ed Cheat Sheet

ed is a small, powerful, line-oriented, command-line-interfaced text editor. All editors frustrate, but ed often amazes while others disappoint.

ed, man! !man ed — ed is the standard text editor.

“man ed” for more information.

Start ed from your shell command line:

“ed file

Edit file by entering ed commands with the following syntax:


range specifies the line or block of consecutive lines (syntax: ”from-line,to-line”) to which command is applied. Default range is the current line except where noted below with a parenthesis preceding the command syntax. Lines are specified as follows:

n line n ”.” current “$” last ”'”c mark c
”-”[n] up n (default: 1) ”+”[n] down n (default: 1) ”,” 1,$ ”;” .,$
”?re?” previous regexp match /re/” next regexp match

Input commands

“a” Append after. “c” Change range. “i” Insert before. ”.” End input mode.

Edit commands

“d” Delete. "s/re/s/[g|n][p]" Substitute.
“m[line]” Move after line. “t[line]” Copy after line.
”(.,+)j” Join lines. “u” Undo.
”(1,$)g/re/cmds Perform cmds for all matching lines. ”(1,$)v/re/cmds Perform cmds for all non-matching lines.

File commands

“e [file*]” Edit file. “E [file*]” Edit, discarding changes.
”($)r [file]” Read and append. “f [file]” Set/display file name.
”(1,$)w [file*]” Write. ”(1,$)W [file*]” Append to file.
”(1,$)wq [file*]” Write and quit.
* In place of file, specify ””!”shell-command” to read/write text to shell-command standard output/input.

Display commands

“p” List lines. “l” … with unprintables. “n” … with numbers.
”(+)z[lines]” Scroll. ”(+)null “p”

Other commands

“kc Mark line. ”($)=” Display line number. “h” Last error text.
”!shell-command Execute shell-command. “q” Quit. “Q” Quit, discarding changes.

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