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LESSKEY(1)                  General Commands Manual                 LESSKEY(1)

       lesskey - specify key bindings for less

       lesskey [-o output] [--] [input]
       lesskey [--output=output] [--] [input]
       lesskey -V
       lesskey --version

       Lesskey  is  used  to specify a set of key bindings to be used by less.
       The input file is a text file which describes the key bindings.  If the
       input  file  is  "-",  standard  input  is  read.   If no input file is
       specified, a standard filename is used as the name of the  input  file,
       which depends on the system being used: On Unix systems, $HOME/.lesskey
       is used; on MS-DOS systems, $HOME/_lesskey is used; and on OS/2 systems
       $HOME/lesskey.ini  is used, or $INIT/lesskey.ini if $HOME is undefined.
       The output file is a binary file which is used by less.  If  no  output
       file  is  specified,  and  the environment variable LESSKEY is set, the
       value of LESSKEY is used as the name of the output file.  Otherwise,  a
       standard filename is used as the name of the output file, which depends
       on the system being used: On Unix  and  OS-9  systems,  $HOME/.less  is
       used;  on  MS-DOS  systems,  $HOME/_less  is used; and on OS/2 systems,
       $HOME/less.ini is used, or $INIT/less.ini if $HOME  is  undefined.   If
       the output file already exists, lesskey will overwrite it.

       The  -V  or --version option causes lesskey to print its version number
       and immediately exit.  If -V or --version is present, other options and
       arguments are ignored.

       The  input  file consists of one or more sections.  Each section starts
       with a line that identifies the type  of  section.   Possible  sections

              Defines new command keys.

              Defines new line-editing keys.

       #env   Defines environment variables.

       Blank  lines  and  lines which start with a pound sign (#) are ignored,
       except for the special section header lines.

       The command section begins with the line


       If the command section is the first section in the file, this line  may
       be omitted.  The command section consists of lines of the form:

            string <whitespace> action [extra-string] <newline>

       Whitespace  is  any  sequence  of  one or more spaces and/or tabs.  The
       string is the command key(s) which invoke the action.  The  string  may
       be a single command key, or a sequence of up to 15 keys.  The action is
       the name of the less action, from the list below.   The  characters  in
       the  string may appear literally, or be prefixed by a caret to indicate
       a control key.  A backslash followed by one to three octal  digits  may
       be  used  to  specify  a  character  by  its  octal value.  A backslash
       followed by certain characters specifies input characters as follows:

       \b     BACKSPACE

       \e     ESCAPE

       \n     NEWLINE

       \r     RETURN

       \t     TAB

       \ku    UP ARROW

       \kd    DOWN ARROW

       \kr    RIGHT ARROW

       \kl    LEFT ARROW

       \kU    PAGE UP

       \kD    PAGE DOWN

       \kh    HOME

       \ke    END

       \kx    DELETE

       A backslash followed by any other character indicates that character is
       to  be taken literally.  Characters which must be preceded by backslash
       include caret, space, tab and the backslash itself.

       An action may be followed by an "extra" string.  When such a command is
       entered while running less, the action is performed, and then the extra
       string is parsed, just as if it were typed in to  less.   This  feature
       can  be used in certain cases to extend the functionality of a command.
       For example, see the "{" and ":t" commands in the example  below.   The
       extra  string  has  a  special meaning for the "quit" action: when less
       quits, first character of the extra string is used as its exit status.

       The following input file describes the set of default command keys used
       by less:

