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Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2019
 
 

less (1)

Name

less - opposite of more

Synopsis

less -?
less --help
less -V
less --version
less [-[+]aABcCdeEfFgGiIJKLmMnNqQrRsSuUVwWX~]
[-b space] [-h lines] [-j line] [-k keyfile]
[-{oO} logfile] [-p pattern] [-P prompt] [-t tag]
[-T tagsfile] [-x tab,...] [-y lines] [-[z] lines]
[-# shift] [+[+]cmd] [--] [filename]...
(See  the  OPTIONS section for alternate option syntax with long option
names.)

Description

LESS(1)                     General Commands Manual                    LESS(1)



NAME
       less - opposite of more

SYNOPSIS
       less -?
       less --help
       less -V
       less --version
       less [-[+]aABcCdeEfFgGiIJKLmMnNqQrRsSuUVwWX~]
            [-b space] [-h lines] [-j line] [-k keyfile]
            [-{oO} logfile] [-p pattern] [-P prompt] [-t tag]
            [-T tagsfile] [-x tab,...] [-y lines] [-[z] lines]
            [-# shift] [+[+]cmd] [--] [filename]...
       (See  the  OPTIONS section for alternate option syntax with long option
       names.)


DESCRIPTION
       Less is a program similar to more (1), but which allows backward  move-
       ment in the file as well as forward movement.  Also, less does not have
       to read the entire input file before  starting,  so  with  large  input
       files  it  starts  up  faster than text editors like vi (1).  Less uses
       termcap (or terminfo on some systems), so it can run on  a  variety  of
       terminals.   There is even limited support for hardcopy terminals.  (On
       a hardcopy terminal, lines which should be printed at the  top  of  the
       screen are prefixed with a caret.)

       Commands  are based on both more and vi.  Commands may be preceded by a
       decimal number, called N in the descriptions below.  The number is used
       by some commands, as indicated.


COMMANDS
       In  the following descriptions, ^X means control-X.  ESC stands for the
       ESCAPE  key;  for  example  ESC-v  means  the  two  character  sequence
       "ESCAPE", then "v".

       h or H Help:  display  a  summary of these commands.  If you forget all
              the other commands, remember this one.

       SPACE or ^V or f or ^F
              Scroll forward N  lines,  default  one  window  (see  option  -z
              below).   If  N  is  more  than  the screen size, only the final
              screenful is displayed.  Warning: some systems use ^V as a  spe-
              cial literalization character.

       z      Like  SPACE,  but  if  N is specified, it becomes the new window
              size.

       ESC-SPACE
              Like SPACE, but scrolls a full screenful,  even  if  it  reaches
              end-of-file in the process.

       ENTER or RETURN or ^N or e or ^E or j or ^J
              Scroll  forward N lines, default 1.  The entire N lines are dis-
              played, even if N is more than the screen size.

       d or ^D
              Scroll forward N lines, default one half of the screen size.  If
              N  is specified, it becomes the new default for subsequent d and
              u commands.

       b or ^B or ESC-v
              Scroll backward N lines,  default  one  window  (see  option  -z
              below).   If  N  is  more  than  the screen size, only the final
              screenful is displayed.

       w      Like ESC-v, but if N is specified, it  becomes  the  new  window
              size.

       y or ^Y or ^P or k or ^K
              Scroll backward N lines, default 1.  The entire N lines are dis-
              played, even if N is more than the screen size.   Warning:  some
              systems use ^Y as a special job control character.

       u or ^U
              Scroll  backward  N  lines, default one half of the screen size.
              If N is specified, it becomes the new default for  subsequent  d
              and u commands.

       J      Like j, but continues to scroll beyond the end of the file.

       K or Y Like  k,  but  continues  to  scroll beyond the beginning of the
              file.

       ESC-) or RIGHTARROW
              Scroll horizontally right N characters, default half the  screen
              width  (see  the  -#  option).   If  a number N is specified, it
              becomes the default for future  RIGHTARROW  and  LEFTARROW  com-
              mands.   While  the  text  is scrolled, it acts as though the -S
              option (chop lines) were in effect.

       ESC-( or LEFTARROW
              Scroll horizontally left N characters, default half  the  screen
              width  (see  the  -#  option).   If  a number N is specified, it
              becomes the default for future  RIGHTARROW  and  LEFTARROW  com-
              mands.

       ESC-} or ^RIGHTARROW
              Scroll  horizontally  right  to show the end of the longest dis-
              played line.

       ESC-{ or ^LEFTARROW
              Scroll horizontally left back to the first column.

       r or ^R or ^L
              Repaint the screen.

       R      Repaint the screen, discarding any buffered  input.   Useful  if
              the file is changing while it is being viewed.

       F      Scroll  forward, and keep trying to read when the end of file is
              reached.  Normally this command would be used  when  already  at
              the  end of the file.  It is a way to monitor the tail of a file
              which is growing while it is being  viewed.   (The  behavior  is
              similar to the "tail -f" command.)

       ESC-F  Like  F,  but  as soon as a line is found which matches the last
              search pattern, the terminal bell is rung and forward  scrolling
              stops.

       g or < or ESC-<
              Go to line N in the file, default 1 (beginning of file).  (Warn-
              ing: this may be slow if N is large.)

       G or > or ESC->
              Go to line N in the file, default the end of the  file.   (Warn-
              ing:  this  may  be slow if N is large, or if N is not specified
              and standard input, rather than a file, is being read.)

       ESC-G  Same as G, except if no number N is specified and the  input  is
              standard  input,  goes  to  the  last  line  which  is currently
              buffered.

       p or % Go to a position N percent into the file.  N should be between 0
              and 100, and may contain a decimal point.

       P      Go to the line containing byte offset N in the file.

       {      If a left curly bracket appears in the top line displayed on the
              screen, the { command  will  go  to  the  matching  right  curly
              bracket.   The matching right curly bracket is positioned on the
              bottom line of the screen.  If there is more than one left curly
              bracket  on  the top line, a number N may be used to specify the
              N-th bracket on the line.

       }      If a right curly bracket appears in the bottom line displayed on
              the  screen,  the  }  command will go to the matching left curly
              bracket.  The matching left curly bracket is positioned  on  the
              top  line  of the screen.  If there is more than one right curly
              bracket on the top line, a number N may be used to  specify  the
              N-th bracket on the line.

       (      Like {, but applies to parentheses rather than curly brackets.

       )      Like }, but applies to parentheses rather than curly brackets.

       [      Like  {, but applies to square brackets rather than curly brack-
              ets.

       ]      Like }, but applies to square brackets rather than curly  brack-
              ets.

       ESC-^F Followed  by two characters, acts like {, but uses the two char-
              acters as open and close brackets, respectively.   For  example,
              "ESC  ^F < >" could be used to go forward to the > which matches
              the < in the top displayed line.

       ESC-^B Followed by two characters, acts like }, but uses the two  char-
              acters  as  open and close brackets, respectively.  For example,
              "ESC ^B < >" could be used to go backward to the < which matches
              the > in the bottom displayed line.

       m      Followed  by  any lowercase or uppercase letter, marks the first
              displayed line with  that  letter.   If  the  status  column  is
              enabled  via  the  -J option, the status column shows the marked
              line.

       M      Acts like m, except the last displayed  line  is  marked  rather
              than the first displayed line.

       '      (Single  quote.)  Followed by any lowercase or uppercase letter,
              returns to the position which was previously  marked  with  that
              letter.   Followed by another single quote, returns to the posi-
              tion at which the last "large" movement  command  was  executed.
              Followed  by a ^ or $, jumps to the beginning or end of the file
              respectively.  Marks are preserved when a new file is  examined,
              so the ' command can be used to switch between input files.

       ^X^X   Same as single quote.

       ESC-m  Followed  by  any lowercase or uppercase letter, clears the mark
              identified by that letter.

       /pattern
              Search forward in the file for the N-th line containing the pat-
              tern.  N defaults to 1.  The pattern is a regular expression, as
              recognized by the regular expression library  supplied  by  your
              system.   The search starts at the first line displayed (but see
              the -a and -j options, which change this).

              Certain characters are special if entered at  the  beginning  of
              the  pattern;  they modify the type of search rather than become
              part of the pattern:

              ^N or !
                     Search for lines which do NOT match the pattern.

