pg - page through a file on a soft-copy terminal
/usr/5bin/pg [ -cefns ] [ -number ] [ -p string ] [ +linenumber ] [
+/pattern/ ] [ filename ... ]
This command is available with the System V software installation
option. Refer to for information on how to install optional software.
pg is a filter that allows you to page through filename, one screenful
at a time, on a soft-copy terminal. With a filename of `-', or no
filename specified, pg reads from the standard input. Each screenful
is followed by a prompt. If the user types a RETURN, another page is
displayed; other possibilities are enumerated below.
This command is different from previous paginators in that it allows
you to back up and review something that has already passed. The
method for doing this is explained below.
In order to determine terminal attributes, pg scans the terminfo(5V)
data base for the terminal type specified by the environment variable
TERM. If TERM is not defined, the terminal type dumb is assumed.
The responses that may be typed when pg pauses can be divided into
three categories: those causing further perusal, those that search, and
those that modify the perusal environment.
Commands which cause further perusal normally take a preceding address,
an optionally signed number indicating the point from which further
text should be displayed. This address is interpreted in either pages
or lines depending on the command. A signed address specifies a point
relative to the current page or line, and an unsigned address specifies
an address relative to the beginning of the file. Each command has a
default address that is used if none is provided.
The perusal commands and their defaults are as follows:
(+1) NEWLINE or SPACE
Display one page. The address is specified in pages.
(+1) l With a relative address pg will simulate scrolling the screen,
forward or backward, the number of lines specified. With an
absolute address this command prints a screenful beginning at
the specified line.
(+1) d or ^D
Simulate scrolling half a screen forward or backward.
The following perusal commands take no address.
. or ^L
Redisplay the current page of text.
$ Display the last full window in the file. Use with caution when
the input is a pipe.
The following commands are available for searching for text patterns in
the text. The regular expressions described in ed(1) are available.
They must always be terminated by a NEWLINE, even if the -n option is
Search forward for the ith (default i=1) occurrence of pattern.
Searching begins immediately after the current page and contin-
ues to the end of the current file, without wrap-around.
Search backwards for the ith (default i=1) occurrence of pat-
tern. Searching begins immediately before the current page and
continues to the beginning of the current file, without wrap-
around. The ^ notation is useful for Adds 100 terminals which
will not properly handle the ?.
After searching, pg will normally display the line found at the top of
the screen. This can be modified by appending m or b to the search
command to leave the line found in the middle or at the bottom of the
window from now on. The suffix t can be used to restore the original
The user of pg can modify the environment of perusal with the following
in Begin perusing the ith next file in the command line.
The i is an unsigned number, default value is 1.
ip Begin perusing the ith previous file in the command
line. i is an unsigned number, default is 1.
iw Display another window of text. If i is present, set
the window size to i.
s filename Save the input in the named file. Only the current file
being perused is saved. The white space between the s
and filename is optional. This command must always be
terminated by a NEWLINE, even if the -n option is speci-
h Help by displaying an abbreviated summary of available
q or Q Quit pg.
!command command is passed to the shell, whose name is taken from
the SHELL environment variable. If this is not avail-
able, the default shell is used. This command must
always be terminated by a NEWLINE, even if the -n option
At any time when output is being sent to the terminal, the user can hit
the quit key, normally CTRL-\ or the BREAK (interrupt) key. This
causes pg to stop sending output, and display the prompt. The user may
then enter one of the above commands in the normal manner. Unfortu-
nately, some output is lost when this is done, due to the fact that any
characters waiting in the terminal's output queue are flushed when the
quit signal occurs.
If the standard output is not a terminal, then pg acts just like
cat(1V), except that a header is printed before each file (if there is
more than one).
The command line options are:
-number An integer specifying the size (in lines) of the window
that pg is to use instead of the default. (On a termi-
nal containing 24 lines, the default window size is 23).
-p string Use string as the prompt. If the prompt string contains
a `%d', the first occurrence of `%d' in the prompt will
be replaced by the current page number when the prompt
is issued. The default prompt string is `:'.
-c Home the cursor and clear the screen before displaying
each page. This option is ignored if clear_screen is
not defined for this terminal type in the terminfo(5V)
-e Do not pause at the end of each file.
-f Inhibit pg from splitting lines. Normally, pg splits
lines longer than the screen width, but some sequences
of characters in the text being displayed (for instance,
escape sequences for underlining) generate undesirable
-n Automatic end of command as soon as a command letter is
entered. Normally, commands must be terminated by a
-s Print all messages and prompts in standout mode (usually
+linenumber Start up at linenumber.
+/pattern/ Start up at the first line containing the regular
A sample usage of pg in reading system news would be
news | pg -p '(Page %d):'
terminal information data base
/tmp/pg* temporary file when input is from a pipe
cat(1V), crypt(1), ed(1), grep(1V), more(1), terminfo(5V)
If terminal TAB characters are not set every eight positions, undesir-
able results may occur.
When using pg as a filter with another command that changes the termi-
nal I/O options (for instance, crypt(1)), terminal settings may not be
While waiting for terminal input, pg responds to BREAK , DEL , and ^ by
terminating execution. Between prompts, however, these signals inter-
rupt pg's current task and place the user in prompt mode. These should
be used with caution when input is being read from a pipe, since an
interrupt is likely to terminate the other commands in the pipeline.
Users of more(1) will find that the z and f commands are available, and
that the terminal `/', `^', or `?' may be omitted from the searching
16 November 1987 PG(1V)