            \r        forw-line
            \n        forw-line
            e         forw-line
            j         forw-line
            \kd  forw-line
            ^E        forw-line
            ^N        forw-line
            k         back-line
            y         back-line
            ^Y        back-line
            ^K        back-line
            ^P        back-line
            J         forw-line-force
            K         back-line-force
            Y         back-line-force
            d         forw-scroll
            ^D        forw-scroll
            u         back-scroll
            ^U        back-scroll
            \40  forw-screen
            f         forw-screen
            ^F        forw-screen
            ^V        forw-screen
            \kD  forw-screen
            b         back-screen
            ^B        back-screen
            \ev       back-screen
            \kU  back-screen
            z         forw-window
            w         back-window
            \e\40          forw-screen-force
            F         forw-forever
            \eF       forw-until-hilite
            R         repaint-flush
            r         repaint
            ^R        repaint
            ^L        repaint
            \eu       undo-hilite
            g         goto-line
            \kh  goto-line
            <         goto-line
            \e<       goto-line
            p         percent
            %         percent
            \e[       left-scroll
            \e]       right-scroll
            \e(       left-scroll
            \e)       right-scroll
            {         forw-bracket {}
            }         back-bracket {}
            (         forw-bracket ()
            )         back-bracket ()
            [         forw-bracket []
            ]         back-bracket []
            \e^F      forw-bracket
            \e^B      back-bracket
            G         goto-end
            \e>       goto-end
            >         goto-end
            \ke  goto-end
            =         status
            ^G        status
            :f        status
            /         forw-search
            ?         back-search
            \e/       forw-search *
            \e?       back-search *
            n         repeat-search
            \en       repeat-search-all
            N         reverse-search
            \eN       reverse-search-all
            &         filter
            m         set-mark
            '         goto-mark
            ^X^X      goto-mark
            E         examine
            :e        examine
            ^X^V      examine
            :n        next-file
            :p        prev-file
            t         next-tag
            T         prev-tag
            :x        index-file
            :d        remove-file
            -         toggle-option
            :t        toggle-option t
            s         toggle-option o
            _         display-option
            |         pipe
            v         visual
            !         shell
            +         firstcmd
            H         help
            h         help
            V         version
            0         digit
            1         digit
            2         digit
            3         digit
            4         digit
            5         digit
            6         digit
            7         digit
            8         digit
            9         digit
            q         quit
            Q         quit
            :q        quit
            :Q        quit
            ZZ        quit

       Commands   specified  by  lesskey  take  precedence  over  the  default
       commands.  A default command key may be disabled by including it in the
       input  file  with  the  action  "invalid".  Alternatively, a key may be
       defined to do nothing by using the action  "noaction".   "noaction"  is
       similar to "invalid", but less will give an error beep for an "invalid"
       command, but not for a "noaction" command.  In  addition,  ALL  default
       commands may be disabled by adding this control line to the input file:


       This  will  cause  all  default commands to be ignored.  The #stop line
       should be the last line in that section of the file.

       Be aware that #stop can be dangerous.  Since all default  commands  are
       disabled, you must provide sufficient commands before the #stop line to
       enable all necessary actions.  For example, failure to provide a "quit"
       command can lead to frustration.

       The line-editing section begins with the line:


       This  section specifies new key bindings for the line editing commands,
       in a manner similar to the way key bindings for ordinary  commands  are
       specified  in  the #command section.  The line-editing section consists
       of a list of keys and actions, one per line as in the example below.

       The following input file describes the set of default line-editing keys
       used by less:

            \t        forw-complete
            \17       back-complete
            \e\t      back-complete
            ^L        expand
            ^V        literal
            ^A        literal
            \el       right
            \kr       right
            \eh       left
            \kl       left
            \eb       word-left
            \e\kl     word-left
            \ew       word-right
            \e\kr     word-right
            \ei       insert
            \ex       delete
            \kx       delete
            \eX       word-delete
            \ekx      word-delete
            \e\b      word-backspace
            \e0       home
            \kh       home
            \e$       end
            \ke       end
            \ek       up
            \ku       up
            \ej       down
            ^G        abort

       The environment variable section begins with the line


       Following  this  line  is  a  list of environment variable assignments.
       Each line consists of an environment variable name, an equals sign  (=)
       and  the value to be assigned to the environment variable.  White space
       before and after the equals sign is  ignored.   Variables  assigned  in
       this  way  are visible only to less.  If a variable is specified in the
       system environment and also in a lesskey file, the value in the lesskey
       file  takes  precedence.   Although  the  lesskey  file  can be used to
       override  variables  set  in  the  environment,  the  main  purpose  of
       assigning  variables  in  the  lesskey  file is simply to have all less
       configuration information stored in one file.

       The following input file sets the -i option whenever less is  run,  and
       specifies the character set to be "latin1":

            LESS = -i
            LESSCHARSET = latin1


       On  MS-DOS and OS/2 systems, certain keys send a sequence of characters
       which start with a NUL character (0).  This  NUL  character  should  be
       represented as \340 in a lesskey file.

       Copyright (C) 2000-2012  Mark Nudelman

       lesskey  is  part  of  the  GNU  project  and is free software; you can
       redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms  of  the  GNU  General
       Public  License  as  published  by the Free Software Foundation; either
       version 2, or (at your option) any later version.

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

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
       with lesskey; see the file COPYING.  If not, write to the Free Software
       Foundation, 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA  02111-1307, USA.

       Mark Nudelman <>
       Send bug reports or comments to

                           Version 458: 04 Apr 2013                 LESSKEY(1)