MCEDIT(1)		    GNU Midnight Commander		     MCEDIT(1)

       mcedit - Internal file editor of GNU Midnight Commander.

       mcedit [-bcCdfhstVx?] [+lineno] [file1] [file2] ...

       mcedit [-bcCdfhstVx?] file1:lineno[:] file2:lineno[:] ...

       mcedit  is  a  link  to mc, the main GNU Midnight Commander executable.
       Executing GNU Midnight Commander under this name runs the internal edi-
       tor  and opens files specified on the command line. The editor is based
       on the terminal version of cooledit - standalone editor	for  X	Window

	      Go  to  the line specified by number (do not put a space between
	      the + sign and the number). Several line numbers are allowed but
	      only  the	 last  one will be used, and it will be applied to the
	      first file only.

       -b     Force black and white display.

       -c     Force ANSI color mode on terminals that don't seem to have color

       -C =,,:= ...
	      Specify  a different color set.  See the Colors section in mc(1)
	      for more information.

       -d     Disable mouse support.

       -f     Display the compiled-in search path for GNU  Midnight  Commander
	      data files.

       -t     Force  using  termcap database instead of terminfo.  This option
	      is only applicable if GNU Midnight Commander was	compiled  with
	      S-Lang library with terminfo support.

       -V     Display the version of the program.

       -x     Force  xterm mode.  Used when running on xterm-capable terminals
	      (two screen modes, and able to send mouse escape sequences).

       The internal file editor is a full-featured windowed  editor.   It  can
       edit  several  files  at the same time. Maximim size of each file is 64
       megabytes. It is	 possible  to  edit  binary  files.  The  features  it
       presently  supports  are: block copy, move, delete, cut, paste; key for
       key undo; pull-down menus;  file	 insertion;  macro  commands;  regular
       expression  search  and replace; shift-arrow text highlighting (if sup-
       ported by the terminal); insert-overwrite toggle;  autoindent;  tunable
       tab  size; syntax highlighting for various file types; and an option to
       pipe text blocks through shell commands like indent and ispell.

       Each file is opened in its own window in full-screen mode. Window  con-
       trol  in	 mcedit is similar to the window control in other multi-window
       program:	 double	 click	on  window  title  maximizes  the  window   to
       full-screen  or restores window size and position; left-click on window
       title and mouse drag moves the window in	 editor	 area;	left-click  on
       low-right frame corner and mouse drag resizes the window. These actions
       can be made using "Window" menu.

       The editor is easy to use  and  can  be	used  without  learning.   The
       pull-down  menu	is  invoked  by pressing F9.  You can learn other keys
       from the menu and from the button bar labels.

       In addition to that, Shift combined with arrows does text  highlighting
       (if   supported	 by   the  terminal):  Ctrl-Ins	 copies	 to  the  file
       ~/.cache/mc/mcedit/mcedit.clip,	     Shift-Ins	     pastes	  from
       ~/.cache/mc/mcedit/mcedit.clip,	       Shift-Del	cuts	    to
       ~/.cache/mc/mcedit/mcedit.clip, and Ctrl-Del deletes highlighted	 text.
       Mouse  highlighting  also works on some terminals.  To use the standard
       mouse support provided by your terminal, hold the  Shift	 key.	Please
       note that the mouse support in the terminal doesn't share the clipboard
       with mcedit.

       The completion key (usually Meta-Tab or Escape Tab) completes the  word
       under the cursor using the words used in the file.

       To  define a macro, press Ctrl-R and then type out the keys you want to
       be executed.  Press Ctrl-R again	 when  finished.   The	macro  can  be
       assigned	 to  any key by pressing that key.  The macro is executed when
       you press the assigned key.

       The  macro  commands  are  stored  in  section  [editor]	 it  the  file

       External	 scripts (filters) can be assigned into the any hotkey by edit
       mc.macros like following:


       This means that ctrl-W hotkey initiates the  ExecuteScript(25)  action,
       then    editor	 handler    translates	  this	 into	execution   of
       ~/.local/share/mc/mcedit/macros.d/ shell script.

       External	 scripts  are  stored  in   ~/.local/share/mc/mcedit/macros.d/
       directory  and  must be named as where XXXX is the number
       from 0 to 9999.	See Menu File Edit for more detail about format of the

       Following macro definition and directives can be used:

	      If this directive is set, then script starts without interactive

       %c     The cursor column position number.

       %i     The indent of blank space, equal the cursor column.

       %y     The syntax type of current file.

       %b     The block file name.

       %f     The current file name.

       %n     Only the current file name without extension.

       %x     The extension of current file name.

       %d     The current directory name.

       %F     The current file in the unselected panel.

