
         keyword  \\\n  brightred

       # C string constants
       context " " green
         keyword  %d    brightgreen
         keyword  %s    brightgreen
         keyword  %c    brightgreen
         keyword  \\"   brightgreen

       Each context starts with a line of the form:

       context  [exclusive]  [whole|wholeright|wholeleft]  [linestart]   delim
       [linestart] delim [foreground] [background]

       The first context is an exception.  It must start with the command

       context default [foreground] [background]

       otherwise  mcedit will report an error.  The linestart option specifies
       that delim must start at the beginning of a  line.   The  whole  option
       tells  that  delim  must  be a whole word.  To specify that a word must
       begin on the word boundary only on the  left  side,  you  can  use  the
       wholeleft option, and similarly a word that must end on the word bound-
       ary is specified by wholeright.

       The set of characters that constitute a whole word can  be  changed  at
       any  point in the file with the wholechars command.  The left and right
       set of characters can be set separately with

       wholechars [left|right] characters

       The exclusive option causes the text between the delimiters to be high-
       lighted, but not the delimiters themselves.

       Each rule is a line of the form:

       keyword   [whole|wholeright|wholeleft]  [linestart]  string  foreground

       Context or keyword strings are interpreted, so  that  you  can  include
       tabs and spaces with the sequences \t and \s.  Newlines and backslashes
       are specified with \n and \\ respectively.  Since whitespace is used as
       a  separator, it may not be used as is.  Also, \* must be used to spec-
       ify an asterisk.  The * itself is a wildcard that matches any length of
       characters.  For example,

         keyword         ’*’      green

       colors all C single character constants green.  You also could use

         keyword         "*"      green

       to  color string constants, but the matched string would not be allowed
       to span across multiple newlines.  The wildcard may be used within con-
       text  delimiters as well, but you cannot have a wildcard as the last or
       first character.

       Important to note is the line

         keyword  \\\n  brightgreen

       This line defines a keyword containing the backslash and newline  char-
       acters.   Since the keywords are matched before the context delimiters,
       this keyword prevents the context from ending at the end of  the  lines
       that end in a backslash, thus allowing C preprocessor directive to con-
       tinue across multiple lines.

       The possible colors are: black, gray, red,  brightred,  green,  bright-
       green,  brown,  yellow, blue, brightblue, magenta, brightmagenta, cyan,
       brightcyan, lightgray and white.  If the syntax  file  is  shared  with
       cooledit,  it  is  possible  to specify different colors for mcedit and
       cooledit by separating them with a slash, e.g.

       keyword  #include  red/Orange

       mcedit uses the color before the slash.  See cooledit(1) for  supported
       cooledit colors.

       Comments may be put on a separate line starting with the hash sign (#).

       Because of the simplicity of the implementation, there are a few intri-
       cacies  that  will  not  be  dealt with correctly but these are a minor
       irritation.  On the whole, a broad spectrum of quite complicated situa-
       tions are handled with these simple rules.  It is a good idea to take a
       look at the syntax file to see some of the nifty tricks you can do with
       a  little  imagination.   If  you  cannot  get by with the rules I have
       coded, and you think you have a rule that would be useful, please email
       me  with your request.  However, do not ask for regular expression sup-
       port, because this is flatly impossible.

       A useful hint is to work with as much as possible with the  things  you
       can  do  rather  than  try to do things that this implementation cannot
       deal with.  Also remember that the aim of  syntax  highlighting  is  to
       make programming less prone to error, not to make code look pretty.


       The  default  colors  may be changed by appending to the MC_COLOR_TABLE
       environment variable.  Foreground and background colors  pairs  may  be
       specified for example with:



       Most  options  can now be set from the editors options dialog box.  See
       the Options menu.  The following options are defined in  ~/.mc/ini  and
       have  obvious  counterparts  in the dialog box.  You can modify them to
       change the editor behavior, by editing the file.  Unless specified, a 1
       sets the option to on, and a 0 sets it to off, as is usual.

              This option is ignored when invoking mcedit.

