TEXTEDIT(1) General Commands Manual TEXTEDIT(1)
textedit - SunView window- and mouse-based text editor
textedit [ generic-tool-arguments ] [ -Ea on | off ] [ -adjust_is_pend-
ing_delete ] [ -Ei on | off ] [ -auto_indent ] [ -Eo on | off ] [
-okay_to_overwrite ] [ -Er on | off ] [ -read_only ] [ -Ec N ] [
-checkpoint count ] [ -EL lines ] [ -lower_context lines ] [ -Em pixels
] [ -margin pixels ] [ -En N ] [ -number_of_lines lines ] [ -Es N ] [
-scratch_window lines ] [ -ES N ] [ -multi_click_space radius ] [ -Et N
] [ -tab_width tabstop ] [ -ET N ] [ -multi_click_timeout intrvl ] [
-Eu N ] [ -history_limit max ] [ -EU N ] [ -upper_context lines ] file-
This command is available with the software installation option. Refer
to for information on how to install optional software.
textedit is a mouse-oriented text editor that runs within the SunView
environment. It creates a window containing two text subwindows. The
top subwindow (referred to as the "scratch" window) can be used to
store small pieces of text. The bottom subwindow (referred to as the
"edit" window) displays the contents of filename, if given.
The name of the file currently being edited is displayed in the left-
hand portion of the frame header. The name of the current working
directory is displayed in the right-hand portion.
textedit accepts the SunView generic tool arguments listed
Choose whether or not an adjustment to a selection makes
the selection "pending-delete." The default is off. This
option corresponds to, and overrides, the adjust_is_pend-
ing_delete Text defaults entry.
Choose whether or not to automatically indent newly-opened
lines. The default is off. Corresponds to the auto_indent
Set behavior to the Store as New File menu item. If on a
Store as New File to the current file is treated as a Save
Current File. If off (the standard default), Store as New
File operations using the current filename result in an
error message. Corresponds to Store_self_is_save.
-read_only Turn read-only mode on or off. When on, text cannot be
Checkpoint after every count editing operations. If count
is 0 (the standard default), no checkpointing takes place.
Each character typed, each Paste, and each Cut counts as an
editing operation. Corresponds to checkpoint_frequency.
Specify the minimum number of lines to keep between the
caret and the bottom of the text subwindow. The default is
2. Corresponds to lower_context.
Set the scrollbar margin width in pixels. The default is
4. Corresponds to left_margin.
Set the number of lines in the bottom subwindow. The
default is 45.
Set the number of lines in the scratch window. A zero
value means that there is no scratch window. The standard
default is 1. Corresponds to scratch_window.
Set the radius, in pixels, within which clicks must occur
to be treated as a multi-click selection. The default is 3
pixels. Corresponds to multi_click_space.
Set the number of SPACE characters displayed per TAB stop.
The default is 8. This option has no effect on the charac-
ters in the file. Corresponds to tab_width.
Set the interval, in milliseconds, within which any two
clicks must occur to be treated as a multi-click selection.
The default is 390 milliseconds. Corresponds to
Set the maximum number of editing operations that can be
undone or replayed. The default is 50. Corresponds to
Set the minimum number of lines to keep between the caret
and the top of the text subwindow. The default is 2. Cor-
responds to upper_context.
For a description of how to use the facilities of the text subwindows,
If textedit hangs, for whatever reason, you can send a SIGHUP signal to
its process ID, which forces it to write any changes (if possible):
kill -HUP pid
The edits are written to the file textedit.pid in its working direc-
tory. If that fails, textedit successively tries to write to a file by
that name in /var/tmp, and then /tmp. In addition, whenever textedit
catches a fatal signal, such as SIGILL, it tries to write out the edits
There are several dozen user-specified defaults that affect the behav-
ior of the text-based facilities. See defaultsedit(1) for a complete
description. Important defaults entries in the Text category are:
Edit_back_char Set the character for erasing to the left of the
caret. The standard default is DELETE. Note: the
tty erase character-setting has no effect on texte-
dit. Text-based tools refer only to the defaults
database key settings.
Edit_back_word Set the character for erasing the word to the left of
the caret. The standard default is CTRL-W.
Edit_back_line Set the character for erasing all characters to the
left of the caret. The standard default is CTRL-U.
If set to 0 (the standard default) no checkpointing
is done. For any value greater than zero, a check-
point is made each time the indicated number of edit-
ing operations has been performed since the last
checkpoint. Each character typed, each Paste, and
each Cut counts as an editing operation. The check-
point file has a name of the form: filename%%, where
filename is the name of the file being edited.
Making a selection
In textedit, the mouse is used to specify a selection, which is a char-
acter span to operate on. The mouse is also used to position the
insertion point and to invoke a menu of commands.
The assignment of commands to the mouse buttons is:
Mouse button Description
LEFT Starts a new selection and moves the inser-
tion point to the end of the selection near-
est the mouse cursor.
MIDDLE Extends a selection, and moves the insertion
RIGHT Displays a menu of operations, explained
There are two types of selections: a primary selection is indicated by
video-inversion of the span of characters, and tends to persist. A
secondary selection is indicated by underlining the span of characters
and only exists while one of the four function keys corresponding to
the commands Cut, Find, Paste, or Copy, is depressed.
