The last line of the screen is usually occupied by the status bar (see The Status Bar); however, whenever you have to interact with
instance providing some input to a command which requires it, the last line
becomes the input line. You can see this because a prompt is displayed
at the start of the line, suggesting what kind of input is required. The
prompt always ends with a colon, so it is impossible to miss it for an
There are two essentially different ways in which input can be done:
ne just needs to know a simple decision which can be
expressed by one character, you can type it and
ne will immediately
accept and use your input: it is called a immediate input. This is the
case, for instance, of the prompt which asks you if you really want to quit
a modified document. If, instead, a whole string is required, you can type
several characters, perform some editing actions, and end your input with
RETURN key: it is called a long input. You can easily
distinguish between this two modes because in immediate mode the cursor is
not on the input line.
When doing a immediate input, there is usually a character appearing
just after the prompt. It is the default value, which is used if you
just press the
RETURN key. Note that case is not significant in immediate
inputs. Moreover, if a yes/no choice is requested, anything else than
y' will be considered a negative answer.
When doing a long input, there are a number of editing features available.
As anywhere else in
ne, knowledge reuse is the basic goal.
Essentially, you can edit the input line exactly as a line of text.
All key bindings related to line editing work on the command line exactly as
in a document. This is true even of custom key bindings. Thus, no particular
explanation is needed here---just edit as you are used to. Moreover, the
contents of the input line can be replaced by the first line of the current
clip using the keystroke which is bound to the
Paste command, usually
Note that if you type a line which is longer then the screen width, it is scrolled away. This allows to input very long lines even on small monitors. There is a limit of 1024 characters, but I do not really think you are going to feel it as a limitation.
There is a useful feature of long inputs: you are often offered with a default
input value (for instance, if you change the TAB size, the old TAB
width). If you type immediately an alphabetic character, the default value is
completely erased. If instead you use any non alphabetical character (for
instance, you move the cursor or delete the first character), the default input
can be further edited. A simple way of keeping the default value without really
doing anything is to press the
BACKSPACE key (or any key which is bound to
Backspace command). No character can be deleted, but being the first
key non alphabetical, the default input value will be retained.
You can always cancel a long input using
ESCAPE, or in general
any key which is bound to the
Escape command. The effect will vary
depending on what your were requested to input, but in general the execution
of the command requiring the input is stopped.