GNU Nano 6 Increases Editing Area
Thursday, 23 December 2021

GNU Nano 6 has been released with improvements including the ability to hide the title bar and status bar to provide more editing space. GNU nano is a command line text editor for Unix and Linux that aims to be simple and easy to use.

Nano was originally named Tip and was a free replacement for the Pico text editor, part of the Pine email suite that at the time was the most widely used email package on Unix. Nano is popular as an alternative to Vi and Emacs, and while few developers use it as their major editor, it offers a small, resource friendly editor for tasks such as editing batch files.


The first improvement is the addition of a -zero option that hides the title bar, status bar and help lines, meaning that all the rows of the terminal are available as the editing area. The title bar and
status bar can be toggled with M-Z.

The second improvement is the ability to pick terminal colors either as three-digit hexadecimal numbers in the format #rgb, or for users who dislike numbers, there are fourteen new color names: rosy, beet, plum, sea, sky, slate, teal, sage, brown, ocher, sand, tawny, brick, and crimson. Somehow, knowing Nano users, we reckon the rgb hex options will be more popular!

Elsewhere, suspension is enabled by default, invokable with ^T^Z,. If you've chosen to use automatic hard-wrapping is in effect, pasting just a few words (without a line break) will now hard-wrap the line when needed.

Other improvements mean the word count as shown by M-D is now affected by option --wordbounds;. With it, nano counts words as 'wc' does; without it (the new default), words are counted in what the release notes describe as "a more human way: seeing punctuation as space."

Finally, the YAML syntax file is now actually included in the tarball.

Nano 6 is available for download now. 


More Information

Nano website

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