LESS(1)                                                                LESS(1)



NAME
       less - opposite of more (a filter for browsing text files)

SYNOPSIS
       less -?
       less --help
       less -V
       less --version
       less [-[+]aBcCdeEfFgGiIJKLmMnNqQrRsSuUVwWX~]
            [-b space] [-h lines] [-j line] [-k keyfile]
            [-{oO} logfile] [-p pattern] [-P prompt] [-t tag]
            [-T tagsfile] [-x tab,...] [-y lines] [-[z] lines]
            [-# shift] [+[+]cmd] [--] [filename]...
       more [options]
       page [options]
       (See  the  OPTIONS section for alternate option syntax with long option
       names.)


DESCRIPTION
       Less is a program similar to more (1), a filter  that  shows  text  one
       page  at  a  time.   In NetBSD the two utilities are implemented by the
       same binary but they expose slightly different behavior.  Their differ-
       ences are detailed below:

       o   less  allows backward movement in the file as well as forward move-
           ment.

       o   less does not have to read the entire input file  before  starting,
           so  with  large  input  files it starts up faster than text editors
           like vi (1).

       o   more ignores * and @ in search commands.

       o   less does not clear the screen or squish it to the bottom, for  the
           first page, or when exiting.

       o   more sets the -E -m -G -f flags automatically.

       o   more uses $MORE instead of $LESS for extra options.

       Less  uses  termcap  (or  terminfo on some systems), so it can run on a
       variety of terminals.  There is even limited support for hardcopy  ter-
       minals.   (On a hardcopy terminal, lines which should be printed at the
       top of the screen are prefixed with a caret.)

       Commands are based on both more and vi.  Commands may be preceded by  a
       decimal number, called N in the descriptions below.  The number is used
       by some commands, as indicated.


COMMANDS
       In the following descriptions, ^X means control-X.  ESC stands for  the
       ESCAPE  key;  for  example  ESC-v  means  the  two  character  sequence
       "ESCAPE", then "v".

       h or H Help: display a summary of these commands.  If  you  forget  all
              the other commands, remember this one.

       SPACE or ^V or f or ^F
              Scroll  forward  N  lines,  default  one  window  (see option -z
              below).  If N is more than  the  screen  size,  only  the  final
              screenful  is displayed.  Warning: some systems use ^V as a spe-
              cial literalization character.

       z      Like SPACE, but if N is specified, it  becomes  the  new  window
              size.

       ESC-SPACE
              Like  SPACE,  but  scrolls  a full screenful, even if it reaches
              end-of-file in the process.

       RETURN or ^N or e or ^E or j or ^J
              Scroll forward N lines, default 1.  The entire N lines are  dis-
              played, even if N is more than the screen size.

       d or ^D
              Scroll forward N lines, default one half of the screen size.  If
              N is specified, it becomes the new default for subsequent d  and
              u commands.

       b or ^B or ESC-v
              Scroll  backward  N  lines,  default  one  window (see option -z
              below).  If N is more than  the  screen  size,  only  the  final
              screenful is displayed.

       w      Like  ESC-v,  but  if  N is specified, it becomes the new window
              size.

       y or ^Y or ^P or k or ^K
              Scroll backward N lines, default 1.  The entire N lines are dis-
              played,  even  if N is more than the screen size.  Warning: some
              systems use ^Y as a special job control character.

       u or ^U
              Scroll backward N lines, default one half of  the  screen  size.
              If  N  is specified, it becomes the new default for subsequent d
              and u commands.

       ESC-) or RIGHTARROW
              Scroll horizontally right N characters, default half the  screen
              width  (see  the  -#  option).   If  a number N is specified, it
              becomes the default for future  RIGHTARROW  and  LEFTARROW  com-
              mands.   While  the  text  is scrolled, it acts as though the -S
              option (chop lines) were in effect.

       ESC-( or LEFTARROW
              Scroll horizontally left N characters, default half  the  screen
              width  (see  the  -#  option).   If  a number N is specified, it
              becomes the default for future  RIGHTARROW  and  LEFTARROW  com-
              mands.

       r or ^R or ^L
              Repaint the screen.

       R      Repaint  the  screen,  discarding any buffered input.  Useful if
              the file is changing while it is being viewed.

       F      Scroll forward, and keep trying to read when the end of file  is
              reached.   Normally  this  command would be used when already at
              the end of the file.  It is a way to monitor the tail of a  file
              which  is  growing  while  it is being viewed.  (The behavior is
              similar to the "tail -f" command.)

       g or < or ESC-<
              Go to line N in the file, default 1 (beginning of file).  (Warn-
              ing: this may be slow if N is large.)

       G or > or ESC->
              Go  to  line N in the file, default the end of the file.  (Warn-
              ing: this may be slow if N is large, or if N  is  not  specified
              and standard input, rather than a file, is being read.)

       p or % Go to a position N percent into the file.  N should be between 0
              and 100.

       {      If a left curly bracket appears in the top line displayed on the
              screen,  the  {  command  will  go  to  the matching right curly
              bracket.  The matching right curly bracket is positioned on  the
              bottom line of the screen.  If there is more than one left curly
              bracket on the top line, a number N may be used to  specify  the
              N-th bracket on the line.

       }      If a right curly bracket appears in the bottom line displayed on
              the screen, the } command will go to  the  matching  left  curly
              bracket.   The  matching left curly bracket is positioned on the
              top line of the screen.  If there is more than one  right  curly
              bracket  on  the top line, a number N may be used to specify the
              N-th bracket on the line.

       (      Like {, but applies to parentheses rather than curly brackets.

       )      Like }, but applies to parentheses rather than curly brackets.

       [      Like {, but applies to square brackets rather than curly  brack-
              ets.

       ]      Like  }, but applies to square brackets rather than curly brack-
              ets.

       ESC-^F Followed by two characters, acts like {, but uses the two  char-
              acters  as  open and close brackets, respectively.  For example,
              "ESC ^F < >" could be used to go forward to the > which  matches
              the < in the top displayed line.

       ESC-^B Followed  by two characters, acts like }, but uses the two char-
              acters as open and close brackets, respectively.   For  example,
              "ESC ^B < >" could be used to go backward to the < which matches
              the > in the bottom displayed line.

       m      Followed by any lowercase letter,  marks  the  current  position
              with that letter.

       '      (Single  quote.)   Followed  by any lowercase letter, returns to
              the position which was previously marked with that letter.  Fol-
              lowed  by another single quote, returns to the position at which
              the last "large" movement command was executed.  Followed by a ^
              or  $,  jumps  to the beginning or end of the file respectively.
              Marks are preserved when a new file is examined, so the  '  com-
              mand can be used to switch between input files.

       ^X^X   Same as single quote.

       /pattern
              Search forward in the file for the N-th line containing the pat-
              tern.  N defaults to 1.  When invoked as less, the pattern is an
              extended  regular expression.  Otherwise, the pattern is a basic
              regular expression, as recognized by ed.  The search  starts  at
              the  second line displayed (but see the -a and -j options, which
              change this).

              Certain characters are special if entered at  the  beginning  of
              the  pattern;  they modify the type of search rather than become
              part of the pattern:

              ^N or !
                     Search for lines which do NOT match the pattern.

              ^E or *
                     Search multiple files.  That is, if  the  search  reaches
                     the  END of the current file without finding a match, the
                     search continues in the next file  in  the  command  line
                     list.   The  * modifier is available when invoked as less
                     only.

