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3.4 The Command Line

The command line is a typical (topical) way of controlling an editor on character driven systems. It has some advantages over menus in terms of access speed, but it is not desirable from a user interface point of view. ne has a command line that should be used whenever strange features have to be accessed, or whenever you want to use a command that you are familiar with and that is not bound to any key.

You have two ways to access the command line: by activating the menu and typing a colon (‘:’) or by typing Control-K (or any key that is bound to the Exec command; see Exec). The first method will work regardless of any key binding configuration if you activate the menus with the Escape key since that key cannot be reconfigured. Of course, there is also a menu entry that does the same job.

Once you activate the command line, the status bar will turn into an input line (see The Input Line) with a ‘Command:’ prompt waiting for you to do a long input. In other words, you can now type any command (possibly with arguments), and when you press Return, the command will be executed.

If the command you specify does not appear in ne’s internal tables, it is considered to be the name of a macro. See Basic Macros, for details.