In order to start
ne, just type `
ne' and press
RETURN. If you
want to edit some specific file(s), you can put their name(s) on the command
line just after the command name, as for any UN*X command. Immediately
(hopefully), the screen of your terminal will be cleared (or filled with
the contents of the first file you specified).
At the bottom of the screen, you will see a line containing some numbers and letters. It is named the status bar, because it reports to you part of the internal state of the editor.
Writing text is pretty straightforward: if you terminal is properly
configured, every key will (should) do what you expect. Alphabetic
characters insert text, cursor keys move the cursor, and so on. You can use
BACKSPACE key in order to perform corrections. If
your keyboard has an
INSERT key, you can use it in order to toggle
insert mode. In general,
ne tries to squeeze everything from your
keyboard---functions keys and special movement keys should work flawlessly
if your terminal is properly configured. If not, complain with your system
At startup, the status bar has the following form:
L: 1 C: 1 i pvu t
last item). You probably already guessed that the numbers after `
C:' are the line and column numbers, respectively. The small
letters represent instead user flags that you can turn on and off. In
particular, the `
i' letter tells you that insert mode is on, while
p' indicates that the automatic preferences system is activated. For a
thorough explanation of the meaning of the flags on the status line, see
The Status Bar.
Once you are accustomed to cursor movement and line editing, it is time to
F1 (the first function key), or in case your keyboard does not
have such a key,
ESCAPE. Immediately, the menu bar will appear,
and the first menu will be drawn. You can now move around menus and menu items
by pressing the cursor keys. Moreover, a lower case alphabetic key will move to
the first item whose name starts with that letter, and an upper case alphabetic
key will move to the first menu whose name starts with that letter.
Moving around the menus should give you an idea of the capabilities of
ne. If you want to save your work, you should use the `
item from the `
Project' menu. Menus are fully discussed in Menus.
When you want to exit from the menu system, press
again. If you instead prefer to choose a command and execute it, move over the
respective menu item and press
At the end of several menu items you will find strange symbols like ^A or
F1. They represent shortcuts for the respective menu items. In
other words, instead of activating, selecting and executing a menu item, which
can take seconds, you can simply press a couple of keys. The symbol `
front of a character denotes the shortcut produced by the
plus that character (I suppose here you are perfectly aware of the usage of the
CONTROL key: it is just as if you had to type a capital letter with
SHIFT). The descriptions of the form
Fn represent instead
function keys. Note that under certain conditions (for instance, while using
ne through a
telnet connection) some of the shortcuts could
not work, because they are trapped by the operating system for other purposes
(see Hints and Tricks).
Finally, we have the third and last interface to
ne's features: the
command line. If you press
ESCAPE followed by
:' (a la
vi), you will be requested some command to execute. Just
RETURN for the time being.
In what follows, when explaining how to use a command, we will usually describe the corresponding menu item. The related shortcut and command can be found, respectively, on the menu item itself, and in Menus.