              ^F or @
                     Begin the search at the first line of the FIRST  file  in
                     the  command  line  list, regardless of what is currently
                     displayed on the screen or the settings of the -a  or  -j
                     options.   The  @  modifier  is available when invoked as
                     less only.

              ^K     Highlight any text which matches the pattern on the  cur-
                     rent screen, but don't move to the first match (KEEP cur-
                     rent position).

              ^R     Don't interpret regular expression  metacharacters;  that
                     is, do a simple textual comparison.

       ?pattern
              Search  backward  in  the  file for the N-th line containing the
              pattern.  The search starts at the line immediately  before  the
              top line displayed.

              Certain characters are special as in the / command:

              ^N or !
                     Search for lines which do NOT match the pattern.

              ^E or *
                     Search  multiple  files.   That is, if the search reaches
                     the beginning of  the  current  file  without  finding  a
                     match,  the  search continues in the previous file in the
                     command line list.

              ^F or @
                     Begin the search at the last line of the last file in the
                     command  line  list, regardless of what is currently dis-
                     played on the screen or the settings  of  the  -a  or  -j
                     options.

              ^K     As in forward searches.

              ^R     As in forward searches.

       ESC-/pattern
              Same as "/*".

       ESC-?pattern
              Same as "?*".

       n      Repeat  previous  search, for N-th line containing the last pat-
              tern.  If the previous search was modified by ^N, the search  is
              made  for the N-th line NOT containing the pattern.  If the pre-
              vious search was modified by ^E, the  search  continues  in  the
              next  (or  previous)  file if not satisfied in the current file.
              If the previous search was modified by ^R, the  search  is  done
              without  using  regular  expressions.  There is no effect if the
              previous search was modified by ^F or ^K.

       N      Repeat previous search, but in the reverse direction.

       ESC-n  Repeat previous  search,  but  crossing  file  boundaries.   The
              effect is as if the previous search were modified by *.

       ESC-N  Repeat  previous search, but in the reverse direction and cross-
              ing file boundaries.

       ESC-u  Undo search highlighting.   Turn  off  highlighting  of  strings
              matching the current search pattern.  If highlighting is already
              off because of a previous ESC-u command, turn highlighting  back
              on.   Any  search  command  will also turn highlighting back on.
              (Highlighting can also be disabled by toggling the -G option; in
              that case search commands do not turn highlighting back on.)

       :e [filename]
              Examine  a  new file.  If the filename is missing, the "current"
              file (see the :n and :p commands below) from the list  of  files
              in  the  command line is re-examined.  A percent sign (%) in the
              filename is replaced by the name of the current file.   A  pound
              sign  (#)  is  replaced  by  the name of the previously examined
              file.   However,  two  consecutive  percent  signs  are   simply
              replaced with a single percent sign.  This allows you to enter a
              filename that contains a percent sign in the  name.   Similarly,
              two  consecutive  pound  signs  are replaced with a single pound
              sign.  The filename is inserted into the command  line  list  of
              files  so  that it can be seen by subsequent :n and :p commands.
              If the filename consists of several files, they are all inserted
              into  the  list  of files and the first one is examined.  If the
              filename contains one or more spaces, the entire filename should
              be enclosed in double quotes (also see the -" option).

       ^X^V or E
              Same  as :e.  Warning: some systems use ^V as a special literal-
              ization character.  On such systems, you may not be able to  use
              ^V.

       :n     Examine  the next file (from the list of files given in the com-
              mand line).  If a number N is specified, the N-th next  file  is
              examined.

       :p     Examine the previous file in the command line list.  If a number
              N is specified, the N-th previous file is examined.

       :x     Examine the first file in the command line list.  If a number  N
              is specified, the N-th file in the list is examined.

       :d     Remove the current file from the list of files.

       t      Go  to the next tag, if there were more than one matches for the
              current tag.  See the -t option for more details about tags.

       T      Go to the previous tag, if there were more than one matches  for
              the current tag.

       = or ^G or :f
              Prints  some  information about the file being viewed, including
              its name and the line number and byte offset of the bottom  line
              being  displayed.  If possible, it also prints the length of the
              file, the number of lines in the file and  the  percent  of  the
              file above the last displayed line.

       -      Followed  by one of the command line option letters (see OPTIONS
              below), this will change the setting of that option and print  a
              message  describing  the  new  setting.   If a ^P (CONTROL-P) is
              entered immediately after the dash, the setting of the option is
              changed  but  no message is printed.  If the option letter has a
              numeric value (such as -b or -h), or a string value (such as  -P
              or  -t), a new value may be entered after the option letter.  If
              no new value is entered, a message describing the  current  set-
              ting is printed and nothing is changed.

       --     Like  the  -  command, but takes a long option name (see OPTIONS
              below) rather than a  single  option  letter.   You  must  press
              RETURN after typing the option name.  A ^P immediately after the
              second dash suppresses printing of a message describing the  new
              setting, as in the - command.

       -+     Followed  by  one  of  the command line option letters this will
              reset the option to its default  setting  and  print  a  message
              describing  the  new  setting.  (The "-+X" command does the same
              thing as "-+X" on the command line.)  This  does  not  work  for
              string-valued options.

       --+    Like  the -+ command, but takes a long option name rather than a
              single option letter.

       -!     Followed by one of the command line option  letters,  this  will
              reset  the  option  to the "opposite" of its default setting and
              print a message describing the new setting.  This does not  work
              for numeric or string-valued options.

       --!    Like  the -! command, but takes a long option name rather than a
              single option letter.

       _      (Underscore.)  Followed by one of the command line  option  let-
              ters,  this  will print a message describing the current setting
              of that option.  The setting of the option is not changed.

       __     (Double underscore.)  Like the _ (underscore) command, but takes
              a long option name rather than a single option letter.  You must
              press RETURN after typing the option name.

       +cmd   Causes the specified cmd to be executed each time a new file  is
              examined.  For example, +G causes less to initially display each
              file starting at the end rather than the beginning.

       V      Prints the version number of less being run.

       q or Q or :q or :Q or ZZ
              Exits less.

       The following four commands may or may not be valid, depending on  your
       particular installation.


       v      Invokes  an  editor  to edit the current file being viewed.  The
              editor is taken from the environment variable VISUAL if defined,
              or  EDITOR if VISUAL is not defined, or defaults to "vi" if nei-
              ther VISUAL nor EDITOR is defined.  See also the  discussion  of
              LESSEDIT under the section on PROMPTS below.

       ! shell-command
              Invokes  a shell to run the shell-command given.  A percent sign
              (%) in the command is replaced by the name of the current  file.
              A pound sign (#) is replaced by the name of the previously exam-
              ined file.  "!!" repeats the last shell command.   "!"  with  no
              shell  command  simply  invokes  a  shell.  On Unix systems, the
              shell is taken from the environment variable SHELL, or  defaults
              to  "sh".   On  MS-DOS and OS/2 systems, the shell is the normal
              command processor.

       | <m> shell-command
              <m> represents any mark letter.  Pipes a section  of  the  input
              file  to the given shell command.  The section of the file to be
              piped is between the first line on the current  screen  and  the
              position  marked by the letter.  <m> may also be ^ or $ to indi-
              cate beginning or end of file respectively.  If <m> is . or new-
              line, the current screen is piped.

       s filename
              Save  the  input  to  a file.  This only works if the input is a
              pipe, not an ordinary file.