              ^E or *
                     Search multiple files.  That is, if  the  search  reaches
                     the  END of the current file without finding a match, the
                     search continues in the next file  in  the  command  line
                     list.

              ^F or @
                     Begin  the  search at the first line of the FIRST file in
                     the command line list, regardless of  what  is  currently
                     displayed  on  the screen or the settings of the -a or -j
                     options.

              ^K     Highlight any text which matches the pattern on the  cur-
                     rent screen, but don't move to the first match (KEEP cur-
                     rent position).

              ^R     Don't interpret regular expression  metacharacters;  that
                     is, do a simple textual comparison.

       ?pattern
              Search  backward  in  the  file for the N-th line containing the
              pattern.  The search starts at the last line displayed (but  see
              the -a and -j options, which change this).

              Certain characters are special as in the / command:

              ^N or !
                     Search for lines which do NOT match the pattern.

              ^E or *
                     Search  multiple  files.   That is, if the search reaches
                     the beginning of  the  current  file  without  finding  a
                     match,  the  search continues in the previous file in the
                     command line list.

              ^F or @
                     Begin the search at the last line of the last file in the
                     command  line  list, regardless of what is currently dis-
                     played on the screen or the settings  of  the  -a  or  -j
                     options.

              ^K     As in forward searches.

              ^R     As in forward searches.

       ESC-/pattern
              Same as "/*".

       ESC-?pattern
              Same as "?*".

       n      Repeat  previous  search, for N-th line containing the last pat-
              tern.  If the previous search was modified by ^N, the search  is
              made  for the N-th line NOT containing the pattern.  If the pre-
              vious search was modified by ^E, the  search  continues  in  the
              next  (or  previous)  file if not satisfied in the current file.
              If the previous search was modified by ^R, the  search  is  done
              without  using  regular  expressions.  There is no effect if the
              previous search was modified by ^F or ^K.

       N      Repeat previous search, but in the reverse direction.

       ESC-n  Repeat previous  search,  but  crossing  file  boundaries.   The
              effect is as if the previous search were modified by *.

       ESC-N  Repeat  previous search, but in the reverse direction and cross-
              ing file boundaries.

       ESC-u  Undo search highlighting.   Turn  off  highlighting  of  strings
              matching the current search pattern.  If highlighting is already
              off because of a previous ESC-u command, turn highlighting  back
              on.   Any  search  command  will also turn highlighting back on.
              (Highlighting can also be disabled by toggling the -G option; in
              that case search commands do not turn highlighting back on.)

       &pattern
              Display  only  lines which match the pattern; lines which do not
              match the pattern are not displayed.  If pattern  is  empty  (if
              you  type  &  immediately  followed  by ENTER), any filtering is
              turned off, and all lines are displayed.  While filtering is  in
              effect,  an  ampersand  is  displayed  at  the  beginning of the
              prompt, as a reminder that some lines in the file may be hidden.

              Certain characters are special as in the / command:

              ^N or !
                     Display only lines which do NOT match the pattern.

              ^R     Don't interpret regular expression  metacharacters;  that
                     is, do a simple textual comparison.

       :e [filename]
              Examine  a  new file.  If the filename is missing, the "current"
              file (see the :n and :p commands below) from the list  of  files
              in  the  command line is re-examined.  A percent sign (%) in the
              filename is replaced by the name of the current file.   A  pound
              sign  (#)  is  replaced  by  the name of the previously examined
              file.   However,  two  consecutive  percent  signs  are   simply
              replaced with a single percent sign.  This allows you to enter a
              filename that contains a percent sign in the  name.   Similarly,
              two  consecutive  pound  signs  are replaced with a single pound
              sign.  The filename is inserted into the command  line  list  of
              files  so  that it can be seen by subsequent :n and :p commands.
              If the filename consists of several files, they are all inserted
              into  the  list  of files and the first one is examined.  If the
              filename contains one or more spaces, the entire filename should
              be enclosed in double quotes (also see the -" option).

       ^X^V or E
              Same  as :e.  Warning: some systems use ^V as a special literal-
              ization character.  On such systems, you may not be able to  use
              ^V.

       :n     Examine  the next file (from the list of files given in the com-
              mand line).  If a number N is specified, the N-th next  file  is
              examined.

       :p     Examine the previous file in the command line list.  If a number
              N is specified, the N-th previous file is examined.

       :x     Examine the first file in the command line list.  If a number  N
              is specified, the N-th file in the list is examined.

       :d     Remove the current file from the list of files.

       t      Go  to the next tag, if there were more than one matches for the
              current tag.  See the -t option for more details about tags.

       T      Go to the previous tag, if there were more than one matches  for
              the current tag.

       = or ^G or :f
              Prints  some  information about the file being viewed, including
              its name and the line number and byte offset of the bottom  line
              being  displayed.  If possible, it also prints the length of the
              file, the number of lines in the file and  the  percent  of  the
              file above the last displayed line.

       -      Followed  by one of the command line option letters (see OPTIONS
              below), this will change the setting of that option and print  a
              message  describing  the  new  setting.   If a ^P (CONTROL-P) is
              entered immediately after the dash, the setting of the option is
              changed  but  no message is printed.  If the option letter has a
              numeric value (such as -b or -h), or a string value (such as  -P
              or  -t), a new value may be entered after the option letter.  If
              no new value is entered, a message describing the  current  set-
              ting is printed and nothing is changed.

       --     Like  the  -  command, but takes a long option name (see OPTIONS
              below) rather than a single option letter.  You must press ENTER
              or  RETURN after typing the option name.  A ^P immediately after
              the second dash suppresses printing of a message describing  the
              new setting, as in the - command.

       -+     Followed  by  one  of  the command line option letters this will
              reset the option to its default  setting  and  print  a  message
              describing  the  new  setting.  (The "-+X" command does the same
              thing as "-+X" on the command line.)  This  does  not  work  for
              string-valued options.

       --+    Like  the -+ command, but takes a long option name rather than a
              single option letter.

       -!     Followed by one of the command line option  letters,  this  will
              reset  the  option  to the "opposite" of its default setting and
              print a message describing the new setting.  This does not  work
              for numeric or string-valued options.

       --!    Like  the -! command, but takes a long option name rather than a
              single option letter.

       _      (Underscore.)  Followed by one of the command line  option  let-
              ters,  this  will print a message describing the current setting
              of that option.  The setting of the option is not changed.

       __     (Double underscore.)  Like the _ (underscore) command, but takes
              a long option name rather than a single option letter.  You must
              press ENTER or RETURN after typing the option name.

       +cmd   Causes the specified cmd to be executed each time a new file  is
              examined.  For example, +G causes less to initially display each
              file starting at the end rather than the beginning.

       V      Prints the version number of less being run.

       q or Q or :q or :Q or ZZ
              Exits less.

       The following four commands may or may not be valid, depending on  your
       particular installation.

       v      Invokes  an  editor  to edit the current file being viewed.  The
              editor is taken from the environment variable VISUAL if defined,
              or  EDITOR if VISUAL is not defined, or defaults to "vi" if nei-
              ther VISUAL nor EDITOR is defined.  See also the  discussion  of
              LESSEDIT under the section on PROMPTS below.

       ! shell-command
              Invokes  a shell to run the shell-command given.  A percent sign
              (%) in the command is replaced by the name of the current  file.
              A pound sign (#) is replaced by the name of the previously exam-
              ined file.  "!!" repeats the last shell command.   "!"  with  no
              shell  command  simply  invokes  a  shell.  On Unix systems, the
              shell is taken from the environment variable SHELL, or  defaults
              to  "sh".   On  MS-DOS and OS/2 systems, the shell is the normal
              command processor.

       | <m> shell-command
              <m> represents any mark letter.  Pipes a section  of  the  input
              file  to the given shell command.  The section of the file to be
              piped is between the position marked by the letter and the  cur-
              rent  screen.  The entire current screen is included, regardless
              of whether the marked position is before or  after  the  current
              screen.   <m> may also be ^ or $ to indicate beginning or end of
              file respectively.  If <m> is . or newline, the  current  screen
              is piped.

       s filename
              Save  the  input  to  a file.  This only works if the input is a
              pipe, not an ordinary file.

OPTIONS
       Command line options are described below.  Most options may be  changed
       while less is running, via the "-" command.