       %D     The directory name of the unselected panel.

       %t     The currently tagged files.

       %T     The tagged files in the unselected panel.

       %u and %U
	      Similar to the %t and %T macros, but in addition the  files  are
	      untagged.	 You  can use this macro only once per menu file entry
	      or extension file entry, because next  time  there  will	be  no
	      tagged files.

       %s and %S
	      The selected files: The tagged files if there are any. Otherwise
	      the current file.

       Feel free to edit this files, if you need.  Here is a  sample  external

       l       comment selection
	    TMPFILE=`mktemp ${MC_TMPDIR:-/tmp}/up.XXXXXX` || exit 1
	    echo #if 0 > $TMPFILE
	    cat %b >> $TMPFILE
	    echo #endif >> $TMPFILE
	    cat $TMPFILE > %b
	    rm -f $TMPFILE

       If some keys don't work, you can use Learn Keys in the Options menu.

       mcedit  can be used for navigation through code with tags files created
       by etags or ctags commands. If there is no TAGS	file  code  navigation
       will  not work.	For example, in case of exuberant-ctags for C language
       command will be:

       ctags -e --language-force=C -R ./

       Meta-Enter shows list box to select item under  cursor  (cursor	should
       stand at the end of the word).

       Meta-Minus where minus is symbol "-" goes to previous function in navi-
       gation list (like browser's Back button).

       Meta-Equal where equal is symbol "=" goes to next function  in  naviga-
       tion list (like browser's Forward button).

       mcedit supports syntax highlighting.  This means that keywords and con-
       texts (like C comments, string constants, etc) are highlighted in  dif-
       ferent  colors.	 The following section explains the format of the file
       ~/.config/mc/mcedit/Syntax.   If	 this  file  is	 missing,  system-wide
       /usr/share/mc/syntax/Syntax is used.  The file ~/.config/mc/mcedit/Syn-
       tax is rescanned on opening of every new editor file.   The  file  con-
       tains  rules  for  highlighting,	 each  of which is given on a separate
       line, and define which keywords will be highlighted with what color.

       The file is divided into sections, each beginning with a line with  the
       file  command.  The sections are normally put into separate files using
       the include command.

       The file command has three arguments.  The first argument is a  regular
       expression that is applied to the file name to determine if the follow-
       ing section applies to the file.	 The second argument is	 the  descrip-
       tion  of	 the  file  type.   It is used in cooledit; future versions of
       mcedit may use it as well.  The third optional argument	is  a  regular
       expression  to  match the first line of text of the file.  The rules in
       the following section apply if either the file name or the  first  line
       of text matches.

       A  section  ends	 with  the  start of another section.  Each section is
       divided into contexts, and each context contains rules.	A context is a
       scope  within  the text that a particular set of rules belongs to.  For
       instance, the text within a C style comment (i.e. between  /*  and  */)
       has its own color.  This is a context, although it has no further rules
       inside it because there is probably nothing that	 we  want  highlighted
       within a C comment.

       A trivial C programming section might look like this:

       file .\*\\.c C\sProgram\sFile (#include|/\\\*)

       wholechars abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ_

       # default colors
       define  comment	 brown
       context default
	 keyword  whole	 if	  yellow
	 keyword  whole	 else	  yellow
	 keyword  whole	 for	  yellow
	 keyword  whole	 while	  yellow
	 keyword  whole	 do	  yellow
	 keyword  whole	 switch	  yellow
	 keyword  whole	 case	  yellow
	 keyword  whole	 static	  yellow
	 keyword  whole	 extern	  yellow
	 keyword	 {	  brightcyan
	 keyword	 }	  brightcyan
	 keyword	 '*'	  green

       # C comments
       context /\* \*/ comment

       # C preprocessor directives
       context linestart # \n red
	 keyword  \\\n	brightred

       # C string constants
       context " " green
	 keyword  %d	brightgreen
	 keyword  %s	brightgreen
	 keyword  %c	brightgreen
	 keyword  \\"	brightgreen

       Each context starts with a line of the form:

       context	 [exclusive]  [whole|wholeright|wholeleft]  [linestart]	 delim
       [linestart] delim [foreground] [background] [attributes]

       The first context is an exception.  It must start with the command

       context default [foreground] [background] [attributes]

       otherwise mcedit will report an error.  The linestart option  specifies
       that  delim  must  start	 at the beginning of a line.  The whole option
       tells that delim must be a whole word.  To specify  that	 a  word  must
       begin  on  the  word  boundary  only  on the left side, you can use the
       wholeleft option, and similarly a word that must end on the word bound-
       ary is specified by wholeright.

