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Chapter 29. Command Line Editing

This chapter describes the basic features of the gnu command line editing interface.

29.1. Introduction to Line Editing

The following paragraphs describe the notation used to represent keystrokes.

The text C-k is read as `Control-K' and describes the character produced when the [k] key is pressed while the Control key is depressed.

The text M-k is read as `Meta-K' and describes the character produced when the Meta key (if you have one) is depressed, and the [k] key is pressed. The Meta key is labeled [ALT] on many keyboards. On keyboards with two keys labeled [ALT] (usually to either side of the space bar), the [ALT] on the left side is generally set to work as a Meta key. The [ALT] key on the right may also be configured to work as a Meta key or may be configured as some other modifier, such as a Compose key for typing accented characters.

If you do not have a Meta or [ALT] key, or another key working as a Meta key, the identical keystroke can be generated by typing [ESC] first, and then typing [k]. Either process is known as metafying the [k] key.

The text M-C-k is read as `Meta-Control-k' and describes the character produced by metafying C-k.

In addition, several keys have their own names. Specifically, [DEL], [ESC], [LFD], [SPC], [RET], and [TAB] all stand for themselves when seen in this text, or in an init file (refer to Section 29.3 Readline Init File). If your keyboard lacks a [LFD] key, typing [C-j] will produce the desired character. The [RET] key may be labeled [Return] or [Enter] on some keyboards.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire