in response to a shell prompt and use pico's fine, self contained "help" feature
to learn all about pico. Pico will start by drawing an empty editing window on your
screen, like so:
Once you see this screen, your keystrokes are no
longer going to be accumulated by the shell for
interpretation as commands. Instead, each keystroke you type will go to pico
and all the "ordinary" keystrokes will show up in the window as text (unless you
hold down the "control" key
on your keyboard). Once you start pico and start typing, the window might look like
In pico's on-screen documentation, the ^ symbol
is used to mean "hold down the control
key while simultaneously typing the following key." So on the pico
editing screens, above, you see at the bottom of the screen a bunch of
reminders in inverse video like ^X
Exit Holding down the control key and then pressing
key will cause pico to exit. (Pressing the 'x'
key without holding down the control key will just enter a text 'x'
into the text editing portion of the pico window.) Note: In the
pico display of ^X
Exit , that's a capital X
after the ^caret. To me, that would indicate that you should hold
down both the control key and the shift key before depressing the 'x'
key. But the "shift" is unnecessary. I would have made
that pico display look like ^x
Exit , but pico doesn't I don't know why.
Anyway, the three most important pico control keys are:
which exits (quits) pico and takes you back to a Unix shell prompt.
(Note: pico is user friendly, unlike some other Unix programs.
If you've entered or altered text in pico, as I did in the second figure,
above, pico prompts you for a file name to save your entered text into before
which brings up the first of a series of on-line help screens, which, among
other things, explain what all the other control keys do in pico (Note:
Other programs may [usually do, in fact] interpret control keys differently
than pico does. Each program is free to chose its own conventions.
- ^_ (That's the dash/underscore and the control key held down together). Compilers provide line numbers with their error messages; ^_ allows you to tell pico exactly what line you want to go to so you don't have to hunt around your file looking for where your errors are.
To start editing an already existing file with pico, just enter pico file_name. If no such file exists,
pico will create a new but empty file for you by that name and then start with an empty
editing window as shown in the first figure, above. But, as noted above, you can
also start pico with no file name whatsoever and it will wait until an appropriate time to
ask you what name you want to assign to the new file it will create for your text.
I think I've given you enough information here to get started, and pico is
simple enough and has a nice internal help system; there's also a quick