xedit Man page

XEDIT(1) General Commands Manual XEDIT(1)


xedit – simple text editor for X

xedit [ -toolkitoption … ] [ filename … ]


Xedit provides a window consisting of the following four areas:

Commands Section A set of commands that allow you to exit
xedit, save the file, or load a new file into
the edit window.

Message Window Displays xedit messages. In addition, this
window can be also used as a scratch pad.

Filename Display Displays the name of the file currently being
edited, and whether this file is Read-Write or
Read Only.

Edit Window Displays the text of the file that you are
editing or creating.


Xedit accepts all of the standard X Toolkit command line options (see
X(7)). The order of the command line options is not important.

Specifies the file(s) that are to be loaded during start-up.
This is the file which will be edited. If a file is not speci‐
fied, xedit lets you load files or create new files after it
has started up.

The Athena Text widget is used for the three sections of this applica‐
tion that allow text input. The characters typed will go to the Text
widget that has the input focus, or the Text widget that the pointer
cursor is currently over.

The following keystroke combinations are defined:

Ctrl-a Beginning Of Line
Meta-b Backward Word
Ctrl-b Backward Character
Meta-f Forward Word
Ctrl-d Delete Next Character
Meta-i Insert File
Ctrl-e End Of Line
Meta-k Kill To End Of Paragraph
Ctrl-f Forward Character
Meta-q Form Paragraph
Ctrl-g Keyboard Reset
Meta-v Previous Page
Ctrl-h Delete Previous Character
Meta-y Insert Current Selection
Ctrl-j Newline And Indent
Meta-z Scroll One Line Down
Ctrl-k Kill To End Of Line
Meta-d Delete Next Word
Ctrl-l Redraw Display

Meta-D Kill Word
Ctrl-m Newline
Meta-h Delete Previous Word
Ctrl-n Next Line
Meta-H Backward Kill Word
Ctrl-o Newline And Backup
Meta-< Beginning Of File Ctrl-p Previous Line Meta-> End Of File
Ctrl-r Search/Replace Backward
Meta-] Forward Paragraph
Ctrl-s Search/Replace Forward
Meta-[ Backward Paragraph
Ctrl-t Transpose Characters
Ctrl-u [number] Multiply by 4 or number
Meta-Delete Delete Previous Word
Ctrl-v Next Page
Meta-Shift Delete Kill Previous Word
Ctrl-w Kill Selection
Meta-Backspace Delete Previous Word
Ctrl-y Unkill
Meta-Shift Backspace Kill Previous Word
Ctrl-z Scroll One Line Up
Meta-z Scroll One Line Down
Ctrl-_ Undo
Escape Line Edit Mode

In addition, the pointer may be used to cut and paste text:

Button 1 Down Start Selection
Button 1 Motion Adjust Selection
Button 1 Up End Selection (cut)

Button 2 Down Insert Current Selection (paste)

Button 3 Down Extend Current Selection
Button 3 Motion Adjust Selection
Button 3 Up End Selection (cut)

Line edit mode enables several shortcut commands for searching and
replacing text in a xedit buffer. Line edit mode commands have the


Line number may be specified as:

. The current text line.

$ The last line of the file.

number The literal line number.

– or ^ The previous line. Equivalent to -1.

-number or ^number
The current line minus number.

+ The next line. Equivalent to +1.

+number The current line plus number.

, or % From the first to the last line. Equivalent to 1,$.

; From the current to the last line. Equivalent to .,$.

Command may be specified as:

s Substitute text in the specified lines.

/re/ Search forward for the regular expression pattern re.

?re? Search backward for the regular expression pattern re.

Parameters may be specified as:

/re/ Works as a parameter to i or as a command.

Search forward for re and substitute by text.

Options may follow or be parameters, known values are:

i Case insensitive search.

g Global match when replacing text. Unless specified, only the
nth, that defaults to 1, match will be replaced.

c Confirm before replacing text.

number Replace only the occurrence referenced by number.

Commands accept some variations, examples:
Search forward for pattern.

Search the entire buffer and ask confirmation to replace pattern with

Replace the match number in the text line. If not specified, defaults
to the first occurrence.

When searching for text, type to go to the next match. When
interactively replacing text, type y or Y to accept the change, and n
or N to ignore it and go to the next match.

Quit Quits the current editing session. If any changes have not been
saved, xedit displays a warning message, allowing the user to
save them.

Save If file backups are enabled (see RESOURCES, below) xedit stores
a copy of the original, unedited file in file,
then overwrites the file with the contents of the edit window.
The filename is retrieved from the Text widget directly to the
right of the Load button.

Load Loads the file named in the text widget immediately to the
right of the this button and displays it in the Edit window.

