Nano Cheatsheet

This site is a reference for the text editor Nano

Last updated on 09 March, 2021 at 13:59:41 Optimized for

GNU Nano, formerly known as TIP (TIP is Not Pico) is a text editor based off of the Pico text editor. The text editor is pretty straight compared to Vi, Vim or Emacs and is the first encountered text editor of most GNU/Linux novices.

Website logo
For the full experience we recommend viewing this website on a desktop or tablet.

File Handling

How to save and open files in Nano

Shortcuts for file handling.

Command Description
Ctrl+S

Save current file

Ctrl+O

Offer to write file ("Save as")

Ctrl+R

Insert a file into current one

Ctrl+X

Close buffer, exit from nano

Editing

How to edit files in Nano

Cutting, copy, pasting, word completion and more

Command Description
Ctrl+K

Cut current line into cutbuffer

Alt+6

Copy current line into cutbuffer

Ctrl+U

Paste contents of cutbuffer

Alt+T

Cut until end of buffer

Ctrl+]

Complete current word

Alt+3

Comment/uncomment line/region

Alt+U

Undo last action

Alt+E

Redo last undone action

Moving Around

Moving around text and buffers in Nano

Moving between words, buffers, characters and more

Command Description
Ctrl+B

One character backward

Ctrl+F

One character forward

Ctrl+←

One word backward

Ctrl+→

One word forward

Ctrl+A

To start of line

Ctrl+E

To end of line

Ctrl+P

One line up

Ctrl+N

One line down

Ctrl+↑

To previous block

Ctrl+↓

To next block

Ctrl+Y

One page up

Ctrl+V

One page down

Alt+\

To top of buffer

Alt+/

To end of buffer

Search & Replace

How to search for text in Nano

Searching and replacing text

Command Description
Ctrl+Q

Start backward search

Ctrl+W

Start forward search

Alt+Q

Find next occurrence backward

Alt+W

Find next occurrence forward

Alt+R

Start a replacing session

Special Movement

Special movement commands in Nano

Scroll the viewport, goto a given linenumber, goto complementary bracket or switch to a preceding buffer

Command Description
Alt+G

Go to specified line

Alt+]

Go to complementary bracket

Alt+↑

Scroll viewport up

Alt+↓

Scroll viewport down

Alt+<

Switch to preceding buffer

Alt+>

Switch to succeeding buffer

Deletion

Command Description
Ctrl+H

Delete character before cursor

Ctrl+D

Delete character under cursor

Alt+Bsp

Delete word to the left

Ctrl+Del

Delete word to the right

Alt+Del

Delete current line

Information

Command Description
Ctrl+C

Report cursor position

Alt+D

Report word/line/char count

Ctrl+G

Display help text

Operations

Command Description
Ctrl+T

Execute some command

Ctrl+J

Justify paragraph or region

Alt+J

Justify entire buffer

Alt+B

Run a syntax check

Alt+F

Run a formatter/fixer/arranger

Alt+:

Start/stop recording of macro

Alt+;

Replay macro

Various

Command Description
Alt+A

Turn the mark on/off

Tab

Indent marked region

Shift+Tab

Unindent marked region

Alt+N

Turn line numbers on/off

Alt+P

Turn visible whitespace on/off

Alt+V

Enter next keystroke verbatim

Ctrl+L

Refresh the screen

Ctrl+Z

Suspend nano

Online Resources & Books