       Most  options  may be given in one of two forms: either a dash followed
       by a single letter, or two dashes followed by a long  option  name.   A
       long  option  name  may  be  abbreviated as long as the abbreviation is
       unambiguous.  For example, --quit-at-eof may be abbreviated --quit, but
       not --qui, since both --quit-at-eof and --quiet begin with --qui.  Some
       long option names are in uppercase, such as --QUIT-AT-EOF, as  distinct
       from  --quit-at-eof.  Such option names need only have their first let-
       ter capitalized; the remainder of the name may be in either case.   For
       example, --Quit-at-eof is equivalent to --QUIT-AT-EOF.

       Options are also taken from the environment variable "LESS".  For exam-
       ple, to avoid typing "less -options ..." each time less is invoked, you
       might tell csh:

       setenv LESS "-options"

       or if you use sh:

       LESS="-options"; export LESS

       On  MS-DOS,  you don't need the quotes, but you should replace any per-
       cent signs in the options string by double percent signs.

       The environment variable is parsed before the command line, so  command
       line  options  override  the  LESS  environment variable.  If an option
       appears in the LESS variable, it can be reset to its default  value  on
       the command line by beginning the command line option with "-+".

       Some  options  like -k or -D require a string to follow the option let-
       ter.  The string for that option is considered to  end  when  a  dollar
       sign  ($)  is found.  For example, you can set two -D options on MS-DOS
       like this:

       LESS="Dn9.1$Ds4.1"

       If the --use-backslash option appears earlier in the  options,  then  a
       dollar  sign or backslash may be included literally in an option string
       by preceding it with a backslash.  If the --use-backslash option is not
       in  effect, then backslashes are not treated specially, and there is no
       way to include a dollar sign in the option string.

       -? or --help
              This option displays a summary of the commands accepted by  less
              (the  same  as  the  h  command).   (Depending on how your shell
              interprets the question mark, it may be necessary to  quote  the
              question mark, thus: "-\?".)

       -a or --search-skip-screen
              By  default,  forward searches start at the top of the displayed
              screen and backwards searches start at the bottom  of  the  dis-
              played  screen (except for repeated searches invoked by the n or
              N commands, which  start  after  or  before  the  "target"  line
              respectively; see the -j option for more about the target line).
              The -a option causes forward searches to instead  start  at  the
              bottom  of  the screen and backward searches to start at the top
              of the screen, thus skipping all lines displayed on the screen.

       -A or --SEARCH-SKIP-SCREEN
              Causes all forward searches (not just non-repeated searches)  to
              start  just  after the target line, and all backward searches to
              start just before the target line.  Thus, forward searches  will
              skip part of the displayed screen (from the first line up to and
              including the target line).  Similarly backwards  searches  will
              skip the displayed screen from the last line up to and including
              the target line.  This was the default behavior in less versions
              prior to 441.

       -bn or --buffers=n
              Specifies  the  amount  of  buffer  space less will use for each
              file, in units of kilobytes (1024 bytes).  By  default  64 K  of
              buffer  space  is used for each file (unless the file is a pipe;
              see the -B option).  The -b  option  specifies  instead  that  n
              kilobytes of buffer space should be used for each file.  If n is
              -1, buffer space is unlimited; that is, the entire file  can  be
              read into memory.

       -B or --auto-buffers
              By default, when data is read from a pipe, buffers are allocated
              automatically as needed.  If a large amount of data is read from
              the  pipe,  this  can cause a large amount of memory to be allo-
              cated.  The -B option disables this automatic allocation of buf-
              fers for pipes, so that only 64 K (or the amount of space speci-
              fied by the -b option) is used for the pipe.  Warning: use of -B
              can  result  in  erroneous display, since only the most recently
              viewed part of the piped data is kept  in  memory;  any  earlier
              data is lost.

       -c or --clear-screen
              Causes  full  screen  repaints  to  be painted from the top line
              down.  By default, full screen repaints are  done  by  scrolling
              from the bottom of the screen.

       -C or --CLEAR-SCREEN
              Same as -c, for compatibility with older versions of less.

       -d or --dumb
              The -d option suppresses the error message normally displayed if
              the terminal is dumb; that is, lacks some important  capability,
              such as the ability to clear the screen or scroll backward.  The
              -d option does not otherwise change the behavior of  less  on  a
              dumb terminal.

       -Dxcolor or --color=xcolor
              [MS-DOS only] Sets the color of the text displayed.  x is a sin-
              gle character which selects the type  of  text  whose  color  is
              being  set: n=normal, s=standout, d=bold, u=underlined, k=blink.
              color is a pair of numbers separated by  a  period.   The  first
              number  selects  the foreground color and the second selects the
              background color of the text.  A single number N is the same  as
              N.M,  where  M  is  the  normal background color.  The color may
              start or end with u to use underline (with the normal color,  if
              by  itself),  if  the  system supports it (Windows only).  x may
              also be a to toggle strict ANSI sequence rendering (SGR mode).


       -e or --quit-at-eof
              Causes less to automatically exit the  second  time  it  reaches
              end-of-file.   By  default, the only way to exit less is via the
              "q" command.

       -E or --QUIT-AT-EOF
              Causes less to automatically exit the first time it reaches end-
              of-file.

       -f or --force
              Forces non-regular files to be opened.  (A non-regular file is a
              directory or a device special file.)  Also suppresses the  warn-
              ing message when a binary file is opened.  By default, less will
              refuse to open non-regular files.  Note that some operating sys-
              tems will not allow directories to be read, even if -f is set.

       -F or --quit-if-one-screen
              Causes less to automatically exit if the entire file can be dis-
              played on the first screen.

       -g or --hilite-search
              Normally, less will highlight ALL strings which match  the  last
              search  command.   The  -g option changes this behavior to high-
              light only the particular string which was  found  by  the  last
              search command.  This can cause less to run somewhat faster than
              the default.

       -G or --HILITE-SEARCH
              The -G option suppresses all highlighting of  strings  found  by
              search commands.

       -hn or --max-back-scroll=n
              Specifies  a  maximum number of lines to scroll backward.  If it
              is necessary to scroll backward more than n lines, the screen is
              repainted in a forward direction instead.  (If the terminal does
              not have the ability to scroll backward, -h0 is implied.)

       -i or --ignore-case
              Causes searches to ignore case; that is, uppercase and lowercase
              are  considered identical.  This option is ignored if any upper-
              case letters appear in the search pattern; in other words, if  a
              pattern  contains  uppercase  letters, then that search does not
              ignore case.

       -I or --IGNORE-CASE
              Like -i, but searches ignore case even if the  pattern  contains
              uppercase letters.

       -jn or --jump-target=n
              Specifies  a line on the screen where the "target" line is to be
              positioned.  The target line is the line specified by  any  com-
              mand  to  search for a pattern, jump to a line number, jump to a
              file percentage or jump to a tag.  The screen line may be speci-
              fied  by  a number: the top line on the screen is 1, the next is
              2, and so on.  The number may be negative to specify a line rel-
              ative to the bottom of the screen: the bottom line on the screen
              is -1, the second to the bottom is -2, and so on.   Alternately,
              the  screen line may be specified as a fraction of the height of
              the screen, starting with a decimal point: .5 is in  the  middle
              of  the screen, .3 is three tenths down from the first line, and
              so on.  If the line is specified as a fraction, the actual  line
              number  is  recalculated  if  the terminal window is resized, so
              that the target line remains at the specified  fraction  of  the
              screen  height.   If any form of the -j option is used, repeated
              forward searches (invoked with "n" or "N")  begin  at  the  line
              immediately   after  the  target  line,  and  repeated  backward
              searches begin at the target line, unless changed by -a  or  -A.
              For  example,  if  "-j4"  is used, the target line is the fourth
              line on the screen, so forward searches begin at the fifth  line
              on  the  screen.  However nonrepeated searches (invoked with "/"
              or "?")  always begin at the start or end of the current  screen
              respectively.

       -J or --status-column
              Displays  a  status  column at the left edge of the screen.  The
              status column shows the lines that matched the  current  search,
              and  any  lines  that  are marked (via the m or M command).  The
              status column is also used if the -w or -W option is in effect.