OPTIONS
       Command line options are described below.  Most options may be  changed
       while less is running, via the "-" command.

       Most  options  may be given in one of two forms: either a dash followed
       by a single letter, or two dashes followed by a long  option  name.   A
       long  option  name  may  be  abbreviated as long as the abbreviation is
       unambiguous.  For example, --quit-at-eof may be abbreviated --quit, but
       not --qui, since both --quit-at-eof and --quiet begin with --qui.  Some
       long option names are in uppercase, such as --QUIT-AT-EOF, as  distinct
       from  --quit-at-eof.  Such option names need only have their first let-
       ter capitalized; the remainder of the name may be in either case.   For
       example, --Quit-at-eof is equivalent to --QUIT-AT-EOF.

       Options are also taken from the environment variable "LESS".  For exam-
       ple, to avoid typing "less -options ..." each time less is invoked, you
       might tell csh:

       setenv LESS "-options"

       or if you use sh:

       LESS="-options"; export LESS

       On  MS-DOS,  you don't need the quotes, but you should replace any per-
       cent signs in the options string by double percent signs.

       The environment variable is parsed before the command line, so  command
       line  options  override  the  LESS  environment variable.  If an option
       appears in the LESS variable, it can be reset to its default  value  on
       the command line by beginning the command line option with "-+".

       For  options like -P or -D which take a following string, a dollar sign
       ($) must be used to signal the end of the string.  For example, to  set
       two  -D  options  on  MS-DOS, you must have a dollar sign between them,
       like this:

       LESS="-Dn9.1$-Ds4.1"


       -? or --help
              This option displays a summary of the commands accepted by  less
              (the  same  as  the  h  command).   (Depending on how your shell
              interprets the question mark, it may be necessary to  quote  the
              question mark, thus: "-\?".)

       -a or --search-skip-screen
              Causes  searches  to  start after the last line displayed on the
              screen, thus skipping all lines displayed  on  the  screen.   By
              default,  searches  start  at  the second line on the screen (or
              after the last found line; see the -j option).

       -bn or --buffers=n
              Specifies the amount of buffer space  less  will  use  for  each
              file,  in  units  of  kilobytes (1024 bytes).  By default 64K of
              buffer space is used for each file (unless the file is  a  pipe;
              see  the  -B  option).   The  -b option specifies instead that n
              kilobytes of buffer space should be used for each file.  If n is
              -1,  buffer space is unlimited; that is, the entire file is read
              into memory.

       -B or --auto-buffers
              By default, when data is read from a pipe, buffers are allocated
              automatically as needed.  If a large amount of data is read from
              the pipe, this can cause a large amount of memory  to  be  allo-
              cated.   The  -B  option  disables  this automatic allocation of
              buffers for pipes, so that only 64K  (or  the  amount  of  space
              specified  by the -b option) is used for the pipe.  Warning: use
              of -B can result in  erroneous  display,  since  only  the  most
              recently  viewed part of the file is kept in memory; any earlier
              data is lost.

       -c or --clear-screen
              Causes full screen repaints to be  painted  from  the  top  line
              down.   By  default,  full screen repaints are done by scrolling
              from the bottom of the screen.

       -C or --CLEAR-SCREEN
              The -C option is like -c, but the screen is cleared before it is
              repainted.

       -d     The  -d  option  causes  the default prompt to include the basic
              directions ``[Press space to continue, 'q' to quit.]''.  The  -d
              option also causes the message ``[Press 'h' for instructions.]''
              to be displayed when an invalid command  is  entered  (normally,
              the  bell is rung).  This option is useful in environments where
              users may not be experienced with pagers.

       --dumb"
              The --dumb option suppresses the  error  message  normally  dis-
              played  if  the  terminal is dumb; that is, lacks some important
              capability, such as the ability to clear the  screen  or  scroll
              backward.   The  --dumb  option  does  not  otherwise change the
              behavior of less on a dumb terminal.

       -Dxcolor or --color=xcolor
              [MS-DOS only] Sets the color of the text displayed.  x is a sin-
              gle  character  which  selects  the  type of text whose color is
              being set: n=normal, s=standout, d=bold, u=underlined,  k=blink.
              color  is  a  pair  of numbers separated by a period.  The first
              number selects the foreground color and the second  selects  the
              background  color of the text.  A single number N is the same as
              N.0.

       -e or --quit-at-eof
              Causes less to automatically exit the  second  time  it  reaches
              end-of-file.   By  default, the only way to exit less is via the
              "q" command.

       -E or --QUIT-AT-EOF
              Causes less to automatically exit the first time it reaches end-
              of-file.

       -f or --force
              Forces non-regular files to be opened.  (A non-regular file is a
              directory or a device special file.)  Also suppresses the  warn-
              ing message when a binary file is opened.  By default, less will
              refuse to open non-regular files.

       -F or --quit-if-one-screen
              Causes less to automatically exit if the entire file can be dis-
              played on the first screen.

       -g or --hilite-search
              Normally,  less  will highlight ALL strings which match the last
              search command.  The -g option changes this  behavior  to  high-
              light  only  the  particular  string which was found by the last
              search command.  This can cause less to run somewhat faster than
              the default.

       -G or --HILITE-SEARCH
              The  -G  option  suppresses all highlighting of strings found by
              search commands.

       -hn or --max-back-scroll=n
              Specifies a maximum number of lines to scroll backward.   If  it
              is necessary to scroll backward more than n lines, the screen is
              repainted in a forward direction instead.  (If the terminal does
              not have the ability to scroll backward, -h0 is implied.)

       -i or --ignore-case
              Causes searches to ignore case; that is, uppercase and lowercase
              are considered identical.  This option is ignored if any  upper-
              case  letters appear in the search pattern; in other words, if a
              pattern contains uppercase letters, then that  search  does  not
              ignore case.

       -I or --IGNORE-CASE
              Like  -i,  but searches ignore case even if the pattern contains
              uppercase letters.

       -jn or --jump-target=n
              Specifies a line on the screen where the "target" line is to  be
              positioned.   A  target line is the object of a text search, tag
              search, jump to a line number, jump to  a  file  percentage,  or
              jump  to  a  marked position.  The screen line is specified by a
              number: the top line on the screen is 1, the next is 2,  and  so
              on.   The  number  may be negative to specify a line relative to
              the bottom of the screen: the bottom line on the screen  is  -1,
              the  second to the bottom is -2, and so on.  If the -j option is
              used, searches begin at the line immediately  after  the  target
              line.   For  example,  if  "-j4" is used, the target line is the
              fourth line on the screen, so searches begin at the  fifth  line
              on the screen.

       -J or --status-column
              Displays  a  status  column at the left edge of the screen.  The
              status column shows the lines that matched the  current  search.
              The  status  column  is  also  used if the -w or -W option is in
              effect.

       -kfilename or --lesskey-file=filename
              Causes less to open and interpret the named file  as  a  lesskey
              (1) file.  Multiple -k options may be specified.  If the LESSKEY
              or LESSKEY_SYSTEM environment variable is set, or if  a  lesskey
              file is found in a standard place (see KEY BINDINGS), it is also
              used as a lesskey file.

       -K or --quit-on-intr
              Causes less to exit  immediately  when  an  interrupt  character
              (usually  ^C) is typed.  Normally, an interrupt character causes
              less to stop whatever it is doing  and  return  to  its  command
              prompt.

