Less help you read large text files, displaying it one page at a time.

You can use PgUP and PgDOWN keyboard buttons and the up and down arrows.

You can press “h” at any time to get help.

This is the part of the output of the help screen

SUMMARY OF LESS COMMANDS Commands marked with * may be preceded by a number, N. Notes in parentheses indicate the behavior if N is given. h H Display this help. q :q Q :Q ZZ Exit. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- MOVING e ^E j ^N CR * Forward one line (or N lines). y ^Y k ^K ^P * Backward one line (or N lines). f ^F ^V SPACE * Forward one window (or N lines). b ^B ESC-v * Backward one window (or N lines). z * Forward one window (and set window to N). w * Backward one window (and set window to N). ESC-SPACE * Forward one window, but don't stop at end-of-file. d ^D * Forward one half-window (and set half-window to N). u ^U * Backward one half-window (and set half-window to N). ESC-) RightArrow * Left one half screen width (or N positions). ESC-( LeftArrow * Right one half screen width (or N positions). F Forward forever; like "tail -f". r ^R ^L Repaint screen. R Repaint screen, discarding buffered input. --------------------------------------------------- Default "window" is the screen height. Default "half-window" is half of the screen height. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- SEARCHING /pattern * Search forward for (N-th) matching line. ?pattern * Search backward for (N-th) matching line. n * Repeat previous search (for N-th occurrence). N * Repeat previous search in reverse direction. ESC-n * Repeat previous search, spanning files. ESC-N * Repeat previous search, reverse dir. & spanning files. ESC-u Undo (toggle) search highlighting. --------------------------------------------------- Search patterns may be modified by one or more of: ^N or ! Search for NON-matching lines. ^E or * Search multiple files (pass thru END OF FILE). ^F or @ Start search at FIRST file (for /) or last file (for ?). ^K Highlight matches, but don't move (KEEP position). ^R Don't use REGULAR EXPRESSIONS. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- JUMPING g < ESC-< * Go to first line in file (or line N). G > ESC-> * Go to last line in file (or line N). p % * Go to beginning of file (or N percent into file). t * Go to the (N-th) next tag. T * Go to the (N-th) previous tag. { ( [ * Find close bracket } ) ]. } ) ] * Find open bracket { ( [. ESC-^F * Find close bracket . ESC-^B * Find open bracket --------------------------------------------------- Each "find close bracket" command goes forward to the close bracket matching the (N-th) open bracket in the top line. Each "find open bracket" command goes backward to the open bracket matching the (N-th) close bracket in the bottom line. m Mark the current position with . ' Go to a previously marked position. '' Go to the previous position. ^X^X Same as '. --------------------------------------------------- A mark is any upper-case or lower-case letter. Certain marks are predefined: ^ means beginning of the file $ means end of the file --------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHANGING FILES :e [file] Examine a new file. ^X^V Same as :e. :n * Examine the (N-th) next file from the command line. :p * Examine the (N-th) previous file from the command line. :x * Examine the first (or N-th) file from the command line. :d Delete the current file from the command line list. = ^G :f Print current file name. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- MISCELLANEOUS COMMANDS - Toggle a command line option [see OPTIONS below]. -- Toggle a command line option, by name. _ Display the setting of a command line option. __ Display the setting of an option, by name. +cmd Execute the less cmd each time a new file is examined. !command Execute the shell command with $SHELL. |Xcommand Pipe file between current pos & mark X to shell command. v Edit the current file with $VISUAL or $EDITOR. V Print version number of "less". --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Less is like a more improved, as with less you can go back and forward the file, invoke an editor, search for patterns. When you are working with text files, specially if over a ssh connection, or reading large .conf files, less is a great utility that will help you, actually less is my favorite text files reader. Example less -N /etc/init.d/keymap.sh
1 #!/bin/sh 2 ### BEGIN INIT INFO 3 # Provides: keymap 4 # Required-Start: mountdevsubfs 5 # Required-Stop: 6 # Default-Start: S 7 # Default-Stop: 8 # Short-Description: Set keymap 9 # Description: Set the Console keymap 10 ### END INIT INFO 11 12 # If setupcon is present, then we've been superseded by console-setup. 13 if type setupcon >/dev/null 2>&1; then 14 exit 0 15 fi 16 17 . /lib/lsb/init-functions 18 ---------- 121 fi 122 123 # unmount /proc if we mounted it 124 [ "$unmount_proc" = "no" ] || umount -n /proc 125 126 ;; 127 128 stop) 129 ;; 130 131 *) 132 log_warning_msg "Usage: $0 {start|stop|restart|reload|force-reload}" 133 ;; 134 esac 135
The -N option numbered the lines so it is easier to navigate on the file.