3.0 Creating and Editing Text Files: Pico and Emacs
File types may be divided into two groups: text files (which may be edited)
and binary (program) files. Since most binary files are created from text
files, most users will only have occasion to create text files. Text files
are created and modified with programs called editors. These are much like
word processors. They manipulate text but are relieved of the burden of
formatting the text for printing; thus, the text on the screen need not
reflect how it will appear on paper.
The text editor pico is easy-to-use; it is the editor used by the Pine e-mail
program. To use pico, type pico fileneme at the UNIX prompt,
where fileneme is the name of the file you wish to created.
The most relevant commands are listed at the bottom of the screen as you
type your text file. A few more commands are available from the help menu
(c^G, or Control-G-see Section 7.1).
When you quit with c^X, pico will ask if you wish to save
changes to the buffer. Saying "yes" will save your work, while
saying "no" will destroy any changes you have made. If you wish
to give your file a new name, you get an opportunity to do so before quitting
Another editor that is widely available and used in the Unix environment is Emacs. Emacs is available and the ITS staff encourages you to use this editor on the Academic-Computing server "Condor". Click Here for an excellent reference on how to use Emacs.