For xedit the available resources are:

tagsName (Class TagsName)
Specifies the name of the tags file to search when loading a
new file. Default value is tags.

loadTags (Class LoadTags)
Boolean value to enable or disabling searching for tags files.
Default is True.

enableBackups (Class EnableBackups)
Specifies that, when edits made to an existing file are saved,
xedit is to copy the original version of that file to file before it saves the changes. The default
value for this resource is “on,” stating that backups should
be created.

backupNamePrefix (Class BackupNamePrefix)
Specifies a string that is to be prepended to the backup file‐
name. The default is that no string shall be prepended.

backupNameSuffix (Class BackupNameSuffix)
Specifies a string that is to be appended to the backup file‐
name. The default is to use “~” as the suffix.

positionFormat (Class Format)
Specifies a format string used to display the cursor position.
This string uses printf(3) like notation, where %l prints the
line number, %c prints the column number, %p prints the insert
position offset, and %s prints the current file size. It is
also allowed to specify field sizes, with the notation
%-?[0-9]+ . The default format string is “L%l”, which shows
the character “L” followed by the line number.

hints (Class Hints)
Specifies a list of strings, separated by new lines, that will
be displayed in the bc_label window.

hintsInterval (Class Interval)
Specifies the interval in seconds, which the hint string in the
bc_label window will be changed.

changedBitmap (Class Bitmap)
Specifies the name of the Bitmap that will be displayed in the
fileMenu, when the file being edited is changed.

autoReplace (Class Replace)
This resource is useful to automatically correct common mis‐
spelling errors, but can also be used to create simple macros.
The format is {non-blanks}{blanks}[{string}]. Fields are sepa‐
rated by newlines. Example of use:

nto not\n\
/macro some long string with \\\n newlines \\\n

Will automatically replace the word nto by not, and /macro by
some long string with
newlines when you type that words.

ispell.dictionaries (Class ispell.Dictionary)
Specifies a list of dictionary names, separated by spaces,
available to the ispell program. The default value is “american
americamed+ english”.

ispell.dictionary (Class ispell.Dictionary)
Specifies the default dictionary to use.

ispell*.wordChars (Class ispell*Chars)
Specifies a set of characters that can be part of a legal word.
The field is one of the dictionaries specified in
the dictionaries resource.

ispell.ispellCommand (Class ispell.CommandLine)
The path to the ispell program, and possibly, additional argu‐
ments. You don’t need to specify the “-w” option, neither the
“-a” option. Refer to the ispell(1) manpage for more infor‐
mation on ispell options.

ispell.formatting (Class ispell.TextFormat)
Specifies which text formatting to use while spell checking the
file. The available formats are text and html.

ispell*text.skipLines (Class ispell*text.Skip)
Lines starting with one of the characters in this string will
not be spell checked. This resource is only used in text mode.

ispell.terseMode (Class ispell.Terse)
When enabled, runs ispell in terse mode, not asking user inter‐
action for words generated through compound formation (when
using the ispell “-C” option), or words generated through
affix removal. The default value is False.

ispell.lookCommand (Class ispell.CommandLine)
The path to the program to search for alternate words, and pos‐
sibly, additional arguments. The default program used is

ispell.wordsFile (Class ispell.Words)
The path to the file[s] to search for alternate words. The
default file is /usr/share/dict/words.

ispell.guessLabel (Class ispell.Status)
String displayed in the ispell status bar when ispell returns a
guess list of one or more words. The default value is Guess.

ispell.missLabel (Class ispell.Status)
String displayed in the ispell status bar when ispell returns a
list of one or more words to match a misspelled one. The
default value is Miss.

ispell.rootLabel (Class ispell.Status)
String displayed in the ispell status bar when the word is not
in the dictionary, but it can be formed through a root one. The
default value is Root:, and is followed by a space and the root

ispell.noneLabel (Class ispell.Status)
String displayed in the ispell status bar when there is no near
misses. The default value is None.

ispell.compoundLabel (Class ispell.Status)
String displayed in the ispell status bar when the word being
checked is formed by concatenation of two words. The default
value is Compound.

ispell.okLabel (Class ispell.Status)
String displayed in the ispell status bar when the checked word
is in the dictionary. This string is only displayed when using
the check button in the xedit ispell interface. The default
value is Ok.

ispell.eofLabel (Class ispell.Status)
The string displayed in the ispell status bar when the end of
the file is reached. The default value is End Of File.

ispell.repeatLabel (Class ispell.Status)
The string displayed in the ispell status bar when two identi‐
cal words are found together in the file. The default value is

ispell.lookLabel (Class ispell.Status)
The string displayed in the ispell status bar after displaying
the results of the Look command. If no results are found, the
value of the ispell.noneLabel resource is shown.

ispell.workingLabel (Class ispell.Status)
The string displayed in the ispell status bar while xedit is
communicating with ispell. The default value is ….

In order to specify resources, it is useful to know the hierarchy of
the widgets which compose xedit. In the notation below, indentation
indicates hierarchical structure. The widget class name is given
first, followed by the widget instance name.

Xedit xedit
Paned paned
Paned buttons
Command quit
Command save
Command load
Text filename
Label bc_label
Text messageWindow
Label labelWindow
Text editWindow

DISPLAY to get the default host and display number.

XENVIRONMENT to get the name of a resource file that overrides
the global resources stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER

specifies required resources


X(7), xrdb(1), Athena Widget Set

Xedit is not a replacement to Emacs.


Copyright 1988, Digital Equipment Corporation.
Copyright 1989, X Consortium
Copyright 1998, The XFree86 Project
See X(7) for a full statement of rights and permissions.

Chris D. Peterson, MIT X Consortium
Paulo Cesar Pereira de Andrade, The XFree86 Project

X Version 11 xedit 1.2.2 XEDIT(1)