Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: xedit 1.2.1
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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 specified, 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 application 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-aBeginning Of Line
Meta-bBackward Word
Ctrl-bBackward Character
Meta-fForward Word
Ctrl-dDelete Next Character
Meta-iInsert File
Ctrl-eEnd Of Line
Meta-kKill To End Of Paragraph
Ctrl-fForward Character
Meta-qForm Paragraph
Ctrl-gKeyboard Reset
Meta-vPrevious Page
Ctrl-hDelete Previous Character
Meta-yInsert Current Selection
Ctrl-jNewline And Indent
Meta-zScroll One Line Down
Ctrl-kKill To End Of Line
Meta-dDelete Next Word
Ctrl-lRedraw Display
Meta-DKill Word
Delete Previous Word
Ctrl-nNext Line
Meta-HBackward Kill Word
Ctrl-oNewline And Backup
Meta-<Beginning Of File
Ctrl-pPrevious Line
Meta->End Of File
Ctrl-rSearch/Replace Backward
Meta-]Forward Paragraph
Ctrl-sSearch/Replace Forward
Meta-[Backward Paragraph
Ctrl-tTranspose Characters
Ctrl-u [number]Multiply by 4 or number
Meta-DeleteDelete Previous Word
Ctrl-vNext Page
Meta-Shift DeleteKill Previous Word
Ctrl-wKill Selection
Meta-BackspaceDelete Previous Word
Kill Previous Word
Ctrl-zScroll One Line Up
Meta-zScroll One Line Down
EscapeLine Edit Mode

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

Button 1 DownStart Selection
Button 1 MotionAdjust Selection
Button 1 UpEnd Selection (cut)

Button 2 DownInsert Current Selection (paste)

Button 3 DownExtend Current Selection
Button 3 MotionAdjust Selection
Button 3 UpEnd Selection (cut)

enables several shortcut commands for searching and replacing text in a
xedit buffer.
commands have the format:


may be specified as:
The current text line.
The last line of the file.
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.
The current line plus number.
, or %
From the first to the last line. Equivalent to 1,$.
From the current to the last line. Equivalent to .,$.

may be specified as:
Substitute text in the specified lines.
Search forward for the regular expression pattern re.
Search backward for the regular expression pattern re.

may be specified as:
Works as a parameter to i or as a command.
Search forward for re and substitute by text.

may follow or be parameters, known values are:
Case insensitive search.
Global match when replacing text. Unless specified, only the nth,
that defaults to 1, match will be replaced.
Confirm before replacing text.
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 text.

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

When searching for text, type <Return> 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.

Quits the current editing session. If any changes have not been saved,
displays a warning message, allowing the user to save them.
If file backups are enabled (see RESOURCES, below)
stores a copy of the
original, unedited file in <prefix>file<suffix>,
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.
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:
Specifies the name of the tags file to search when loading a new file.
Default value is tags.
Boolean value to enable or disabling searching for tags files.
Default is True.
Specifies that, when edits made to an existing file are saved,
is to copy the original version of that file to <prefix>file<suffix>
before it saves the changes. The default value for this resource is
``on,'' stating that backups should be created.
Specifies a string that is to be prepended to the backup filename. The
default is that no string shall be prepended.
Specifies a string that is to be appended to the backup filename. The
default is to use ``~'' as the suffix.
Specifies a format string used to display the cursor position. This
string uses printf(3) like notation, where
prints the line number,
prints the column number,
prints the insert position offset, and
prints the current file size. It is also allowed to specify field sizes,
with the notation
. The default format string is ``L%l'', which shows the character ``L''
followed by the line number.
Specifies a list of strings, separated by new lines, that will be
displayed in the bc_label window.
Specifies the interval in seconds, which the hint string in the bc_label
window will be changed.
Specifies the name of the Bitmap that will be displayed in the fileMenu, when
the file being edited is changed.
This resource is useful to automatically correct common misspelling errors, but
can also be used to create simple macros. The format is
{non-blanks}{blanks}[{string}]. Fields are separated 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


when you type that words.
Specifies a list of dictionary names, separated by spaces, available to the
ispell program. The default value is "american americamed+ english".
Specifies the default dictionary to use.
Specifies a set of characters that can be part of a legal word. The
<DICTIONARY> field is one of the dictionaries specified in the
dictionaries resource.
The path to the ispell program, and possibly, additional arguments. You don't
need to specify the ``-w'' option, neither the ``-a'' option.
Refer to the ispell(1) manpage for more information on ispell options.
Specifies which text formatting to use while spell checking the file. The
available formats are text and html.
Lines starting with one of the characters in this string will not be spell
checked. This resource is only used in text mode.
When enabled, runs ispell in terse mode, not asking user interaction for words
generated through compound formation (when using the ispell ``-C'' option), or
words generated through affix removal. The default value is False.
The path to the program to search for alternate words, and possibly,
additional arguments. The default program used is /usr/bin/egrep.
The path to the file[s] to search for alternate words. The default file is
String displayed in the ispell status bar when ispell returns a guess list
of one or more words. The default value is Guess.
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.
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 word.
String displayed in the ispell status bar when there is no near misses. The default
value is None.
String displayed in the ispell status bar when the word being checked is formed by
concatenation of two words. The default value is Compound.
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.
The string displayed in the ispell status bar when the end of the file is reached.
The default value is End Of File.
The string displayed in the ispell status bar when two identical words are found
together in the file. The default value is Repeat.
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.
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

to get the default host and display number.
to get the name of a resource file that overrides the global resources
stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.
specifies required resources
Xedit is not a replacement to Emacs.
Copyright 1988, Digital Equipment Corporation.
Copyright 1989, X Consortium
Copyright 1998, The XFree86 Project
for a full statement of rights and permissions.
Chris D. Peterson, MIT X Consortium
Paulo Cesar Pereira de Andrade, The XFree86 Project