       -L or --no-lessopen
              Ignore  the  LESSOPEN  environment  variable (see the INPUT PRE-
              PROCESSOR section below).  This option can be  set  from  within
              less,  but  it will apply only to files opened subsequently, not
              to the file which is currently open.

       -m or --long-prompt
              Causes less to prompt verbosely (like more),  with  the  percent
              into the file.  By default, less prompts with a colon.

       -M or --LONG-PROMPT
              Causes less to prompt even more verbosely than more.

       -n or --line-numbers
              Suppresses  line numbers.  The default (to use line numbers) may
              cause less to run more slowly in some cases, especially  with  a
              very  large  input  file.   Suppressing line numbers with the -n
              option will avoid this problem.  Using line numbers  means:  the
              line number will be displayed in the verbose prompt and in the =
              command, and the v command will pass the current line number  to
              the  editor  (see  also  the  discussion  of LESSEDIT in PROMPTS
              below).

       -N or --LINE-NUMBERS
              Causes a line number to be displayed at the  beginning  of  each
              line in the display.

       -ofilename or --log-file=filename
              Causes  less  to copy its input to the named file as it is being
              viewed.  This applies only when the input file is a pipe, not an
              ordinary  file.   If  the file already exists, less will ask for
              confirmation before overwriting it.

       -Ofilename or --LOG-FILE=filename
              The -O option is like -o, but it will overwrite an existing file
              without asking for confirmation.

              If  no log file has been specified, the -o and -O options can be
              used from within less to specify a log  file.   Without  a  file
              name, they will simply report the name of the log file.  The "s"
              command is equivalent to specifying -o from within less.

       -ppattern or --pattern=pattern
              The -p option on the command line is  equivalent  to  specifying
              +/pattern;  that  is, it tells less to start at the first occur-
              rence of pattern in the file.

       -Pprompt or --prompt=prompt
              Provides a way to tailor the three prompt  styles  to  your  own
              preference.  This option would normally be put in the LESS envi-
              ronment variable, rather than being typed in with each less com-
              mand.  Such an option must either be the last option in the LESS
              variable, or be terminated by a dollar sign.  -Ps followed by  a
              string  changes  the default (short) prompt to that string.  -Pm
              changes the medium (-m)  prompt.   -PM  changes  the  long  (-M)
              prompt.   -Ph  changes  the  prompt  for  the  help screen.  -P=
              changes the message printed by the = command.  -Pw  changes  the
              message  printed while waiting for data (in the F command).  All
              prompt strings consist of a  sequence  of  letters  and  special
              escape  sequences.  See the section on PROMPTS for more details.

       -q or --quiet or --silent
              Causes moderately "quiet" operation: the terminal  bell  is  not
              rung if an attempt is made to scroll past the end of the file or
              before the beginning of the file.  If the terminal has a "visual
              bell",  it  is  used  instead.  The bell will be rung on certain
              other errors, such as typing an invalid character.  The  default
              is to ring the terminal bell in all such cases.

       -Q or --QUIET or --SILENT
              Causes  totally  "quiet"  operation:  the terminal bell is never
              rung.

       -r or --raw-control-chars
              Causes "raw" control characters to be displayed.  The default is
              to  display  control  characters  using  the caret notation; for
              example, a control-A (octal 001) is displayed as "^A".  Warning:
              when the -r option is used, less cannot keep track of the actual
              appearance of the screen (since this depends on how  the  screen
              responds to each type of control character).  Thus, various dis-
              play problems may result, such as long lines being split in  the
              wrong place.

       -R or --RAW-CONTROL-CHARS
              Like  -r,  but  only ANSI "color" escape sequences are output in
              "raw" form.  Unlike -r, the screen appearance is maintained cor-
              rectly  in  most  cases.   ANSI  "color"  escape  sequences  are
              sequences of the form:

                   ESC [ ... m

              where the "..." is zero or more color  specification  characters
              For  the  purpose  of  keeping  track of screen appearance, ANSI
              color escape sequences are assumed to not move the cursor.   You
              can  make less think that characters other than "m" can end ANSI
              color escape  sequences  by  setting  the  environment  variable
              LESSANSIENDCHARS to the list of characters which can end a color
              escape sequence.  And you can make less  think  that  characters
              other  than the standard ones may appear between the ESC and the
              m by setting the environment variable  LESSANSIMIDCHARS  to  the
              list of characters which can appear.

       -s or --squeeze-blank-lines
              Causes  consecutive  blank  lines  to  be squeezed into a single
              blank line.  This is useful when viewing nroff output.

       -S or --chop-long-lines
              Causes lines longer than the screen width to be  chopped  rather
              than  folded.  That is, the portion of a long line that does not
              fit in the screen width is not shown.  The default  is  to  fold
              long lines; that is, display the remainder on the next line.

       -ttag or --tag=tag
              The -t option, followed immediately by a TAG, will edit the file
              containing that tag.  For this to work, tag information must  be
              available;  for  example,  there  may  be  a file in the current
              directory called "tags", which was previously built by ctags (1)
              or an equivalent command.  If the environment variable LESSGLOB-
              ALTAGS is set, it is taken to be the name of a command  compati-
              ble  with  global  (1), and that command is executed to find the
              tag.  (See http://www.gnu.org/software/global/global.html).  The
              -t  option  may  also be specified from within less (using the -
              command) as a way of examining a new file.  The command ":t"  is
              equivalent to specifying -t from within less.

       -Ttagsfile or --tag-file=tagsfile
              Specifies a tags file to be used instead of "tags".

       -u or --underline-special
              Causes  backspaces  and carriage returns to be treated as print-
              able characters; that is, they are sent  to  the  terminal  when
              they appear in the input.

       -U or --UNDERLINE-SPECIAL
              Causes  backspaces,  tabs  and carriage returns to be treated as
              control characters; that is, they are handled  as  specified  by
              the -r option.

              By  default,  if  neither  -u  nor -U is given, backspaces which
              appear adjacent to an  underscore  character  are  treated  spe-
              cially:  the  underlined  text is displayed using the terminal's
              hardware underlining capability.  Also, backspaces which  appear
              between  two  identical  characters  are  treated specially: the
              overstruck text is printed using the terminal's  hardware  bold-
              face  capability.   Other backspaces are deleted, along with the
              preceding character.  Carriage returns immediately followed by a
              newline  are  deleted.   other  carriage  returns are handled as
              specified by the -r option.  Text which is overstruck or  under-
              lined can be searched for if neither -u nor -U is in effect.

       -V or --version
              Displays the version number of less.

       -w or --hilite-unread
              Temporarily  highlights  the  first  "new"  line after a forward
              movement of a full page.  The first "new" line is the line imme-
              diately  following  the  line  previously  at  the bottom of the
              screen.  Also highlights the target line after a g or p command.
              The  highlight is removed at the next command which causes move-
              ment.  The entire line is highlighted, unless the -J  option  is
              in  effect, in which case only the status column is highlighted.

       -W or --HILITE-UNREAD
              Like -w, but temporarily highlights the first new line after any
              forward movement command larger than one line.

       -xn,... or --tabs=n,...
              Sets  tab  stops.  If only one n is specified, tab stops are set
              at multiples of n.  If multiple values separated by  commas  are
              specified,  tab  stops are set at those positions, and then con-
              tinue with the same spacing  as  the  last  two.   For  example,
              -x9,17  will  set  tabs  at  positions  9, 17, 25, 33, etc.  The
              default for n is 8.

