Meet Nano: A User-Friendly Terminal Text Editor

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As a web developer, you're probably used to working with code editors like Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, or Atom. While these GUI-based tools offer various features and extensions, sometimes all you need is a lightweight, quick, and easy-to-use text editor that you can access from the terminal.

That's where Nano comes in.

Nano is a simple yet powerful text editor that runs in the terminal, designed with ease of use and accessibility in mind.

It's the perfect tool for making quick edits, writing code snippets, or managing configuration files.

In this article, we'll introduce you to Nano and provide some basic tips on how to use it for web development tasks.

Getting Started with Nano

Most Unix-based systems, such as Linux and macOS, come with Nano pre-installed. To check if it's available on your system, simply type nano in the terminal and hit Enter

You can install it using your package manager if it's not installed:

For Debian-based systems (e.g., Ubuntu):

sudo apt-get install nano

For RHEL-based systems (e.g., CentOS, Fedora):

sudo yum install nano

For macOS (using Homebrew):

brew install nano

How to use Nano

Once Nano is installed, you can open a file by typing 'nano' followed by the file name:

nano myfile.txt

If the file doesn't exist, Nano will create a new file with the specified name. To save your changes, press Ctrl + O, then 'Enter' to confirm the file name. To exit Nano, press Ctrl + X.

Navigating and Editing

Nano's interface is easy to use. You can navigate through your file using the arrow keys.

Simply type wherever you see the cursor to update the file.


To search for specific text, press 'Ctrl + W', type the search query, and hit 'Enter'.

To cut a line, press Ctrl + K, and to paste the cut line, press Ctrl + U.

You can also undo and redo your changes with Alt + U and Alt + E, respectively.

If you press Ctrl+G, it will bring up the help docs to see a list of valid shortcuts.

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Written by Niall Maher

Founder of Codú - The web developer community! I've worked in nearly every corner of technology businesses; Lead Developer, Software Architect, Product Manager, CTO and now happily a Founder.


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