more command is a command line utility for viewing the contents of a file or files once screen at a time. It supports navigating forwards and backwards through a file and is primarily used for viewing the contents of a file. It also supports searching for strings or regular expressions and opening the file at the current point in a text editor.
How to view the contents of a file
To view the contents of a file pass the name of the file to
more. This will open the file in
more at the start of the file and fit the first page within the screen size available.
more /usr/share/dict/british A a AA AAA Aachen --More--(0%)
The line at the bottom shows that the file is being viewed within the
more moves through the file the percentage value on the bottom line will also update reflecting how far through the file the current page is.
How to view the contents of multiple files
To view the contents of multiple files using
more pass the names of the files or a pattern to the
more command. This will open a buffer for each file and show the first file. A banner is shown to indicate the file being shown.
more /usr/share/dict/* :::::::::::::: /usr/share/dict/american-english :::::::::::::: A
To move to the next file press
:n. This moves the viewer to the start of the next file.
:::::::::::::: /usr/share/dict/british :::::::::::::: A a
To move back a file press
:p. This moves to the start of the previous file.
How to navigate within more
To move forward a page within
SPACE key may be used. Additionally the
z key may be used. This moves forward a page based on the current screen size.
To move forward one line press the
RETURN key. Optionally a number
n may be pressed before the
RETURN key to move forward by
To move backwards by a page press
CTRL-B. Some versions of more support moving backwards by one line with the
k key but your mileage may vary here.
How to open a file at a line number
To open a file at a line number pass the
+ option along with a line number
more +2654 /usr/share/dict/british
The more viewer will open at line 2654.
How to open a file at the first occurrence of a search
To open a file at the first occurrence of a search string pass the
+ option followed by a search pattern. The search pattern should begin with a
/ and can be a regular expression.
more +/^eat /usr/share/dict/british
The pager will move to the first occurrence of the search pattern.
How to search within more
To search within
more press the
/ key followed by the phrase to be searched for. The search pattern accepts regular expressions. The following searches for the phrase ‘eat’. This will search lines for instances of the phrases and scroll the page to the first occurrence.
more /usr/share/dict/british /eat
In this file the first occurrence is the word ‘aleatory’. To search for words starting with ‘eat’ a regular expression may be used.
more /usr/share/dict/british /^eat
Now the word ‘eat’ is found.
To search for the next occurrence of a regular expresssion press the
more /usr/share/dict/british /eat # first match is aleatory # press 'n' # second match is amphitheatre
How to display the file that more is viewing
To display the file that more is viewing press
:f. The file will be shown at the bottom along with the current position in the file.
more /usr/share/dict/british :f “/usr/share/dict/british” line 34298
How to edit a file being viewed with more
To edit a file being viewed with more press
v. This will launch the text editor that is set in the $EDITOR shell variable at the line being viewed. Once the file is save it returns to the more viewer. If no $EDITOR variable is found
viwill be used.
To understand what the editor variable is echo it at a shell prompt. In the following example it is
echo $EDITOR vim
If the $EDITOR variable is not set or is set incorrectly it may be set temporarily as follows.
To set the $EDITOR variable permanently add the following to your
.bashrcfile if you are using
.zshrc file if you are using
Getting help within more
To access the help menu press
h within more.
How to exit more
To exit from
Q. This returns you to the terminal prompt.