       -X or --no-init
              Disables sending the termcap initialization and deinitialization
              strings  to  the  terminal.   This is sometimes desirable if the
              deinitialization string does something unnecessary, like  clear-
              ing the screen.

       --no-keypad
              Disables  sending the keypad initialization and deinitialization
              strings to the terminal.  This is sometimes useful if the keypad
              strings make the numeric keypad behave in an undesirable manner.

       -yn or --max-forw-scroll=n
              Specifies a maximum number of lines to scroll forward.  If it is
              necessary  to  scroll  forward  more than n lines, the screen is
              repainted instead.  The -c or -C option may be used  to  repaint
              from  the top of the screen if desired.  By default, any forward
              movement causes scrolling.

       -[z]n or --window=n
              Changes the default scrolling  window  size  to  n  lines.   The
              default is one screenful.  The z and w commands can also be used
              to change the window size.  The "z" may be omitted for  compati-
              bility  with  more.  If the number n is negative, it indicates n
              lines less than the current screen size.  For  example,  if  the
              screen  is 24 lines, -z-4 sets the scrolling window to 20 lines.
              If the screen is resized to 40 lines, the scrolling window auto-
              matically changes to 36 lines.

       -"cc or --quotes=cc
              Changes  the  filename quoting character.  This may be necessary
              if you are trying to name a file which contains both spaces  and
              quote  characters.  Followed by a single character, this changes
              the quote character to that character.  Filenames  containing  a
              space should then be surrounded by that character rather than by
              double quotes.  Followed by two  characters,  changes  the  open
              quote  to the first character, and the close quote to the second
              character.  Filenames containing a space should then be preceded
              by  the  open  quote  character  and followed by the close quote
              character.  Note  that  even  after  the  quote  characters  are
              changed,  this  option  remains  -" (a dash followed by a double
              quote).

       -~ or --tilde
              Normally lines after end of file are displayed as a single tilde
              (~).  This option causes lines after end of file to be displayed
              as blank lines.

       -# or --shift
              Specifies the default number of positions to scroll horizontally
              in  the RIGHTARROW and LEFTARROW commands.  If the number speci-
              fied is zero, it sets the default number  of  positions  to  one
              half of the screen width.

       --     A  command  line  argument of "--" marks the end of option argu-
              ments.  Any arguments following this are  interpreted  as  file-
              names.  This can be useful when viewing a file whose name begins
              with a "-" or "+".

       +      If a command line option begins with +, the  remainder  of  that
              option  is taken to be an initial command to less.  For example,
              +G tells less to start at the end of the file  rather  than  the
              beginning,  and  +/xyz tells it to start at the first occurrence
              of "xyz" in the file.  As a special case,  +<number>  acts  like
              +<number>g; that is, it starts the display at the specified line
              number (however, see the caveat under the  "g"  command  above).
              If  the  option  starts  with ++, the initial command applies to
              every file being viewed, not just the first one.  The +  command
              described previously may also be used to set (or change) an ini-
              tial command for every file.


LINE EDITING
       When entering command line at the bottom of the screen (for example,  a
       filename for the :e command, or the pattern for a search command), cer-
       tain keys can be used to manipulate the command  line.   Most  commands
       have  an alternate form in [ brackets ] which can be used if a key does
       not exist on a particular keyboard.  (The bracketed forms do  not  work
       in  the MS-DOS version.)  Any of these special keys may be entered lit-
       erally by preceding it with the "literal" character, either ^V  or  ^A.
       A  backslash itself may also be entered literally by entering two back-
       slashes.

       LEFTARROW [ ESC-h ]
              Move the cursor one space to the left.

       RIGHTARROW [ ESC-l ]
              Move the cursor one space to the right.

       ^LEFTARROW [ ESC-b or ESC-LEFTARROW ]
              (That is, CONTROL and LEFTARROW simultaneously.)  Move the  cur-
              sor one word to the left.

       ^RIGHTARROW [ ESC-w or ESC-RIGHTARROW ]
              (That is, CONTROL and RIGHTARROW simultaneously.)  Move the cur-
              sor one word to the right.

       HOME [ ESC-0 ]
              Move the cursor to the beginning of the line.

       END [ ESC-$ ]
              Move the cursor to the end of the line.

       BACKSPACE
              Delete the character to the left of the cursor,  or  cancel  the
              command if the command line is empty.

       DELETE or [ ESC-x ]
              Delete the character under the cursor.

       ^BACKSPACE [ ESC-BACKSPACE ]
              (That  is,  CONTROL  and  BACKSPACE simultaneously.)  Delete the
              word to the left of the cursor.

       ^DELETE [ ESC-X or ESC-DELETE ]
              (That is, CONTROL and DELETE simultaneously.)  Delete  the  word
              under the cursor.

       UPARROW [ ESC-k ]
              Retrieve the previous command line.

       DOWNARROW [ ESC-j ]
              Retrieve the next command line.

       TAB    Complete  the partial filename to the left of the cursor.  If it
              matches more than one filename, the first match is entered  into
              the  command  line.   Repeated  TABs  will  cycle thru the other
              matching filenames.  If the completed filename is a directory, a
              "/"  is  appended to the filename.  (On MS-DOS systems, a "\" is
              appended.)  The environment variable LESSSEPARATOR can  be  used
              to  specify a different character to append to a directory name.

       BACKTAB [ ESC-TAB ]
              Like, TAB, but cycles in the reverse direction thru the matching
              filenames.

       ^L     Complete  the partial filename to the left of the cursor.  If it
              matches more than one filename, all matches are entered into the
              command line (if they fit).

       ^U (Unix and OS/2) or ESC (MS-DOS)
              Delete  the  entire  command  line, or cancel the command if the
              command line is empty.  If you have changed your line-kill char-
              acter in Unix to something other than ^U, that character is used
              instead of ^U.


KEY BINDINGS
       You may define your own less commands by using the program lesskey  (1)
       to  create  a  lesskey file.  This file specifies a set of command keys
       and an action associated with each key.  You may also  use  lesskey  to
       change the line-editing keys (see LINE EDITING), and to set environment
       variables.  If the environment variable LESSKEY is set, less uses  that
       as  the  name of the lesskey file.  Otherwise, less looks in a standard
       place for the lesskey file: On Unix systems, less looks for  a  lesskey
       file  called  "$HOME/.less".  On MS-DOS and Windows systems, less looks
       for a lesskey file called "$HOME/_less", and if it is not found  there,
       then looks for a lesskey file called "_less" in any directory specified
       in the PATH environment variable.  On OS/2 systems, less  looks  for  a
       lesskey  file  called  "$HOME/less.ini",  and  if it is not found, then
       looks for a lesskey file called "less.ini" in any  directory  specified
       in the INIT environment variable, and if it not found there, then looks
       for a lesskey file called "less.ini" in any directory specified in  the
       PATH  environment  variable.   See  the  lesskey  manual  page for more
       details.

       A system-wide lesskey file may also be set up to provide key  bindings.
       If a key is defined in both a local lesskey file and in the system-wide
       file, key bindings in the local file take precedence over those in  the
       system-wide  file.   If the environment variable LESSKEY_SYSTEM is set,
       less uses that as the name of the system-wide lesskey file.  Otherwise,
       less  looks  in  a  standard place for the system-wide lesskey file: On
       NetBSD, the system-wide lesskey file is in /etc/sysless.  On other Unix
       systems, the system-wide lesskey file is /usr/local/etc/sysless.  (How-
       ever, if less  was  built  with  a  different  sysconf  directory  than
       /usr/local/etc, that directory is where the sysless file is found.)  On
       MS-DOS and Windows systems, the system-wide lesskey  file  is  c:\_sys-
       less.  On OS/2 systems, the system-wide lesskey file is c:\sysless.ini.


