The Nano command line text editor has reached a new milestone: version 5.0.
There are the usual array of bug fixes and tweaks, but what caught my eye among the release notes was the introduction of a scroll indicator. This tells you where you are within a long file and is particularly good for mouse users so you can see where you’ve got to as you mouse-wheel through a document.
As I’ve noted previously, adding
set mouse to your
.nanorc file, you can click at a location and the cursor will be placed there. It saves a lot of paging and cursor key clickage.
You enable the scroll indicator by adding
set indicator to your
.nanorc file (or adding the
--indicator option when you call
nano, if you just want to try it out).
You can install Nano on a Mac using Homebrew:
brew install nano
You’ll also need to add the following line to your
.bash_profile to make sure you use this rather than the preinstalled, old version:
Unfortunately, the version of Nano available to Raspberry Pi users through the apt package manager is version 3.2, so here’s how to install 5.0.
Note You will first need to install wget if you don’t have it already:
sudo apt install wget. You may also need to install
The following commands are for version 5.0 — just change the version numbers for later releases:
tar -xvf nano-5.0.tar.xz
./configure --disable-libmagic --enable-utf8
sudo make install
If you already had Nano installed, either run
sudo apt remove nano to excise it, or add the alias shown above to your
.zshrc or .
bash_profile if you want to keep both versions, but be sure you’re using the new one. That done, you can clean up with:
cd $HOME ; rm *.xz ; rm -rf nano-5.0
Regarding colouring Nano, as described in my last Nano post, version 5.0 allows you to prefix colour names with
bold and/or italic (in that order) to apply the named style. The old style
bright (basically bold plus a brighter colour intensity) has been renamed
light. This style applies to the standard base colours — red, green, blue etc. — but Nano 5.0 also includes nine extra presets on terminals that support at least 256 colours for those of you who prefer a more pastel look: pink, purple, mauve, lagoon, mint, lime, peach, orange and latte.