       -kfilename or --lesskey-file=filename
              Causes less to open and interpret the named file  as  a  lesskey
              (1) file.  Multiple -k options may be specified.  If the LESSKEY
              or LESSKEY_SYSTEM environment variable is set, or if  a  lesskey
              file is found in a standard place (see KEY BINDINGS), it is also
              used as a lesskey file.

       -K or --quit-on-intr
              Causes less to exit immediately (with status 2) when  an  inter-
              rupt  character  (usually  ^C) is typed.  Normally, an interrupt
              character causes less to stop whatever it is doing and return to
              its  command  prompt.   Note  that  use  of this option makes it
              impossible to return to the command prompt from the "F" command.

       -L or --no-lessopen
              Ignore the LESSOPEN environment variable  (see  the  INPUT  PRE-
              PROCESSOR  section  below).   This option can be set from within
              less, but it will apply only to files opened  subsequently,  not
              to the file which is currently open.

       -m or --long-prompt
              Causes  less  to  prompt verbosely (like more), with the percent
              into the file.  By default, less prompts with a colon.

       -M or --LONG-PROMPT
              Causes less to prompt even more verbosely than more.

       -n or --line-numbers
              Suppresses line numbers.  The default (to use line numbers)  may
              cause  less  to run more slowly in some cases, especially with a
              very large input file.  Suppressing line  numbers  with  the  -n
              option  will  avoid this problem.  Using line numbers means: the
              line number will be displayed in the verbose prompt and in the =
              command,  and the v command will pass the current line number to
              the editor (see also  the  discussion  of  LESSEDIT  in  PROMPTS
              below).

       -N or --LINE-NUMBERS
              Causes  a  line  number to be displayed at the beginning of each
              line in the display.

       -ofilename or --log-file=filename
              Causes less to copy its input to the named file as it  is  being
              viewed.  This applies only when the input file is a pipe, not an
              ordinary file.  If the file already exists, less  will  ask  for
              confirmation before overwriting it.

       -Ofilename or --LOG-FILE=filename
              The -O option is like -o, but it will overwrite an existing file
              without asking for confirmation.

              If no log file has been specified, the -o and -O options can  be
              used  from  within  less  to specify a log file.  Without a file
              name, they will simply report the name of the log file.  The "s"
              command is equivalent to specifying -o from within less.

       -ppattern or --pattern=pattern
              The  -p  option  on the command line is equivalent to specifying
              +/pattern; that is, it tells less to start at the  first  occur-
              rence of pattern in the file.

       -Pprompt or --prompt=prompt
              Provides  a  way  to  tailor the three prompt styles to your own
              preference.  This option would normally be put in the LESS envi-
              ronment variable, rather than being typed in with each less com-
              mand.  Such an option must either be the last option in the LESS
              variable, or be terminated by a dollar sign.
               -Ps  followed by a string changes the default (short) prompt to
              that string.
               -Pm changes the medium (-m) prompt.
               -PM changes the long (-M) prompt.
               -Ph changes the prompt for the help screen.
               -P= changes the message printed by the = command.
               -Pw changes the message printed while waiting for data (in  the
              F command).

              All  prompt strings consist of a sequence of letters and special
              escape sequences.  See the section on PROMPTS for more details.

       -q or --quiet or --silent
              Causes moderately "quiet" operation: the terminal  bell  is  not
              rung if an attempt is made to scroll past the end of the file or
              before the beginning of the file.  If the terminal has a "visual
              bell",  it  is  used  instead.  The bell will be rung on certain
              other errors, such as typing an invalid character.  The  default
              is to ring the terminal bell in all such cases.

       -Q or --QUIET or --SILENT
              Causes  totally  "quiet"  operation:  the terminal bell is never
              rung.

       -r or --raw-control-chars
              Causes "raw" control characters to be displayed.  The default is
              to  display  control  characters  using  the caret notation; for
              example, a control-A (octal 001) is displayed as "^A".  Warning:
              when the -r option is used, less cannot keep track of the actual
              appearance of the screen (since this depends on how  the  screen
              responds to each type of control character).  Thus, various dis-
              play problems may result, such as long lines being split in  the
              wrong place.

       -R or --RAW-CONTROL-CHARS
              Like  -r,  but  only ANSI "color" escape sequences are output in
              "raw" form.  Unlike -r, the screen appearance is maintained cor-
              rectly  in  most  cases.   ANSI  "color"  escape  sequences  are
              sequences of the form:

                   ESC [ ... m

              where the "..." is zero or more color  specification  characters
              For  the  purpose  of  keeping  track of screen appearance, ANSI
              color escape sequences are assumed to not move the cursor.   You
              can  make less think that characters other than "m" can end ANSI
              color escape  sequences  by  setting  the  environment  variable
              LESSANSIENDCHARS to the list of characters which can end a color
              escape sequence.  And you can make less  think  that  characters
              other  than the standard ones may appear between the ESC and the
              m by setting the environment variable  LESSANSIMIDCHARS  to  the
              list of characters which can appear.

       -s or --squeeze-blank-lines
              Causes  consecutive  blank  lines  to  be squeezed into a single
              blank line.  This is useful when viewing nroff output.

       -S or --chop-long-lines
              Causes lines longer than the screen width to be  chopped  (trun-
              cated) rather than wrapped.  That is, the portion of a long line
              that does not fit in the screen width is not shown.  The default
              is  to  wrap  long  lines; that is, display the remainder on the
              next line.

       -ttag or --tag=tag
              The -t option, followed immediately by a TAG, will edit the file
              containing  that tag.  For this to work, tag information must be
              available; for example, there may  be  a  file  in  the  current
              directory called "tags", which was previously built by ctags (1)
              or an equivalent command.  If the environment variable LESSGLOB-
              ALTAGS  is set, it is taken to be the name of a command compati-
              ble with global (1), and that command is executed  to  find  the
              tag.  (See http://www.gnu.org/software/global/global.html).  The
              -t option may also be specified from within less  (using  the  -
              command)  as a way of examining a new file.  The command ":t" is
              equivalent to specifying -t from within less.

       -Ttagsfile or --tag-file=tagsfile
              Specifies a tags file to be used instead of "tags".

       -u or --underline-special
              Causes backspaces and carriage returns to be treated  as  print-
              able  characters;  that  is,  they are sent to the terminal when
              they appear in the input.

       -U or --UNDERLINE-SPECIAL
              Causes backspaces, tabs, carriage returns and "formatting  char-
              acters" (as defined by Unicode) to be treated as control charac-
              ters; that is, they are handled as specified by the -r option.

              By default, if neither -u nor  -U  is  given,  backspaces  which
              appear  adjacent  to  an  underscore  character are treated spe-
              cially: the underlined text is displayed  using  the  terminal's
              hardware  underlining capability.  Also, backspaces which appear
              between two identical  characters  are  treated  specially:  the
              overstruck  text  is printed using the terminal's hardware bold-
              face capability.  Other backspaces are deleted, along  with  the
              preceding character.  Carriage returns immediately followed by a
              newline are deleted.  Other  carriage  returns  are  handled  as
              specified  by the -r option.  Text which is overstruck or under-
              lined can be searched for if neither -u nor -U is in effect.

       -V or --version
              Displays the version number of less.

       -w or --hilite-unread
              Temporarily highlights the first  "new"  line  after  a  forward
              movement of a full page.  The first "new" line is the line imme-
              diately following the line  previously  at  the  bottom  of  the
              screen.  Also highlights the target line after a g or p command.
              The highlight is removed at the next command which causes  move-
              ment.   The  entire line is highlighted, unless the -J option is
              in effect, in which case only the status column is highlighted.

       -W or --HILITE-UNREAD
              Like -w, but temporarily highlights the first new line after any
              forward movement command larger than one line.

       -xn,... or --tabs=n,...
              Sets  tab  stops.  If only one n is specified, tab stops are set
              at multiples of n.  If multiple values separated by  commas  are
              specified,  tab  stops are set at those positions, and then con-
              tinue with the same spacing  as  the  last  two.   For  example,
              -x9,17  will  set  tabs  at  positions  9, 17, 25, 33, etc.  The
              default for n is 8.

       -X or --no-init
              Disables sending the termcap initialization and deinitialization
              strings  to  the  terminal.   This is sometimes desirable if the
              deinitialization string does something unnecessary, like  clear-
              ing the screen.