In addition, a selection can be "pending-delete," as indicated by
overlaying the span of characters with a light gray pattern. A selec-
tion is made pending-delete by holding the CTRL key while clicking the
LEFT or MIDDLE mouse buttons. If a primary selection is pending-
delete, it is only deleted when characters are inserted, either by
type-in or by Paste or Copy. If a secondary selection is pending-
delete, it is deleted when the function key is released, except in the
case of the Find, which deselects the secondary selection.
You can make adjusted selections switch to pending-delete using the
adjust_is_pending_delete defaults entry, or the -Ea option. In this
case, CTRL-Middle makes the selection not pending-delete.
Commands that operate on the primary selection do so even if the pri-
mary selection is not in the window that issued the command.
Inserting Text and Command Characters
For the most part, typing any of the standard keys either inserts the
corresponding character at the insertion point, or erases characters.
However, certain key combinations are treated as commands. Some of the
most useful are:
Command Character Description
Cut-Primary META-X Erases, and moves to the Clipboard, the primary selection.
Find-Primary META-F Searches the text for the pattern specified by the primary
selection or by the Clipboard, if there is no primary selection.
Copy-to-Clipboard META-C Copies the primary selection to the Clipboard.
Paste-Clipboard META-V Inserts the Clipboard contents at the insertion point.
Copy-then-Paste META-P Copies the primary selection to the insertion point (through
Go-to-EOF CTRL-RETURN Moves the insertion point to the end of the text, positioning
the text so that the insertion point is visible.
The commands indicated by use of the function keys are:
Command Sun-2|3 Key Description
Stop L1 Aborts the current command.
Again L2 Repeats the previous editing sequence since a
primary selection was made.
Undo L4 Undoes a prior editing sequence.
Front L5 Makes the window completely visible (or
hides it, if it is already exposed).
Copy L6 Copies the primary selection, either to the
Clipboard or at the closest end of the secondary
Open L7 Makes the window iconic (or normal, if it is already
Paste L8 Copies either the secondary selection or the Clipboard at
the insertion point.
Find L9 Searches for the pattern specified by, in order, the
secondary selection, the primary selection, or the Clipboard.
Cut L10 Erases, and moves to the Clipboard, either the primary or
the secondary selection.
CAPSLOCK F1 Forces all subsequently typed alphabetic characters
to be upper-case.
This key is a toggle; striking it a second time undoes the
effect of the first strike.
Find usually searches the text forwards, towards the end. Holding down
the SHIFT key while invoking Find searches backward through the text,
towards the beginning. If the pattern is not found before the search
encounters either extreme, it "wraps around" and continues from the
other extreme. Find starts the search at the appropriate end of the
primary selection, if the primary selection is in the subwindow that
the search is made in; otherwise it starts at the insertion point,
unless the subwindow cannot be edited, in which case it starts at the
beginning of the text.
CTRL-Find invokes the Find and Replace pop-up frame.
The default assignment of function keys can be modified using default-
File A pull-right menu item for file operations.
Edit A pull-right menu item equivalent of the editing function
keys. The Edit submenu provides Again, Undo, Copy, Paste,
and Cut (same as function keys L2, L4, L6, L8, and L10).
Display A pull-right menu item for controlling the way text is dis-
played and line display format.
Find A pull-right menu item for find and delimiter matching opera-
Extras A user definable pull-right menu item. The Extras standard
submenu is controlled by /usr/lib/text_extras_menu. This
file has the same syntax as .rootmenu file. See sun-
Only those items that are active appear as normal text in the menu;
inactive items (which are inappropriate at the time) are "grayed out".
User Defined Commands
The file /usr/lib/text_extras_menu specifies filter programs that are
included in the text subwindow Extras pull-right menu item. The file
~/.textswrc specifies filter programs that are assigned to (available)
function keys. These filters are applied to the contents of the pri-
mary selection. Their output is entered at the caret.
The file /usr/lib/textswrc is a sample containing a set of useful fil-
ters. It is not read automatically.
The environment variables LC_CTYPE, LANG, and LC_default control the
character classification throughout textedit. On entry to textedit,
these environment variables are checked in the following order:
LC_CTYPE, LANG, and LC_default. When a valid value is found, remaining
environment variables for character classification are ignored. For
example, a new setting for LANG does not override the current valid
character classification rules of LC_CTYPE. When none of the values is
valid, the shell character classification defaults to the POSIX.1 "C"
~/.textswrc specifies bindings of filters to function keys
specifies bindings of filters for the extras
menu pull-right items
/usr/bin contains useful filters, including shift_lines
filename% prior version of filename is available here
after a Save Current File menu operation
textedit.pid edited version of filename; generated in
response to fatal internal errors
/tmp/Text* editing session logs
defaultsedit(1), kill(1), sunview(1)
Cannot open file 'filename', aborting!
filename does not exist or cannot be
textedit produces the following exit status codes:
0 normal termination
1 standard SunView help message was printed
2 help message was requested and printed
3 abnormal termination in response to a signal, usually due
to an internal error
4 abnormal termination during initialization, usually due
to a missing file or running out of swap space
Multi-click to change the current selection does not work for Adjust
Handling of long lines is incorrect in certain scrolling situations.
There is no way to replay any editing sequence except the most recent.
`textedit newfile' fails if newfile does not exist.
2 October 1989 TEXTEDIT(1)