INPUT PREPROCESSOR
       You may define an "input preprocessor" for less.  Before less  opens  a
       file, it first gives your input preprocessor a chance to modify the way
       the contents of the file are displayed.  An input preprocessor is  sim-
       ply  an executable program (or shell script), which writes the contents
       of the file to a different file, called the replacement file.  The con-
       tents  of  the replacement file are then displayed in place of the con-
       tents of the original file.  However, it will appear to the user as  if
       the  original  file  is opened; that is, less will display the original
       filename as the name of the current file.

       An input preprocessor receives one command line argument, the  original
       filename,  as  entered  by  the user.  It should create the replacement
       file, and when finished, print the name of the replacement file to  its
       standard  output.  If the input preprocessor does not output a replace-
       ment filename, less uses the original file, as normal.  The input  pre-
       processor  is  not  called  when  viewing standard input.  To set up an
       input preprocessor, set the LESSOPEN environment variable to a  command
       line  which  will  invoke  your  input preprocessor.  This command line
       should include one  occurrence  of  the  string  "%s",  which  will  be
       replaced  by  the  filename  when  the  input  preprocessor  command is
       invoked.

       When less closes a file opened in such a way, it will call another pro-
       gram,  called  the  input  postprocessor, which may perform any desired
       clean-up action (such as  deleting  the  replacement  file  created  by
       LESSOPEN).  This program receives two command line arguments, the orig-
       inal filename as entered by the user, and the name of  the  replacement
       file.   To set up an input postprocessor, set the LESSCLOSE environment
       variable to a command line which will invoke your input  postprocessor.
       It  may  include  two  occurrences  of  the  string  "%s"; the first is
       replaced with the original name of the file and  the  second  with  the
       name of the replacement file, which was output by LESSOPEN.

       For  example, on many Unix systems, these two scripts will allow you to
       keep files in compressed format, but still let less view them directly:

       lessopen.sh:
            #! /bin/sh
            case "$1" in
            *.Z) uncompress -c $1  >/tmp/less.$$  2>/dev/null
                 if [ -s /tmp/less.$$ ]; then
                      echo /tmp/less.$$
                 else
                      rm -f /tmp/less.$$
                 fi
                 ;;
            esac

       lessclose.sh:
            #! /bin/sh
            rm $2

       To  use these scripts, put them both where they can be executed and set
       LESSOPEN="lessopen.sh %s",  and  LESSCLOSE="lessclose.sh %s %s".   More
       complex  LESSOPEN  and LESSCLOSE scripts may be written to accept other
       types of compressed files, and so on.

       It is also possible to set up an input preprocessor to  pipe  the  file
       data  directly to less, rather than putting the data into a replacement
       file.  This avoids the need to decompress the entire file before start-
       ing to view it.  An input preprocessor that works this way is called an
       input pipe.  An input pipe, instead of writing the name of  a  replace-
       ment  file  on  its  standard output, writes the entire contents of the
       replacement file on its standard output.  If the input  pipe  does  not
       write  any characters on its standard output, then there is no replace-
       ment file and less uses the original file, as normal.  To use an  input
       pipe,  make  the first character in the LESSOPEN environment variable a
       vertical bar (|) to signify that the input  preprocessor  is  an  input
       pipe.

       For  example, on many Unix systems, this script will work like the pre-
       vious example scripts:

       lesspipe.sh:
            #! /bin/sh
            case "$1" in
            *.Z) uncompress -c $1  2>/dev/null
                 ;;
            esac

       To  use  this  script,  put  it  where  it  can  be  executed  and  set
       LESSOPEN="|lesspipe.sh  %s".   When  an input pipe is used, a LESSCLOSE
       postprocessor can be used, but it is usually not necessary since  there
       is no replacement file to clean up.  In this case, the replacement file
       name passed to the LESSCLOSE postprocessor is "-".


NATIONAL CHARACTER SETS
       There are three types of characters in the input file:

       normal characters
              can be displayed directly to the screen.

       control characters
              should not be displayed directly, but are expected to  be  found
              in ordinary text files (such as backspace and tab).

       binary characters
              should  not  be  displayed  directly  and are not expected to be
              found in text files.

       A "character set" is simply a description of which characters are to be
       considered  normal,  control,  and binary.  The LESSCHARSET environment
       variable may be used to select a character set.   Possible  values  for
       LESSCHARSET are:

       ascii  BS,  TAB, NL, CR, and formfeed are control characters, all chars
              with values between 32 and 126 are normal, and  all  others  are
              binary.

       iso8859
              Selects  an  ISO 8859 character set.  This is the same as ASCII,
              except characters between 160 and  255  are  treated  as  normal
              characters.

       latin1 Same as iso8859.

       latin9 Same as iso8859.

       dos    Selects a character set appropriate for MS-DOS.

       ebcdic Selects an EBCDIC character set.

       IBM-1047
              Selects  an  EBCDIC  character set used by OS/390 Unix Services.
              This is the EBCDIC analogue of latin1.  You get similar  results
              by setting either LESSCHARSET=IBM-1047 or LC_CTYPE=en_US in your
              environment.

       koi8-r Selects a Russian character set.

       next   Selects a character set appropriate for NeXT computers.

       utf-8  Selects the UTF-8 encoding of the ISO 10646 character set.

       windows
              Selects a character set appropriate for  Microsoft  Windows  (cp
              1251).

       In  special  cases, it may be desired to tailor less to use a character
       set other than the ones definable by LESSCHARSET.  In  this  case,  the
       environment variable LESSCHARDEF can be used to define a character set.
       It should be set to a string where each character in the string  repre-
       sents  one  character  in the character set.  The character "." is used
       for a normal character, "c" for control, and "b" for binary.  A decimal
       number  may  be used for repetition.  For example, "bccc4b." would mean
       character 0 is binary, 1, 2 and 3 are  control,  4,  5,  6  and  7  are
       binary, and 8 is normal.  All characters after the last are taken to be
       the same as the last, so characters 9  through  255  would  be  normal.
       (This  is an example, and does not necessarily represent any real char-
       acter set.)

       This table shows the value of LESSCHARDEF which is equivalent  to  each
       of the possible values for LESSCHARSET:

            ascii     8bcccbcc18b95.b
            dos       8bcccbcc12bc5b95.b.
            ebcdic    5bc6bcc7bcc41b.9b7.9b5.b..8b6.10b6.b9.7b
                      9.8b8.17b3.3b9.7b9.8b8.6b10.b.b.b.
            IBM-1047  4cbcbc3b9cbccbccbb4c6bcc5b3cbbc4bc4bccbc
                      191.b
            iso8859   8bcccbcc18b95.33b.
            koi8-r    8bcccbcc18b95.b128.
            latin1    8bcccbcc18b95.33b.
            next      8bcccbcc18b95.bb125.bb

       If  neither  LESSCHARSET nor LESSCHARDEF is set, but any of the strings
       "UTF-8", "UTF8", "utf-8" or "utf8" is found in the LC_ALL,  LC_TYPE  or
       LANG environment variables, then the default character set is utf-8.

       If  that  string  is  not found, but your system supports the setlocale
       interface, less will use setlocale  to  determine  the  character  set.
       setlocale  is  controlled  by  setting the LANG or LC_CTYPE environment
       variables.

