ee - easy editor
ee [-e] [-i] [-h] [+#] [ file ...]
ree [-e] [-i] [-h] [+#] [ file ...]
The command ee
is a simple screen oriented text editor. It is always in
text insertion mode unless there is a prompt at the bottom of the terminal, or
a menu present (in a box in the middle of the terminal). The command
is the same as ee,
but restricted to editing the named file
(no file operations, or shell escapes are allowed).
An editor with similar user-friendly qualities but more features is available
and is called aee.
to work properly, the environment variable TERM
must be set to indicate the type of terminal being used. For example, for an
terminal, the TERM
variable should be
set to "70092". See your System Administrator if you need more
The following options are available from the command line:
- Turns off expansion of tab character to spaces.
- Turns off display of information window at top of terminal.
- Turns off highlighting of borders of windows and menus (improves
performance on some terminals).
- Moves the cursor to line '#' at startup.
To do anything other than insert text, the user must use the control keys (the
key, represented by a "^", pressed in conjunction
with an alphabetic key, e.g., ^a) and function keys available on the keyboard
(such as Next Page
, Prev Page
, arrow keys, etc.).
Since not all terminals have function keys, ee
has the basic cursor
movement functions assigned to control keys as well as more intuitive keys on
the keyboard when available. For instance, to move the cursor up, the user can
use the up arrow key, or ^u
^a Prompt for the decimal value of a character to insert.
^b Move to the bottom of the text.
^c Get the prompt for a command.
^d Move the cursor down.
^e Prompt for the string to search for.
^f Undelete the last deleted character.
^g Move to the beginning of the line.
^j Insert a newline.
^k Delete the character the cursor is sitting on.
^l Move the cursor left.
^m Insert a newline.
^n Move to the next page.
^o Move to the end of the line.
^p Move to the previous page.
^r Move the cursor to the right.
^t Move to the top of the text.
^u Move the cursor up.
^v Undelete the last deleted word.
^w Delete the word beginning at the cursor position.
^y Delete from the cursor position to the end of line.
^z Undelete the last deleted line.
^[ (ESC) Pop up menu.
Since many shells provide an Emacs mode (for cursor movement and other editing
operations), some bindings that may be more useful for people familiar with
those bindings have been provided. These are accessible via the
menu, or via the initialization file (see below). The mappings
are as follows:
^a Move to the beginning of the line.
^b Back 1 character.
^c Command prompt.
^d Delete character the cursor is sitting on.
^e End of line.
^f Forward 1 character.
^g Go back 1 page.
^j Undelete last deleted character.
^k Delete line.
^l Undelete last deleted line.
^m Insert a newline.
^n Move to the next line.
^o Prompt for the decimal value of a character to insert.
^p Previous line.
^r Restore last deleted word.
^t Move to the top of the text.
^u Move to the bottom of the text.
^v Move to the next page.
^w Delete the word beginning at the cursor position.
^y Prompt for the string to search for.
^z Next word.
^[ (ESC) Pop up menu.
- Next Page
- Move to the next page.
- Prev Page
- Move to the previous page.
- Delete Char
- Delete the character the cursor is on.
- Delete Line
- Delete from the cursor to the end of line.
- Insert line
- Insert a newline at the cursor position.
- Arrow keys
- Move the cursor in the direction indicated.
Some operations require more information than a single keystroke can provide.
For the most basic operations, there is a menu that can be obtained by
pressing the ESC
key. The same operations, and more can
be performed by obtaining the command prompt (^c) and typing in one of the
- Execute cmd in a shell.
- Move to the line indicated.
- Make searches case sensitive.
- Display the ascii value of the character at the cursor.
- Save the edited text, and leave the editor.
- Expand tabs to spaces.
- Print the name of the file.
- Display help screen.
- Display the current line number.
- Make searches insensitive to case (the default).
- Don't expand tab to spaces when the TAB key is pressed.
- Leave the editor without saving changes.
- read file
- Read the named file.
- write file
- Write the text to the named file.
Pop-up menus can be obtained by pressing the escape
key (or ^[
key is present). When in the menu, the escape key can be used
to leave the menu without performing any operations. Use the up and down arrow
keys, or ^u
for moving up and ^d
for moving down to move to the
desired items in the menu, then press return
to perform the indicated
To the left of each menu item is a letter, which if the corresponding letter is
pressed on the keyboard selects that menu entry.
The main menu in ee
is as follows:
- leave editor
- If changes have been made, the user will get a menu prompting whether or
not the changes should be saved.
- Displays a help screen, with all of the keyboard operations and
- file operations
- Pops up a menu for selecting whether to read a file, write to a file, or
save the current contents of the editor, as well as send the contents of
the editor to a print command (see the section Initializing ee from
- redraw screen
- Provides a means to repaint the screen if the screen has been
- Shows the current values of the operating modes, and right margin. By
pressing return when the cursor is on a particular item, the value can be
changed. To leave this menu, press the escape key. (See
Pops up a menu in which the user may choose to enter a string to search for,
or search for a string already entered.
- Pops up a menu that allows the user to format the current paragraph,
execute a shell command, or check the spelling of the text in the
Paragraphs are defined for ee
by a block of text bounded by:
- Begin or end of file.
- Line with no characters, or only spaces and/or tabs.
- Line starting with a period ('.') or right angle bracket ('>').
A paragraph may be formatted two ways: explicitly by choosing the format
menu item, or by setting ee
to automatically format
paragraphs. The automatic mode may be set via a menu, or via the
There are three states for text operation in ee
: free-form, margins, and
"Free-form" is best used for things like programming. There are no
restrictions on the length of lines, and no formatting takes place.