              1 for Emacs keys, and 0 for normal Cooledit keys.

              Interpret the tab character as being of this length.  Default is
              8. You should avoid using other than 8 since most other  editors
              and   text   viewers  assume  a  tab  spacing  of  8.  Use  edi-
              tor_fake_half_tabs to simulate a smaller tab spacing.

              Never insert a tab space. Rather insert spaces  (ascii  20h)  to
              fill to the desired tab size.

              Pressing  return will tab across to match the indentation of the
              first line above that has text on it.

              Make a single backspace delete all the space to the left  margin
              if there is no text between the cursor and the left margin.

              This  will emulate a half tab for those who want to program with
              a tab spacing of 4, but do not want the tab size changed from  8
              (so  that  the code will be formatted the same when displayed by
              other programs). When editing between text and the left  margin,
              moving  and  tabbing will be as though a tab space were 4, while
              actually using spaces and normal tabs for an optimal fill.  When
              editing anywhere else, a normal tab is inserted.

              Possible values 0, 1 and 2.  The save mode (see the options menu
              also) allows you to change the method of saving a  file.   Quick
              save (0) saves the file by immediately, truncating the disk file
              to zero length (i.e.  erasing it) and  the  writing  the  editor
              contents to the file.  This method is fast, but dangerous, since
              a system error during a file save will leave the file only  par-
              tially written, possibly rendering the data irretrievable.  When
              saving, the safe save (1) option enables creation of a temporary
              file  into  which  the  file contents are first written.  In the
              event of an problem, the original file is untouched.   When  the
              temporary  file  is  successfully  written, it is renamed to the
              name of the original file, thus replacing it.  The safest method
              is  create  backups  (2).  Where a backup file is created before
              any changes are made.  You can  specify  your  own  backup  file
              extension  in  the  dialog.  Note that saving twice will replace
              your backup as well as your original file.


       You can use scanf search and replace to search and replace a  C  format
       string.   First  take a look at the sscanf and sprintf man pages to see
       what a format string is and how it works.  Here’s an  example:  suppose
       that  you  want  to  replace  all occurrences of an open bracket, three
       comma separated numbers, and a close bracket, with the word apples, the
       third  number,  the word oranges and then the second number.  You would
       fill in the Replace dialog box as follows:

       Enter search string
       Enter replace string
       apples %d oranges %d
       Enter replacement argument order

       The last line specifies that the third and then the second  number  are
       to be used in place of the first and second.

       It  is advisable to use this feature with Prompt On Replace on, because
       a match is thought to be found whenever the number of  arguments  found
       matches  the number given, which is not always a real match. Scanf also
       treats whitespace as being elastic.  Note that the scanf format  %[  is
       very useful for scanning strings, and whitespace.

       The editor also displays non-us characters (160+).  When editing binary
       files, you should set display bits to 7 bits in the Midnight  Commander
       options menu to keep the spacing clean.



              The help file for the program.


              The  default  system-wide setup for GNU Midnight Commander, used
              only if the user’s own ~/.mc/ini file is missing.


              Global settings for the Midnight Commander.   Settings  in  this
              file affect all users, whether they have ~/.mc/ini or not.


              The  default  system-wide  syntax files for mcedit, used only if
              the corresponding user’s own ~/.mc/cedit/ file is missing.


              User’s own setup.  If this file is present  then  the  setup  is
              loaded from here instead of the system-wide setup file.


              User’s  own  directory  where  block  commands are processed and
              saved and user’s own syntax files are located.


       This program is distributed under the terms of the GNU  General  Public
       License as published by the Free Software Foundation.  See the built-in
       help of the Midnight Commander for details on the License and the  lack
       of warranty.


       The  latest  version  of  this  program can be found at ftp://ftp.ibib-


       cooledit(1), mc(1), gpm(1), terminfo(1), scanf(3).


       Paul Sheer ( is the original author of  the  Mid-
       night Commander’s internal editor.


       Bugs should be reported to

MC Version 4.6.0                 January 2003                        MCEDIT(1)

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