       -yn or --max-forw-scroll=n
              Specifies a maximum number of lines to scroll forward.  If it is
              necessary to scroll forward more than n  lines,  the  screen  is
              repainted  instead.   The -c or -C option may be used to repaint
              from the top of the screen if desired.  By default, any  forward
              movement causes scrolling.

       -zn or --window=n or -n
              Changes  the  default  scrolling  window  size  to n lines.  The
              default is one screenful.  The z and w commands can also be used
              to  change the window size.  The "z" may be omitted for compati-
              bility with some versions of more.  If the number n is negative,
              it  indicates  n  lines  less than the current screen size.  For
              example, if the screen is 24 lines, -z-4 sets the scrolling win-
              dow  to  20  lines.   If  the screen is resized to 40 lines, the
              scrolling window automatically changes to 36 lines.

       -"cc or --quotes=cc
              Changes the filename quoting character.  This may  be  necessary
              if  you are trying to name a file which contains both spaces and
              quote characters.  Followed by a single character, this  changes
              the  quote  character to that character.  Filenames containing a
              space should then be surrounded by that character rather than by
              double  quotes.   Followed  by  two characters, changes the open
              quote to the first character, and the close quote to the  second
              character.  Filenames containing a space should then be preceded
              by the open quote character and  followed  by  the  close  quote
              character.   Note  that  even  after  the  quote  characters are
              changed, this option remains -" (a dash  followed  by  a  double
              quote).

       -~ or --tilde
              Normally lines after end of file are displayed as a single tilde
              (~).  This option causes lines after end of file to be displayed
              as blank lines.

       -# or --shift
              Specifies the default number of positions to scroll horizontally
              in the RIGHTARROW and LEFTARROW commands.  If the number  speci-
              fied  is  zero,  it  sets the default number of positions to one
              half of the screen width.  Alternately, the number may be speci-
              fied  as  a fraction of the width of the screen, starting with a
              decimal point: .5 is half of  the  screen  width,  .3  is  three
              tenths  of the screen width, and so on.  If the number is speci-
              fied as a fraction, the actual number  of  scroll  positions  is
              recalculated  if  the  terminal  window  is resized, so that the
              actual scroll remains at the specified fraction  of  the  screen
              width.

       --follow-name
              Normally,  if  the  input  file is renamed while an F command is
              executing, less will continue to display  the  contents  of  the
              original  file  despite  its  name  change.  If --follow-name is
              specified, during an F command less will periodically attempt to
              reopen the file by name.  If the reopen succeeds and the file is
              a different file from the original (which means that a new  file
              has  been  created  with  the  same  name  as  the original (now
              renamed) file), less will display the contents of that new file.

       --no-keypad
              Disables sending the keypad initialization and  deinitialization
              strings to the terminal.  This is sometimes useful if the keypad
              strings make the numeric keypad behave in an undesirable manner.

       --use-backslash
              This option changes the interpretations of options which  follow
              this one.  After the --use-backslash option, any backslash in an
              option string is removed and the following  character  is  taken
              literally.   This  allows a dollar sign to be included in option
              strings.

       --rscroll
              This option changes the character used to mark truncated  lines.
              It may begin with a two-character attribute indicator like LESS-
              BINFMT does.  If there is no attribute  indicator,  standout  is
              used.  If set to "-", truncated lines are not marked.

       --     A  command  line  argument of "--" marks the end of option argu-
              ments.  Any arguments following this are  interpreted  as  file-
              names.  This can be useful when viewing a file whose name begins
              with a "-" or "+".

       +      If a command line option begins with +, the  remainder  of  that
              option  is taken to be an initial command to less.  For example,
              +G tells less to start at the end of the file  rather  than  the
              beginning,  and  +/xyz tells it to start at the first occurrence
              of "xyz" in the file.  As a special case,  +<number>  acts  like
              +<number>g; that is, it starts the display at the specified line
              number (however, see the caveat under the  "g"  command  above).
              If  the  option  starts  with ++, the initial command applies to
              every file being viewed, not just the first one.  The +  command
              described previously may also be used to set (or change) an ini-
              tial command for every file.


LINE EDITING
       When entering command line at the bottom of the screen (for example,  a
       filename for the :e command, or the pattern for a search command), cer-
       tain keys can be used to manipulate the command  line.   Most  commands
       have  an alternate form in [ brackets ] which can be used if a key does
       not exist on a particular keyboard.  (Note  that  the  forms  beginning
       with  ESC do not work in some MS-DOS and Windows systems because ESC is
       the line erase character.)  Any of these special keys  may  be  entered
       literally  by  preceding  it with the "literal" character, either ^V or
       ^A.  A backslash itself may also be entered literally by  entering  two
       backslashes.

       LEFTARROW [ ESC-h ]
              Move the cursor one space to the left.

       RIGHTARROW [ ESC-l ]
              Move the cursor one space to the right.

       ^LEFTARROW [ ESC-b or ESC-LEFTARROW ]
              (That  is, CONTROL and LEFTARROW simultaneously.)  Move the cur-
              sor one word to the left.

       ^RIGHTARROW [ ESC-w or ESC-RIGHTARROW ]
              (That is, CONTROL and RIGHTARROW simultaneously.)  Move the cur-
              sor one word to the right.

       HOME [ ESC-0 ]
              Move the cursor to the beginning of the line.

       END [ ESC-$ ]
              Move the cursor to the end of the line.

       BACKSPACE
              Delete  the  character  to the left of the cursor, or cancel the
              command if the command line is empty.

       DELETE or [ ESC-x ]
              Delete the character under the cursor.

       ^BACKSPACE [ ESC-BACKSPACE ]
              (That is, CONTROL and  BACKSPACE  simultaneously.)   Delete  the
              word to the left of the cursor.

       ^DELETE [ ESC-X or ESC-DELETE ]
              (That  is,  CONTROL and DELETE simultaneously.)  Delete the word
              under the cursor.

       UPARROW [ ESC-k ]
              Retrieve the previous command line.  If  you  first  enter  some
              text  and then press UPARROW, it will retrieve the previous com-
              mand which begins with that text.

       DOWNARROW [ ESC-j ]
              Retrieve the next command line.  If you first  enter  some  text
              and  then  press  DOWNARROW,  it  will retrieve the next command
              which begins with that text.

       TAB    Complete the partial filename to the left of the cursor.  If  it
              matches  more than one filename, the first match is entered into
              the command line.  Repeated  TABs  will  cycle  thru  the  other
              matching filenames.  If the completed filename is a directory, a
              "/" is appended to the filename.  (On MS-DOS systems, a  "\"  is
              appended.)   The  environment variable LESSSEPARATOR can be used
              to specify a different character to append to a directory name.

       BACKTAB [ ESC-TAB ]
              Like, TAB, but cycles in the reverse direction thru the matching
              filenames.

       ^L     Complete  the partial filename to the left of the cursor.  If it
              matches more than one filename, all matches are entered into the
              command line (if they fit).

       ^U (Unix and OS/2) or ESC (MS-DOS)
              Delete  the  entire  command  line, or cancel the command if the
              command line is empty.  If you have changed your line-kill char-
              acter in Unix to something other than ^U, that character is used
              instead of ^U.

       ^G     Delete the entire command line and return to the main prompt.


KEY BINDINGS
       You may define your own less commands by using the program lesskey  (1)
       to  create  a  lesskey file.  This file specifies a set of command keys
       and an action associated with each key.  You may also  use  lesskey  to
       change the line-editing keys (see LINE EDITING), and to set environment
       variables.  If the environment variable LESSKEY is set, less uses  that
       as  the  name of the lesskey file.  Otherwise, less looks in a standard
       place for the lesskey file: On Unix systems, less looks for  a  lesskey
       file  called  "$HOME/.less".  On MS-DOS and Windows systems, less looks
       for a lesskey file called "$HOME/_less", and if it is not found  there,
       then looks for a lesskey file called "_less" in any directory specified
       in the PATH environment variable.  On OS/2 systems, less  looks  for  a
       lesskey  file  called  "$HOME/less.ini",  and  if it is not found, then
       looks for a lesskey file called "less.ini" in any  directory  specified
       in the INIT environment variable, and if it not found there, then looks
       for a lesskey file called "less.ini" in any directory specified in  the
       PATH  environment  variable.   See  the  lesskey  manual  page for more
       details.