       The  set	 of  characters that constitute a whole word can be changed at
       any point in the file with the wholechars command.  The left and	 right
       set of characters can be set separately with

       wholechars [left|right] characters

       The exclusive option causes the text between the delimiters to be high-
       lighted, but not the delimiters themselves.

       Each rule is a line of the form:

       keyword	[whole|wholeright|wholeleft]  [linestart]  string   foreground
       [background] [attributes]

       Context	or  keyword  strings  are interpreted, so that you can include
       tabs and spaces with the sequences \t and \s.  Newlines and backslashes
       are specified with \n and \\ respectively.  Since whitespace is used as
       a separator, it may not be used as is.  Also, \* must be used to	 spec-
       ify an asterisk.	 The * itself is a wildcard that matches any length of
       characters.  For example,

	 keyword	 '*'	  green

       colors all C single character constants green.  You also could use

	 keyword	 "*"	  green

       to color string constants, but the matched string would not be  allowed
       to span across multiple newlines.  The wildcard may be used within con-
       text delimiters as well, but you cannot have a wildcard as the last  or
       first character.

       Important to note is the line

	 keyword  \\\n	brightgreen

       This  line defines a keyword containing the backslash and newline char-
       acters.	Since the keywords are matched before the context  delimiters,
       this  keyword  prevents the context from ending at the end of the lines
       that end in a backslash, thus allowing C preprocessor directive to con-
       tinue across multiple lines.

       The  possible  colors  are: black, gray, red, brightred, green, bright-
       green, brown, yellow, blue, brightblue, magenta,	 brightmagenta,	 cyan,
       brightcyan,  lightgray  and  white. The special keyword "default" means
       the terminal's default. Another special keyword "base" means mc's  main
       colors, it is useful as a placeholder if you want to specify attributes
       without modifying the background color. When 256 colors are  available,
       they  can  be  specified either as color16 to color255, or as rgb000 to
       rgb555 and gray0 to gray23.

       If the syntax file is shared with cooledit, it is possible  to  specify
       different  colors  for  mcedit  and  cooledit by separating them with a
       slash, e.g.

       keyword	#include  red/Orange

       mcedit uses the color before the slash.	See cooledit(1) for  supported
       cooledit colors.

       Attributes  can	be any of bold, underline, reverse and blink, appended
       by a plus sign if more than one are desired.

       Comments may be put on a separate line starting with the hash sign (#).

       If you are describing case insensitive language you need to use casein-
       sensitive  directive. It should be specified at the beginning of syntax

       Because of the simplicity of the implementation, there are a few intri-
       cacies  that  will  not	be  dealt with correctly but these are a minor
       irritation.  On the whole, a broad spectrum of quite complicated situa-
       tions are handled with these simple rules.  It is a good idea to take a
       look at the syntax file to see some of the nifty tricks you can do with
       a  little  imagination.	 If  you  cannot  get by with the rules I have
       coded, and you think you have a rule that would be useful, please email
       me  with your request.  However, do not ask for regular expression sup-
       port, because this is flatly impossible.

       A useful hint is to work with as much as possible with the  things  you
       can  do	rather	than  try to do things that this implementation cannot
       deal with.  Also remember that the aim of  syntax  highlighting	is  to
       make programming less prone to error, not to make code look pretty.

       The syntax highlighting can be toggled using Ctrl-s shortcut.

       The  default  colors  may be changed by appending to the MC_COLOR_TABLE
       environment variable.  Foreground and background colors	pairs  may  be
       specified for example with:


       Most options can be set from Options dialog box.	 See the Options menu.
       The following options are defined in ~/.config/mc/ini and have  obvious
       counterparts in the dialog box.	You can modify them to change the edi-
       tor behavior, by editing the file.  Unless  specified,  a  1  sets  the
       option to on, and a 0 sets it to off, as usual.

	      This option is ignored when invoking mcedit.

	      Interpret the tab character as being of this length.  Default is
	      8. You should avoid using other than 8 since most other  editors
	      and   text   viewers  assume  a  tab  spacing  of	 8.  Use  edi-
	      tor_fake_half_tabs to simulate a smaller tab spacing.

	      Never insert a tab character. Rather insert spaces (ascii 32) to
	      fill to the desired tab size.

	      Pressing	return will tab across to match the indentation of the
	      first line above that has text on it.

	      Make a single backspace delete all the space to the left	margin
	      if there is no text between the cursor and the left margin.

	      This  will emulate a half tab for those who want to program with
	      a tab spacing of 4, but do not want the tab size changed from  8
	      (so  that	 the code will be formatted the same when displayed by
	      other programs). When editing between text and the left  margin,
	      moving  and  tabbing will be as though a tab space were 4, while
	      actually using spaces and normal tabs for an optimal fill.  When
	      editing anywhere else, a normal tab is inserted.