"Margins" allows the user to type in text without having to worry
about going beyond the right margin (the right margin may be set in the
menu, the default is for the margin to be the right edge of
the terminal). This is the mode that allows the format paragraph
item to work.
"Automatic formatting" provides word-processor-like behavior. The user
may type in text, while ee
will make sure the entire paragraph fits
within the width of the terminal every time the user inserts a space after
typing or deleting text. Margin observation must also be enabled in order for
automatic formatting to occur.
Although ee is a 'modeless' editor (it is in text insertion mode all the time),
there are modes in some of the things it does. These include:
- tab expansion
- Tabs may be inserted as a single tab character, or replaced with
- case sensitivity
- The search operation can be sensitive to whether characters are upper- or
lower-case, or ignore case completely.
- margins observed
- Lines can either be truncated at the right margin, or extend on
- auto paragraph formatting
- While typing in text, the editor can try to keep it looking reasonably
well within the width of the screen.
- eightbit characters
- Toggles whether eight bit characters are displayed as their value in angle
brackets (e.g. "<220>") or as a character.
- info window
- A window showing the keyboard operations that can be performed can be
displayed or not.
- emacs keys
- Control keys may be given bindings similar to emacs, or not.
- 16 bit characters
- Toggles whether sixteen bit characters are handled as one 16-bit quantity
or two 8-bit quantities. This works primarily with the Chinese Big 5 code
You may set these modes via the initialization file (see below), or with a menu
There are two ways to have the spelling in the text checked from ee
is by the traditional spell
(1) command, the other is with the optional
, the words that are not recognized will be placed at the top
of the file. For the ispell
option, the file is written to disk, then
run on the file, and the file read back in once ispell
has completed making changes to the file.
The user may select a menu item which prints the contents of the editor.
pipes the text in the editor to the command specified by the
initialization command printcommand
(see the section Initializing ee
from a file
below). The default is to send the contents to "lp".
Whatever the user assigns to printcommand
must take input from standard
input. See your system administrator for more details.
Shell commands can be executed from within ee
by selecting the shell
item in the miscellaneous
menu, or by placing an
exclamation mark ("!") before the command to execute at the
prompt. Additionally, the user may direct the contents of the
edit buffer out to a shell operation (via a pipe) by using the left angle
bracket (">"), followed by a "!" and the shell command
to execute. The output of a shell operation can also be directed into the edit
buffer by using a right angle bracket ("<") before the
exclamation mark. These can even be used together to send output to a shell
operation and read back the results into the editor. So, if the editor
contained a list of words to be sorted, they could be sorted by typing the
following at the command prompt:
This would send the contents of the editor to be piped into the sort
utility and the result would be placed into the edit buffer at the current
cursor location. The old information would have to be deleted by the user.
Since different users have different preferences, ee
allows some slight
configurability. There are three possible locations for an initialization file
for ee: the file /usr/share/misc/init.ee
, the file .init.ee
the user's home directory, or the file .init.ee
in the current
directory (if different from the home directory). This allows system
administrators to set some preferences for the users on a system-wide basis
(for example, the print
command), and the user to customize settings
for particular directories (like one for correspondence, and a different
directory for programming).
The file usr/share/misc/init.ee
is read first, then
, then .init.ee
, with the settings specified by
the most recent file read taking precedence.
The following items may be entered in the initialization file:
- Sets searches to be case sensitive.
- Sets searches to be insensitive to case (default).
- Causes ee to expand tabs to spaces (default).
- Causes ee to insert tabs as a single character.
- A small information window is displayed at the top of the terminal
- Turns off the display of the information window.
- Causes ee to truncate lines at the right margin when the cursor
passes beyond the right margin as set by the user while text is being
- Allows lines to extend beyond the right margin.
- Causes ee to automatically try to format the current paragraph
while text insertion is occurring.
- Turns off automatic paragraph formatting (default).
- Allows the setting of the print command (default: "lp").
- The user can select a value for the right margin (the first column on the
screen is zero).
- Turns on highlighting border of information window and menus
- Turns off highlighting of border of information window and menus.
- Turns on display of eight bit characters.
- Turns off display of eight bit characters (they are displayed as their
decimal value inside angle brackets, e.g., "<220>").
- Turns on handling of 16-bit characters.
- Turns off handling of 16-bit characters.
- Turns on emacs key bindings.
- Turns off emacs key bindings.
When using this entry from the settings
menu, the user may choose to save
the current configuration of the editor (see Initializing ee from a
above) to a file named .init.ee
in the current directory or
the user's home directory. If a file named .init.ee
already exists, it
will be renamed .init.ee.old
THIS MATERIAL IS PROVIDED "AS IS". THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND
WITH REGARD TO THIS MATERIAL, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Neither
Hewlett-Packard nor Hugh Mahon shall be liable for errors contained herein,
nor for incidental or consequential damages in connection with the furnishing,
performance or use of this material. Neither Hewlett-Packard nor Hugh Mahon
assumes any responsibility for the use or reliability of this software or
documentation. This software and documentation is totally UNSUPPORTED. There
is no support contract available. Hewlett-Packard has done NO Quality
Assurance on ANY of the program or documentation. You may find the quality of
the materials inferior to supported materials.
Always make a copy of files that cannot be easily reproduced before editing.
Save files early, and save often.
supports single-byte character code sets (eight-bit clean), or the
Chinese Big-5 code set. (Other multi-byte code sets may function, but the
reason Big-5 works is that a two-byte character also takes up two columns on
The automatic paragraph formatting operation may be too slow for slower systems.
The software ee
was developed by Hugh Mahon.
This software and documentation contains proprietary information which is
protected by copyright. All rights are reserved.
Copyright (c) 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2001 Hugh Mahon.
termcap(4), terminfo(4), environ(5), spell(1), ispell(1), lp(1), aee(1)