       A system-wide lesskey file may also be set up to provide key  bindings.
       If a key is defined in both a local lesskey file and in the system-wide
       file, key bindings in the local file take precedence over those in  the
       system-wide  file.   If the environment variable LESSKEY_SYSTEM is set,
       less uses that as the name of the system-wide lesskey file.  Otherwise,
       less  looks  in  a  standard place for the system-wide lesskey file: On
       Unix systems, the system-wide lesskey file  is  /usr/local/etc/sysless.
       (However,  if  less  was  built with a different sysconf directory than
       /usr/local/etc, that directory is where the sysless file is found.)  On
       MS-DOS  and  Windows  systems, the system-wide lesskey file is c:\_sys-
       less.  On OS/2 systems, the system-wide lesskey file is c:\sysless.ini.


INPUT PREPROCESSOR
       You may define an "input preprocessor" for less.  Before less  opens  a
       file, it first gives your input preprocessor a chance to modify the way
       the contents of the file are displayed.  An input preprocessor is  sim-
       ply  an executable program (or shell script), which writes the contents
       of the file to a different file, called the replacement file.  The con-
       tents  of  the replacement file are then displayed in place of the con-
       tents of the original file.  However, it will appear to the user as  if
       the  original  file  is opened; that is, less will display the original
       filename as the name of the current file.

       An input preprocessor receives one command line argument, the  original
       filename,  as  entered  by  the user.  It should create the replacement
       file, and when finished, print the name of the replacement file to  its
       standard  output.  If the input preprocessor does not output a replace-
       ment filename, less uses the original file, as normal.  The input  pre-
       processor  is  not  called  when  viewing standard input.  To set up an
       input preprocessor, set the LESSOPEN environment variable to a  command
       line  which  will  invoke  your  input preprocessor.  This command line
       should include one  occurrence  of  the  string  "%s",  which  will  be
       replaced  by  the  filename  when  the  input  preprocessor  command is
       invoked.

       When less closes a file opened in such a way, it will call another pro-
       gram,  called  the  input  postprocessor, which may perform any desired
       clean-up action (such as  deleting  the  replacement  file  created  by
       LESSOPEN).  This program receives two command line arguments, the orig-
       inal filename as entered by the user, and the name of  the  replacement
       file.   To set up an input postprocessor, set the LESSCLOSE environment
       variable to a command line which will invoke your input  postprocessor.
       It  may  include  two  occurrences  of  the  string  "%s"; the first is
       replaced with the original name of the file and  the  second  with  the
       name of the replacement file, which was output by LESSOPEN.

       For  example, on many Unix systems, these two scripts will allow you to
       keep files in compressed format, but still let less view them directly:

       lessopen.sh:
            #! /bin/sh
            case "$1" in
            *.Z) uncompress -c $1  >/tmp/less.$$  2>/dev/null
                 if [ -s /tmp/less.$$ ]; then
                      echo /tmp/less.$$
                 else
                      rm -f /tmp/less.$$
                 fi
                 ;;
            esac

       lessclose.sh:
            #! /bin/sh
            rm $2

       To use these scripts, put them both where they can be executed and  set
       LESSOPEN="lessopen.sh %s",  and  LESSCLOSE="lessclose.sh %s %s".   More
       complex LESSOPEN and LESSCLOSE scripts may be written to  accept  other
       types of compressed files, and so on.

       It  is  also  possible to set up an input preprocessor to pipe the file
       data directly to less, rather than putting the data into a  replacement
       file.  This avoids the need to decompress the entire file before start-
       ing to view it.  An input preprocessor that works this way is called an
       input  pipe.   An input pipe, instead of writing the name of a replace-
       ment file on its standard output, writes the  entire  contents  of  the
       replacement  file  on  its standard output.  If the input pipe does not
       write any characters on its standard output, then there is no  replace-
       ment  file and less uses the original file, as normal.  To use an input
       pipe, make the first character in the LESSOPEN environment  variable  a
       vertical  bar  (|)  to  signify that the input preprocessor is an input
       pipe.  As with non-pipe input preprocessors, the  command  string  must
       contain  one  occurrence  of %s, which is replaced with the filename of
       the input file.

       For example, on many Unix systems, this script will work like the  pre-
       vious example scripts:

       lesspipe.sh:
            #! /bin/sh
            case "$1" in
            *.Z) uncompress -c $1  2>/dev/null
            *)   exit 1
                 ;;
            esac
            exit $?

       To  use  this  script,  put  it  where  it  can  be  executed  and  set
       LESSOPEN="|lesspipe.sh %s".

       Note that a preprocessor cannot output an empty  file,  since  that  is
       interpreted  as  meaning there is no replacement, and the original file
       is used.  To avoid this, if LESSOPEN starts with two vertical bars, the
       exit  status  of  the script becomes meaningful.  If the exit status is
       zero, the output is considered to be replacement text, even  if  it  is
       empty.   If  the  exit status is nonzero, any output is ignored and the
       original file is used.  For compatibility  with  previous  versions  of
       less, if LESSOPEN starts with only one vertical bar, the exit status of
       the preprocessor is ignored.

       When an input pipe is used, a LESSCLOSE postprocessor can be used,  but
       it is usually not necessary since there is no replacement file to clean
       up.  In this case, the replacement file name passed  to  the  LESSCLOSE
       postprocessor is "-".

       For  compatibility with previous versions of less, the input preproces-
       sor or pipe is not used if less is viewing standard input.  However, if
       the  first  character of LESSOPEN is a dash (-), the input preprocessor
       is used on standard input as well as other files.  In  this  case,  the
       dash  is  not  considered  to  be part of the preprocessor command.  If
       standard input is being viewed, the input preprocessor is passed a file
       name  consisting of a single dash.  Similarly, if the first two charac-
       ters of LESSOPEN are vertical bar and dash (|-) or  two  vertical  bars
       and  a  dash (||-), the input pipe is used on standard input as well as
       other files.  Again, in this case the dash is not considered to be part
       of the input pipe command.


NATIONAL CHARACTER SETS
       There are three types of characters in the input file:

       normal characters
              can be displayed directly to the screen.

       control characters
              should  not  be displayed directly, but are expected to be found
              in ordinary text files (such as backspace and tab).

       binary characters
              should not be displayed directly and  are  not  expected  to  be
              found in text files.

       A "character set" is simply a description of which characters are to be
       considered normal, control, and binary.   The  LESSCHARSET  environment
       variable  may  be  used to select a character set.  Possible values for
       LESSCHARSET are:

       ascii  BS, TAB, NL, CR, and formfeed are control characters, all  chars
              with  values  between  32 and 126 are normal, and all others are
              binary.

       iso8859
              Selects an ISO 8859 character set.  This is the same  as  ASCII,
              except  characters  between  160  and  255 are treated as normal
              characters.

       latin1 Same as iso8859.

       latin9 Same as iso8859.

       dos    Selects a character set appropriate for MS-DOS.

       ebcdic Selects an EBCDIC character set.

       IBM-1047
              Selects an EBCDIC character set used by  OS/390  Unix  Services.
              This  is the EBCDIC analogue of latin1.  You get similar results
              by setting either LESSCHARSET=IBM-1047 or LC_CTYPE=en_US in your
              environment.

       koi8-r Selects a Russian character set.

       next   Selects a character set appropriate for NeXT computers.

       utf-8  Selects  the  UTF-8  encoding  of  the  ISO 10646 character set.
              UTF-8 is special in that it supports  multi-byte  characters  in
              the  input  file.   It  is  the only character set that supports
              multi-byte characters.

       windows
              Selects a character set appropriate for  Microsoft  Windows  (cp
              1251).

       In  rare cases, it may be desired to tailor less to use a character set
       other than the ones definable by LESSCHARSET.  In this case, the  envi-
       ronment variable LESSCHARDEF can be used to define a character set.  It
       should be set to a string where each character in the string represents
       one  character  in  the character set.  The character "." is used for a
       normal character, "c" for control, and "b" for binary.  A decimal  num-
       ber  may  be  used  for  repetition.  For example, "bccc4b." would mean
       character 0 is binary, 1, 2 and 3 are  control,  4,  5,  6  and  7  are
       binary, and 8 is normal.  All characters after the last are taken to be
       the same as the last, so characters 9  through  255  would  be  normal.
       (This  is an example, and does not necessarily represent any real char-
       acter set.)

