Venerable text editor GNU Nano reaches version 5.0 and adds the modern frippery that is scrollbars

Three big upgrades since 2018 suggests it's far from terminal


Cult text editor GNU Nano has released a major update, taking the terminal-based program to its fifth version in twenty years.

The new update, called "Among the fields of barely", introduces a new --indicator command-line switch that will enable the display a kind of scrollbar on the right-hand side of the screen to indicate where in the buffer the viewport is located and how much it covers.

The free-software editor will now allow you to tag any line with an anchor using the <Alt+Insert>shortcut. You can jump to the nearest anchor using <Alt+PageUp> and <Alt+PageDown>.

It will also let you access the Execute Command prompt directly from the main menu with ^T, and toggle the help lines in all menus with M-X. Users can also pull up a list of all possible filenames by hitting the tab key and refresh the screen in every menu with ^L, which will also centre the cursor on the screen.

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The release introduces nine new colours, including lagoon, latte, lime, mauve, mint, peach, pink, purple, and orange. Brighter versions of black, blue, cyan, green, magenta, red, yellow and white are available through the light prefix. The update also includes bold and italic typefaces.

Smaller changes include renaming the long option --tempfile to --saveonexit, and the bindable function "curpos" to "location". Backupfiles will now retain their group ownership when possible and data will sync to disk before "...lines written" is displayed.

Nano is rocketing along these days with version 4.0 emerging in March 2019 and 3.0 in September of the previous year, a rather less-relaxed pace than that since the tool's 1999 launch.

A full changelog for the new update can be found here and downloads are available here. ®


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