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Micro: A Solid Command-Line Text Editor



Micro is a text editor that bills itself as 'Larger than Nano, not as complex as ViM' and has enough familiar keybindings that I feel, in a word, comfortable while I'm learning the deeper ins and outs.



Micro's Site

I use Linux Mint, which essentially means I get to glom off of Ubuntu's repsitories for a few things which include Micro. Most major distros should have Micro in their repositories, but that site does include a way to just grab the micro main file if your distro doesn't. It is a little more involved to get Micro moved where it is avalible to all users rather than having to go to the directory it lives in, but for now I am going with 'You got it from your package manager.'



If you grabbed Micro from the main apge navigate to the directory it's at and type in 'micro'

Otherwise straight from the command prompt type in 'micro'

Unlike Vim, the day to day keybindings will make sense to someone coming from something like Microsoft Word, Libre Office, or even note-pad. Ctrl+<key> type keybindings in full effect, though when opening files, or saving new files you will need to type in the exact file path.



type in



Will get you test.txt, or if you used ctrl+s on a new document that will save it.

Bit of a hassle especially if you have things several directories deep since by default there are no dialogue boxes, no file browser, just your memory and a prompt.

I will discuss an option to help mitigate that problem in the next section.

Before that, though, a brief on movement.

Ctrl-G brings up help.

Alt-G brings up a cheat sheet of commonly used commands.

The biggest knock I have against Micro is its poor documentation, but given Vim has the same problem? I can live with it.

Thankfully, someone has beaten me to making a cheat sheet.



So far I only have filemanager installed pretty much to shore up the biggest useability problme I have. It isn't perfect but it helps.

Ctrl-E to open the command prompt


That will open a pane on the left side that will show your home directory (assuming you're in linux) that you can scroll up anddown. [TAB] serves to open directories and or open files. Ctrl+W to navigate from the tree to whatever you're working on and Ctrl+Q when the tree pane is selected kills it.

In short, the plugin maker for filemanager has made a bit of a hack that makes an active vertical pane that lists files, but endo f the day it is treated like just another document that happens to be non-editable.

Still, while I wish there was a way to use it to indicate where to save files, it's pretty spiff.



I've only touched on the bare basics. I know for an absolute certainty that keybindings can be added and edited, which is something I will do so I can add keyboard shortcuts for horizontal and vertical splitting. There are also options for theming and I'm sure there are far more options to poke around, but for the time being I'm going to keep things simple.

This will be one of the things I will live with fairly regularly during the terminal challange, and hopefully beyond as it has far more going for it than Wordgrinder. Mind you Wordgrinder is good, no mistakes there, but Micro seems to have far more functionality.