       Finally, if the setlocale interface is also not available, the  default
       character set is latin1.

       Control  and  binary  characters  are  displayed  in  standout (reverse
       video).  Each such character is displayed in caret notation if possible
       (e.g.  ^A for control-A).  Caret notation is used only if inverting the
       0100 bit results in a normal printable character.  Otherwise, the char-
       acter  is displayed as a hex number in angle brackets.  This format can
       be changed by setting the LESSBINFMT environment variable.   LESSBINFMT
       may begin with a "*" and one character to select the display attribute:
       "*k" is blinking, "*d" is bold, "*u" is underlined, "*s"  is  standout,
       and  "*n"  is  normal.  If LESSBINFMT does not begin with a "*", normal
       attribute is assumed.  The remainder of LESSBINFMT is  a  string  which
       may  include one printf-style escape sequence (a % followed by x, X, o,
       d, etc.).  For example, if LESSBINFMT is  "*u[%x]",  binary  characters
       are  displayed  in  underlined hexadecimal surrounded by brackets.  The
       default if no LESSBINFMT is specified is "*s<%X>".  The default  if  no
       LESSBINFMT  is specified is "*s<%02X>".  Warning: the result of expand-
       ing the character via LESSBINFMT must be less than 31 characters.

       When the character set is utf-8, the LESSUTFBINFMT environment variable
       acts similarly to LESSBINFMT but it applies to Unicode code points that
       were successfully decoded but are unsuitable for display  (e.g.,  unas-
       signed  code  points).   Its  default  value is "<U+%04lX>".  Note that
       LESSUTFBINFMT and LESSBINFMT  share  their  display  attribute  setting
       ("*x")  so specifying one will affect both; LESSUTFBINFMT is read after
       LESSBINFMT so its setting, if any,  will  have  priority.   Problematic
       octets  in  a  UTF-8  file (octets of a truncated sequence, octets of a
       complete but non-shortest form  sequence,  illegal  octets,  and  stray
       trailing  octets)  are displayed individually using LESSBINFMT so as to
       facilitate diagnostic of how the UTF-8 file is ill-formed.


PROMPTS
       The -P option allows you to tailor the prompt to your preference.   The
       string  given  to  the  -P option replaces the specified prompt string.
       Certain characters in the string are interpreted specially.  The prompt
       mechanism  is  rather complicated to provide flexibility, but the ordi-
       nary user need not understand the details of constructing  personalized
       prompt strings.

       A  percent sign followed by a single character is expanded according to
       what the following character is:

       %bX    Replaced by the byte offset into the current input file.  The  b
              is followed by a single character (shown as X above) which spec-
              ifies the line whose byte offset is to be used.  If the  charac-
              ter  is a "t", the byte offset of the top line in the display is
              used, an "m" means use the middle line, a "b" means use the bot-
              tom  line,  a "B" means use the line just after the bottom line,
              and a "j" means use the "target" line, as specified  by  the  -j
              option.

       %B     Replaced by the size of the current input file.

       %c     Replaced by the column number of the text appearing in the first
              column of the screen.

       %dX    Replaced by the page number of a line in the  input  file.   The
              line to be used is determined by the X, as with the %b option.

       %D     Replaced  by  the  number of pages in the input file, or equiva-
              lently, the page number of the last line in the input file.

       %E     Replaced by the name of the editor (from the VISUAL  environment
              variable,  or  the  EDITOR environment variable if VISUAL is not
              defined).  See the discussion of the LESSEDIT feature below.

       %f     Replaced by the name of the current input file.

       %i     Replaced by the index of the current file in the list  of  input
              files.

       %lX    Replaced  by  the  line number of a line in the input file.  The
              line to be used is determined by the X, as with the %b option.

       %L     Replaced by the line number of the last line in the input  file.

       %m     Replaced by the total number of input files.

       %pX    Replaced  by  the  percent into the current input file, based on
              byte offsets.  The line used is determined by the X as with  the
              %b option.

       %PX    Replaced  by  the  percent into the current input file, based on
              line numbers.  The line used is determined by the X as with  the
              %b option.

       %s     Same as %B.

       %t     Causes  any  trailing spaces to be removed.  Usually used at the
              end of the string, but may appear anywhere.

       %x     Replaced by the name of the next input file in the list.

       If any item is unknown (for example, the file size if input is a pipe),
       a question mark is printed instead.

       The  format  of  the  prompt string can be changed depending on certain
       conditions.  A question mark followed by a single character  acts  like
       an  "IF":  depending  on the following character, a condition is evalu-
       ated.  If the condition is true, any characters following the  question
       mark  and  condition  character,  up  to  a period, are included in the
       prompt.  If the condition is false, such characters are  not  included.
       A  colon appearing between the question mark and the period can be used
       to establish an "ELSE": any characters between the colon and the period
       are  included  in  the string if and only if the IF condition is false.
       Condition characters (which follow a question mark) may be:

       ?a     True if any characters have been included in the prompt so  far.

       ?bX    True if the byte offset of the specified line is known.

       ?B     True if the size of current input file is known.

       ?c     True if the text is horizontally shifted (%c is not zero).

       ?dX    True if the page number of the specified line is known.

       ?e     True if at end-of-file.

       ?f     True  if  there is an input filename (that is, if input is not a
              pipe).

       ?lX    True if the line number of the specified line is known.

       ?L     True if the line number of the last line in the file is known.

       ?m     True if there is more than one input file.

       ?n     True if this is the first prompt in a new input file.

       ?pX    True if the percent into the current input file, based  on  byte
              offsets, of the specified line is known.

       ?PX    True  if  the percent into the current input file, based on line
              numbers, of the specified line is known.

       ?s     Same as "?B".

       ?x     True if there is a next input file  (that  is,  if  the  current
              input file is not the last one).

       Any  characters  other  than  the  special  ones (question mark, colon,
       period, percent, and backslash) become literally part  of  the  prompt.
       Any  of  the special characters may be included in the prompt literally
       by preceding it with a backslash.

       Some examples:

       ?f%f:Standard input.

       This prompt prints the filename, if known; otherwise the string  "Stan-
       dard input".

       ?f%f .?ltLine %lt:?pt%pt\%:?btByte %bt:-...

       This  prompt  would print the filename, if known.  The filename is fol-
       lowed by the line number, if known, otherwise  the  percent  if  known,
       otherwise  the  byte  offset  if  known.  Otherwise, a dash is printed.
       Notice how each question mark has a matching  period,  and  how  the  %
       after the %pt is included literally by escaping it with a backslash.

       ?n?f%f .?m(file %i of %m) ..?e(END) ?x- Next\: %x..%t

       This  prints  the  filename if this is the first prompt in a file, fol-
       lowed by the "file N of N" message if there  is  more  than  one  input
       file.   Then,  if  we are at end-of-file, the string "(END)" is printed
       followed by the name of the next file, if there is one.   Finally,  any
       trailing spaces are truncated.  This is the default prompt.  For refer-
       ence, here are the defaults for  the  other  two  prompts  (-m  and  -M
       respectively).   Each  is  broken  into  two lines here for readability
       only.