	      Possible values 0, 1 and 2.  The save mode (see the options menu
	      also) allows you to change the method of saving a	 file.	 Quick
	      save (0) saves the file immediately, truncating the disk file to
	      zero length (i.e.	 erasing it) and then writing the editor  con-
	      tents  to the file.  This method is fast, but dangerous, since a
	      system error during a file save will leave the  file  only  par-
	      tially written, possibly rendering the data irretrievable.  When
	      saving, the safe save (1) option enables creation of a temporary
	      file  into  which	 the  file contents are first written.	In the
	      event of a problem, the original file is	untouched.   When  the
	      temporary	 file  is  successfully	 written, it is renamed to the
	      name of the original file, thus replacing it.  The safest method
	      is  create  backups  (2):	 a  backup  file is created before any
	      changes are made.	 You can specify your own backup  file	exten-
	      sion  in	the  dialog.  Note that saving twice will replace your
	      backup as well as your original file.

	      Line length to wrap at. Default is 72.

	      Symbol to add to name of backup files. Default is "~".

	      Show state line of editor. Currently it shows current line  num-
	      ber  (in	the  future  it might show things like folding, break-
	      points, etc.). M-n toggles this option.

	      Toggle "show visible trailing spaces".   If  editor_visible_spa-
	      ces=1, they are shown as '.'

	      Toggle  "show visible tabs".  If editor_visible_tabs=1, tabs are
	      shown as '<---->'

	      Do not remove block selection after cursor movement.

	      Allow moving cursor beyond the end of line.

	      Allow moving cursor after inserted block.

	      enable syntax highlighting.

	      Show confirmation dialog on save.

	      to be described

	      to be described

	      save file position on exit.

	      symbol representation of codepage name for file (i.e. CP1251,  ~
	      - default).

	      do  UNDO for several of the same type of action (inserting/over-
	      writing, deleting, navigating, typing)

	      Search autocomplete candidates in entire of file	or  just  from
	      begin of file to cursor position (0)

	      Spelling	language  (en,	en-variant_0,  ru, etc) installed with
	      aspell package (a full list can be get using 'aspell'  utility).
	      Use  spell_language  =  NONE  to disable aspell support. Default
	      value is 'en'. Option must located in the [Misc] section.

       You can use scanf search and replace to search and replace a  C	format
       string.	 First	take a look at the sscanf and sprintf man pages to see
       what a format string is and how it works.  Here's an  example:  suppose
       that  you  want	to  replace  all occurrences of an open bracket, three
       comma separated numbers, and a close bracket, with the word apples, the
       third  number,  the word oranges and then the second number.  You would
       fill in the Replace dialog box as follows:

       Enter search string
       Enter replace string
       apples %d oranges %d
       Enter replacement argument order

       The last line specifies that the third and then the second  number  are
       to be used in place of the first and second.

       It  is advisable to use this feature with Prompt On Replace on, because
       a match is thought to be found whenever the number of  arguments	 found
       matches	the number given, which is not always a real match. Scanf also
       treats whitespace as being elastic.  Note that the scanf format	%[  is
       very useful for scanning strings, and whitespace.

       The editor also displays non-us characters (160+).  When editing binary
       files, you should set display bits to 7 bits in the Midnight  Commander
       options menu to keep the spacing clean.


	      The help file for the program.


	      The  default  system-wide setup for GNU Midnight Commander, used
	      only if the user's own ~/.config/mc/ini file is missing.


	      Global settings for the Midnight Commander.   Settings  in  this
	      file  affect  all	 users,	 whether they have ~/.config/mc/ini or


	      The default system-wide syntax files for mcedit,	used  only  if
	      the  corresponding  user's own ~/.local/share/mc/mcedit/ file is


	      User's own setup.	 If this file is present  then	the  setup  is
	      loaded from here instead of the system-wide setup file.


	      User's  own  directory  where  block  commands are processed and
	      saved and user's own syntax files are located.

       This program is distributed under the terms of the GNU  General	Public
       License as published by the Free Software Foundation.  See the built-in
       help of the Midnight Commander for details on the License and the  lack
       of warranty.

       The latest version of this program can be found at http://midnight-com-

       cooledit(1), mc(1), gpm(1), terminfo(1), scanf(3).

       Paul Sheer ( is the original author of  the  Mid-
       night Commander's internal editor.

       Bugs should be reported to

MC Version 4.8.7		 November 2016			     MCEDIT(1)

Welcome to!

I'm always messing around with the back-end.. See a bug? Wait a minute and try again. Still see a bug? Mail Me!