Exercise 12: View a File (less, MORE)
To do this exercise you're going to do some work using the commands you know so far. You'll also need a text editor that can make plain text (.txt) files. Here's what you do:
- Open your text editor and type some stuff into a new file. On macOS this could be TextWrangler. On Windows this might be Notepad++. On Linux this could be gedit. Any editor will work.
- Save that file to your desktop and name it test.txt.
- In your shell use the commands you know to copy this file to your temp directory that you've been working with.
Once you've done that, complete this exercise.
That's it. To get out of less just type q (as in quit).
In the preceding output I'm showing [displays file here] to "abbreviate" what that program shows. I'll do this when I mean to say, "Showing you the output of this program is too complex, so just insert what you see on your computer here and pretend I did show it to you." Your screen will not actually show this.
You Learned This
This is one way to look at the contents of a file. It's useful because if the file has many lines, it will "page" so that only one screenful at a time is visible. In the Do More section you'll play with this some more.
- Open your text file again and repeatedly copy-paste the text so that it's about 50-100 lines long.
- Copy it to your temp directory again so you can look at it.
- Now do the exercise again, but this time page through it. On Unix you use the spacebar and w (the letter w) to go down and up. Arrow keys also work. On Windows just hit the spacebar to page through.
- Look at some of the empty files you created too.
- The cp command will overwrite files that already exist, so be careful copying files around.