       This table shows the value of LESSCHARDEF which is equivalent  to  each
       of the possible values for LESSCHARSET:

            ascii     8bcccbcc18b95.b
            dos       8bcccbcc12bc5b95.b.
            ebcdic    5bc6bcc7bcc41b.9b7.9b5.b..8b6.10b6.b9.7b
                      9.8b8.17b3.3b9.7b9.8b8.6b10.b.b.b.
            IBM-1047  4cbcbc3b9cbccbccbb4c6bcc5b3cbbc4bc4bccbc
                      191.b
            iso8859   8bcccbcc18b95.33b.
            koi8-r    8bcccbcc18b95.b128.
            latin1    8bcccbcc18b95.33b.
            next      8bcccbcc18b95.bb125.bb

       If  neither  LESSCHARSET nor LESSCHARDEF is set, but any of the strings
       "UTF-8", "UTF8", "utf-8" or "utf8" is found in the LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE  or
       LANG environment variables, then the default character set is utf-8.

       If  that  string  is  not found, but your system supports the setlocale
       interface, less will use setlocale  to  determine  the  character  set.
       setlocale  is  controlled  by  setting the LANG or LC_CTYPE environment
       variables.

       Finally, if the setlocale interface is also not available, the  default
       character set is latin1.

       Control  and  binary  characters  are  displayed  in  standout (reverse
       video).  Each such character is displayed in caret notation if possible
       (e.g.  ^A for control-A).  Caret notation is used only if inverting the
       0100 bit results in a normal printable character.  Otherwise, the char-
       acter  is displayed as a hex number in angle brackets.  This format can
       be changed by setting the LESSBINFMT environment variable.   LESSBINFMT
       may begin with a "*" and one character to select the display attribute:
       "*k" is blinking, "*d" is bold, "*u" is underlined, "*s"  is  standout,
       and  "*n"  is  normal.  If LESSBINFMT does not begin with a "*", normal
       attribute is assumed.  The remainder of LESSBINFMT is  a  string  which
       may  include one printf-style escape sequence (a % followed by x, X, o,
       d, etc.).  For example, if LESSBINFMT is  "*u[%x]",  binary  characters
       are  displayed  in  underlined hexadecimal surrounded by brackets.  The
       default if no LESSBINFMT is  specified  is  "*s<%02X>".   Warning:  the
       result  of  expanding the character via LESSBINFMT must be less than 31
       characters.

       When the character set is utf-8, the LESSUTFBINFMT environment variable
       acts similarly to LESSBINFMT but it applies to Unicode code points that
       were successfully decoded but are unsuitable for display  (e.g.,  unas-
       signed  code  points).   Its  default  value is "<U+%04lX>".  Note that
       LESSUTFBINFMT and LESSBINFMT  share  their  display  attribute  setting
       ("*x")  so specifying one will affect both; LESSUTFBINFMT is read after
       LESSBINFMT so its setting, if any,  will  have  priority.   Problematic
       octets  in  a  UTF-8  file (octets of a truncated sequence, octets of a
       complete but non-shortest form  sequence,  illegal  octets,  and  stray
       trailing  octets)  are displayed individually using LESSBINFMT so as to
       facilitate diagnostic of how the UTF-8 file is ill-formed.


PROMPTS
       The -P option allows you to tailor the prompt to your preference.   The
       string  given  to  the  -P option replaces the specified prompt string.
       Certain characters in the string are interpreted specially.  The prompt
       mechanism  is  rather complicated to provide flexibility, but the ordi-
       nary user need not understand the details of constructing  personalized
       prompt strings.

       A  percent sign followed by a single character is expanded according to
       what the following character is:

       %bX    Replaced by the byte offset into the current input file.  The  b
              is followed by a single character (shown as X above) which spec-
              ifies the line whose byte offset is to be used.  If the  charac-
              ter  is a "t", the byte offset of the top line in the display is
              used, an "m" means use the middle line, a "b" means use the bot-
              tom  line,  a "B" means use the line just after the bottom line,
              and a "j" means use the "target" line, as specified  by  the  -j
              option.

       %B     Replaced by the size of the current input file.

       %c     Replaced by the column number of the text appearing in the first
              column of the screen.

       %dX    Replaced by the page number of a line in the  input  file.   The
              line to be used is determined by the X, as with the %b option.

       %D     Replaced  by  the  number of pages in the input file, or equiva-
              lently, the page number of the last line in the input file.

       %E     Replaced by the name of the editor (from the VISUAL  environment
              variable,  or  the  EDITOR environment variable if VISUAL is not
              defined).  See the discussion of the LESSEDIT feature below.

       %f     Replaced by the name of the current input file.

       %F     Replaced by the last component of the name of the current  input
              file.

       %i     Replaced  by  the index of the current file in the list of input
              files.

       %lX    Replaced by the line number of a line in the  input  file.   The
              line to be used is determined by the X, as with the %b option.

       %L     Replaced by the line number of the last line in the input file.

       %m     Replaced by the total number of input files.

       %pX    Replaced  by  the  percent into the current input file, based on
              byte offsets.  The line used is determined by the X as with  the
              %b option.

       %PX    Replaced  by  the  percent into the current input file, based on
              line numbers.  The line used is determined by the X as with  the
              %b option.

       %s     Same as %B.

       %t     Causes  any  trailing spaces to be removed.  Usually used at the
              end of the string, but may appear anywhere.

       %T     Normally expands to the word "file".  However if  viewing  files
              via  a  tags  list  using  the -t option, it expands to the word
              "tag".

       %x     Replaced by the name of the next input file in the list.

       If any item is unknown (for example, the file size if input is a pipe),
       a question mark is printed instead.

       The  format  of  the  prompt string can be changed depending on certain
       conditions.  A question mark followed by a single character  acts  like
       an  "IF":  depending  on the following character, a condition is evalu-
       ated.  If the condition is true, any characters following the  question
       mark  and  condition  character,  up  to  a period, are included in the
       prompt.  If the condition is false, such characters are  not  included.
       A  colon appearing between the question mark and the period can be used
       to establish an "ELSE": any characters between the colon and the period
       are  included  in  the string if and only if the IF condition is false.
       Condition characters (which follow a question mark) may be:

       ?a     True if any characters have been included in the prompt so far.

       ?bX    True if the byte offset of the specified line is known.

       ?B     True if the size of current input file is known.

       ?c     True if the text is horizontally shifted (%c is not zero).

       ?dX    True if the page number of the specified line is known.

       ?e     True if at end-of-file.

       ?f     True if there is an input filename (that is, if input is  not  a
              pipe).

       ?lX    True if the line number of the specified line is known.

       ?L     True if the line number of the last line in the file is known.

       ?m     True if there is more than one input file.

       ?n     True if this is the first prompt in a new input file.

       ?pX    True  if  the percent into the current input file, based on byte
              offsets, of the specified line is known.

       ?PX    True if the percent into the current input file, based  on  line
              numbers, of the specified line is known.

       ?s     Same as "?B".

       ?x     True  if  there  is  a  next input file (that is, if the current
              input file is not the last one).

       Any characters other than  the  special  ones  (question  mark,  colon,
       period,  percent,  and  backslash) become literally part of the prompt.
       Any of the special characters may be included in the  prompt  literally
       by preceding it with a backslash.

       Some examples:

       ?f%f:Standard input.

       This  prompt prints the filename, if known; otherwise the string "Stan-
       dard input".

       ?f%f .?ltLine %lt:?pt%pt\%:?btByte %bt:-...

       This prompt would print the filename, if known.  The filename  is  fol-
       lowed  by  the  line  number, if known, otherwise the percent if known,
       otherwise the byte offset if known.   Otherwise,  a  dash  is  printed.
       Notice  how  each  question  mark  has a matching period, and how the %
       after the %pt is included literally by escaping it with a backslash.

       ?n?f%f .?m(%T %i of %m) ..?e(END) ?x- Next\: %x..%t";

       This prints the filename if this is the first prompt in  a  file,  fol-
       lowed  by  the  "file  N  of N" message if there is more than one input
       file.  Then, if we are at end-of-file, the string  "(END)"  is  printed
       followed  by  the name of the next file, if there is one.  Finally, any
       trailing spaces are truncated.  This is the default prompt.  For refer-
       ence,  here  are  the  defaults  for  the  other two prompts (-m and -M
       respectively).  Each is broken into  two  lines  here  for  readability
       only.