       ?n?f%f .?m(file %i of %m) ..?e(END) ?x- Next\: %x.:
            ?pB%pB\%:byte %bB?s/%s...%t

       ?f%f .?n?m(file %i of %m) ..?ltlines %lt-%lb?L/%L. :
            byte %bB?s/%s. .?e(END) ?x- Next\: %x.:?pB%pB\%..%t

       And here is the default message produced by the = command:

       ?f%f .?m(file %i of %m) .?ltlines %lt-%lb?L/%L. .
            byte %bB?s/%s. ?e(END) :?pB%pB\%..%t

       The prompt expansion features are also used for another purpose: if  an
       environment  variable LESSEDIT is defined, it is used as the command to
       be executed when the v command is  invoked.   The  LESSEDIT  string  is
       expanded  in the same way as the prompt strings.  The default value for
       LESSEDIT is:

            %E ?lm+%lm. %f

       Note that this expands to the editor name, followed by a + and the line
       number,  followed by the file name.  If your editor does not accept the
       "+linenumber" syntax, or has other differences  in  invocation  syntax,
       the LESSEDIT variable can be changed to modify this default.


SECURITY
       When  the  environment  variable LESSSECURE is set to 1, less runs in a
       "secure" mode.  This means these features are disabled:

              !      the shell command

              |      the pipe command

              :e     the examine command.

              v      the editing command

              s  -o  log files

              -k     use of lesskey files

              -t     use of tags files

                     metacharacters in filenames, such as *

                     filename completion (TAB, ^L)

       Less can also be compiled to be permanently in "secure" mode.


ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES
       Environment variables may be specified either in the system environment
       as  usual,  or  in  a  lesskey  (1) file.  If environment variables are
       defined in more than one place, variables defined in  a  local  lesskey
       file  take precedence over variables defined in the system environment,
       which take precedence over variables defined in the system-wide lesskey
       file.

       COLUMNS
              Sets the number of columns on the screen.  Takes precedence over
              the number of columns specified by the TERM variable.   (But  if
              you  have  a  windowing  system  which  supports  TIOCGWINSZ  or
              WIOCGETD, the window system's idea  of  the  screen  size  takes
              precedence over the LINES and COLUMNS environment variables.)

       EDITOR The name of the editor (used for the v command).

       HOME   Name  of  the user's home directory (used to find a lesskey file
              on Unix and OS/2 systems).

       HOMEDRIVE, HOMEPATH
              Concatenation of the HOMEDRIVE and  HOMEPATH  environment  vari-
              ables is the name of the user's home directory if the HOME vari-
              able is not set (only in the Windows version).

       INIT   Name of the user's init directory (used to find a  lesskey  file
              on OS/2 systems).

       LANG   Language for determining the character set.

       LC_CTYPE
              Language for determining the character set.

       LESS   Options which are passed to less automatically.

       LESSANSIENDCHARS
              Characters  which may end an ANSI color escape sequence (default
              "m").

       LESSANSIMIDCHARS
              Characters which may appear between the ESC  character  and  the
              end   character  in  an  ANSI  color  escape  sequence  (default
              "0123456789;[?!"'#%()*+ ".

       LESSBINFMT
              Format for displaying non-printable, non-control characters.

       LESSCHARDEF
              Defines a character set.

       LESSCHARSET
              Selects a predefined character set.

       LESSCLOSE
              Command line to invoke the (optional) input-postprocessor.

       LESSECHO
              Name of the lessecho program (default "lessecho").  The lessecho
              program  is needed to expand metacharacters, such as * and ?, in
              filenames on Unix systems.

       LESSEDIT
              Editor prototype string (used for the v command).   See  discus-
              sion under PROMPTS.

       LESSGLOBALTAGS
              Name  of  the command used by the -t option to find global tags.
              Normally should be set to "global" if your system has the global
              (1) command.  If not set, global tags are not used.

       LESSHISTFILE
              Name  of  the  history file used to remember search commands and
              shell commands between invocations of less.  If set  to  "-",  a
              history  file  is  not used.  The default is "$HOME/.lesshst" on
              Unix systems, "$HOME/_lesshst" on DOS and  Windows  systems,  or
              "$HOME/lesshst.ini" or "$INIT/lesshst.ini" on OS/2 systems.

       LESSHISTSIZE
              The maximum number of commands to save in the history file.  The
              default is 100.

       LESSKEY
              Name of the default lesskey(1) file.

       LESSKEY_SYSTEM
              Name of the default system-wide lesskey(1) file.

       LESSMETACHARS
              List of characters which are considered "metacharacters" by  the
              shell.

       LESSMETAESCAPE
              Prefix  which  less will add before each metacharacter in a com-
              mand sent to the shell.  If LESSMETAESCAPE is an  empty  string,
              commands  containing  metacharacters  will  not be passed to the
              shell.

       LESSOPEN
              Command line to invoke the (optional) input-preprocessor.

       LESSSECURE
              Runs less in "secure" mode.  See discussion under SECURITY.

       LESSSEPARATOR
              String to be appended to a directory name  in  filename  comple-
              tion.

       LESSUTFBINFMT
              Format for displaying non-printable Unicode code points.

       LINES  Sets  the  number of lines on the screen.  Takes precedence over
              the number of lines specified by the TERM variable.  (But if you
              have  a  windowing system which supports TIOCGWINSZ or WIOCGETD,
              the window system's idea of the  screen  size  takes  precedence
              over the LINES and COLUMNS environment variables.)

       PATH   User's  search  path  (used to find a lesskey file on MS-DOS and
              OS/2 systems).

       SHELL  The shell used to execute the ! command, as well  as  to  expand
              filenames.

       TERM   The type of terminal on which less is being run.

       VISUAL The name of the editor (used for the v command).


SEE ALSO
       lesskey(1)


WARNINGS
       The  =  command and prompts (unless changed by -P) report the line num-
       bers of the lines at the top and bottom of the screen, but the byte and
       percent of the line after the one at the bottom of the screen.

       If  the  :e  command is used to name more than one file, and one of the
       named files has been viewed previously, the new files  may  be  entered
       into the list in an unexpected order.

       On  certain  older  terminals (the so-called "magic cookie" terminals),
       search highlighting will cause an erroneous display.   On  such  termi-
       nals,  search  highlighting  is  disabled  by default to avoid possible
       problems.

       In certain cases, when search highlighting is enabled and a search pat-
       tern  begins  with a ^, more text than the matching string may be high-
       lighted.  (This problem does not occur when less is compiled to use the
       POSIX regular expression package.)

       When  viewing  text containing ANSI color escape sequences using the -R
       option, searching will not find  text  containing  an  embedded  escape
       sequence.   Also,  search  highlighting may change the color of some of
       the text which follows the highlighted text.

       On some systems, setlocale claims that ASCII characters 0 thru  31  are
       control  characters rather than binary characters.  This causes less to
       treat some binary files as ordinary, non-binary files.   To  workaround
       this  problem,  set the environment variable LESSCHARSET to "ascii" (or
       whatever character set is appropriate).

       This manual is too long.

       See http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less for the list of known bugs in
       all versions of less.


COPYRIGHT
       Copyright (C) 1984-2005  Mark Nudelman

       less  is  part of the GNU project and is free software.  You can redis-
       tribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either (1) the GNU  Gen-
       eral  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  FIT-
       NESS  FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License for
       more details.


AUTHOR
       Mark Nudelman <markn@greenwoodsoftware.com>
       Send  bug  reports  or  comments  to  the  above  address  or  to  bug-
       less@gnu.org.
       For  more  information,  see the less homepage at http://www.greenwood-
       software.com/less.



                           Version 394: 03 Dec 2005                    LESS(1)

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