       ?n?f%f .?m(%T %i of %m) ..?e(END) ?x- Next\: %x.:
            ?pB%pB\%:byte %bB?s/%s...%t

       ?f%f .?n?m(%T %i of %m) ..?ltlines %lt-%lb?L/%L. :
            byte %bB?s/%s. .?e(END) ?x- Next\: %x.:?pB%pB\%..%t

       And here is the default message produced by the = command:

       ?f%f .?m(%T %i of %m) .?ltlines %lt-%lb?L/%L. .
            byte %bB?s/%s. ?e(END) :?pB%pB\%..%t

       The  prompt expansion features are also used for another purpose: if an
       environment variable LESSEDIT is defined, it is used as the command  to
       be  executed  when  the  v  command is invoked.  The LESSEDIT string is
       expanded in the same way as the prompt strings.  The default value  for
       LESSEDIT is:

            %E ?lm+%lm. %f

       Note that this expands to the editor name, followed by a + and the line
       number, followed by the file name.  If your editor does not accept  the
       "+linenumber"  syntax,  or  has other differences in invocation syntax,
       the LESSEDIT variable can be changed to modify this default.


SECURITY
       When the environment variable LESSSECURE is set to 1, less  runs  in  a
       "secure" mode.  This means these features are disabled:

              !      the shell command

              |      the pipe command

              :e     the examine command.

              v      the editing command

              s  -o  log files

              -k     use of lesskey files

              -t     use of tags files

                     metacharacters in filenames, such as *

                     filename completion (TAB, ^L)

       Less can also be compiled to be permanently in "secure" mode.


COMPATIBILITY WITH MORE
       If the environment variable LESS_IS_MORE is set to 1, or if the program
       is invoked via a file link named "more", less behaves (mostly) in  con-
       formance  with  the  POSIX "more" command specification.  In this mode,
       less behaves differently in these ways:

       The -e option works differently.  If the -e option  is  not  set,  less
       behaves  as  if  the -e option were set.  If the -e option is set, less
       behaves as if the -E option were set.

       The -m option works differently.  If the -m  option  is  not  set,  the
       medium  prompt  is used, and it is prefixed with the string "--More--".
       If the -m option is set, the short prompt is used.

       The -n option acts like the -z option.  The normal behavior of  the  -n
       option is unavailable in this mode.

       The  parameter  to  the  -p option is taken to be a less command rather
       than a search pattern.

       The LESS environment variable is  ignored,  and  the  MORE  environment
       variable is used in its place.


ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES
       Environment variables may be specified either in the system environment
       as usual, or in a lesskey  (1)  file.   If  environment  variables  are
       defined  in  more  than one place, variables defined in a local lesskey
       file take precedence over variables defined in the system  environment,
       which take precedence over variables defined in the system-wide lesskey
       file.

       COLUMNS
              Sets the number of columns on the screen.  Takes precedence over
              the  number  of columns specified by the TERM variable.  (But if
              you  have  a  windowing  system  which  supports  TIOCGWINSZ  or
              WIOCGETD,  the  window  system's  idea  of the screen size takes
              precedence over the LINES and COLUMNS environment variables.)

       EDITOR The name of the editor (used for the v command).

       HOME   Name of the user's home directory (used to find a  lesskey  file
              on Unix and OS/2 systems).

       HOMEDRIVE, HOMEPATH
              Concatenation  of  the  HOMEDRIVE and HOMEPATH environment vari-
              ables is the name of the user's home directory if the HOME vari-
              able is not set (only in the Windows version).

       INIT   Name  of  the user's init directory (used to find a lesskey file
              on OS/2 systems).

       LANG   Language for determining the character set.

       LC_CTYPE
              Language for determining the character set.

       LESS   Options which are passed to less automatically.

       LESSANSIENDCHARS
              Characters which may end an ANSI color escape sequence  (default
              "m").

       LESSANSIMIDCHARS
              Characters  which  may  appear between the ESC character and the
              end  character  in  an  ANSI  color  escape  sequence   (default
              "0123456789:;[?!"'#%()*+ ".

       LESSBINFMT
              Format for displaying non-printable, non-control characters.

       LESSCHARDEF
              Defines a character set.

       LESSCHARSET
              Selects a predefined character set.

       LESSCLOSE
              Command line to invoke the (optional) input-postprocessor.

       LESSECHO
              Name of the lessecho program (default "lessecho").  The lessecho
              program is needed to expand metacharacters, such as * and ?,  in
              filenames on Unix systems.

       LESSEDIT
              Editor  prototype  string (used for the v command).  See discus-
              sion under PROMPTS.

       LESSGLOBALTAGS
              Name of the command used by the -t option to find  global  tags.
              Normally should be set to "global" if your system has the global
              (1) command.  If not set, global tags are not used.

       LESSHISTFILE
              Name of the history file used to remember  search  commands  and
              shell  commands  between  invocations of less.  If set to "-" or
              "/dev/null", a  history  file  is  not  used.   The  default  is
              "$HOME/.lesshst"  on  Unix  systems, "$HOME/_lesshst" on DOS and
              Windows systems, or "$HOME/lesshst.ini"  or  "$INIT/lesshst.ini"
              on OS/2 systems.

       LESSHISTSIZE
              The maximum number of commands to save in the history file.  The
              default is 100.

       LESSKEY
              Name of the default lesskey(1) file.

       LESSKEY_SYSTEM
              Name of the default system-wide lesskey(1) file.

       LESSMETACHARS
              List of characters which are considered "metacharacters" by  the
              shell.

       LESSMETAESCAPE
              Prefix  which  less will add before each metacharacter in a com-
              mand sent to the shell.  If LESSMETAESCAPE is an  empty  string,
              commands  containing  metacharacters  will  not be passed to the
              shell.

       LESSOPEN
              Command line to invoke the (optional) input-preprocessor.

       LESSSECURE
              Runs less in "secure" mode.  See discussion under SECURITY.

       LESSSEPARATOR
              String to be appended to a directory name  in  filename  comple-
              tion.

       LESSUTFBINFMT
              Format for displaying non-printable Unicode code points.

       LESS_IS_MORE
              Emulate the more (1) command.

       LINES  Sets  the  number of lines on the screen.  Takes precedence over
              the number of lines specified by the TERM variable.  (But if you
              have  a  windowing system which supports TIOCGWINSZ or WIOCGETD,
              the window system's idea of the  screen  size  takes  precedence
              over the LINES and COLUMNS environment variables.)

       MORE   Options  which  are passed to less automatically when running in
              more compatible mode.

       PATH   User's search path (used to find a lesskey file  on  MS-DOS  and
              OS/2 systems).

       SHELL  The  shell  used  to execute the ! command, as well as to expand
              filenames.

       TERM   The type of terminal on which less is being run.

       VISUAL The name of the editor (used for the v command).



ATTRIBUTES
       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:


       +---------------+------------------+
       |ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE  |
       +---------------+------------------+
       |Availability   | text/less        |
       +---------------+------------------+
       |Stability      | Volatile         |
       +---------------+------------------+
SEE ALSO
       lesskey(1)


COPYRIGHT
       Copyright (C) 1984-2017  Mark Nudelman

       less is part of the GNU project and is free software.  You  can  redis-
       tribute  it and/or modify it under the terms of either (1) the GNU Gen-
       eral Public License as published by the Free  Software  Foundation;  or
       (2) the Less License.  See the file README in the less distribution for
       more details regarding redistribution.  You should have received a copy
       of  the  GNU General Public License along with the source for less; see
       the file COPYING.  If not, write to the Free  Software  Foundation,  59
       Temple  Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307, USA.  You should also
       have received a copy of the Less License; see the file LICENSE.

       less is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY
       WARRANTY;  without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FIT-
       NESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License  for
       more details.


AUTHOR
       Mark Nudelman
       Send bug reports or comments to <bug-less@gnu.org>
       See http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less/bugs.html for the latest list
       of known bugs in less.
       For more information, see the less homepage at
       http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less.



NOTES
       This    software    was    built    from    source     available     at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.    The  original  community
       source     was     downloaded      from       http://www.greenwoodsoft-
       ware.com/less/less-530.tar.gz

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less/.



                           Version 530: 05 Dec 2017                    LESS(1)