PROGRAMS

# less

## Overview

less is a Linux-based program that can be used to read sections of large text-based files to the terminal. Unlike cat, less will limit the output to the height of the current terminal session and implements a scroll buffer to scroll forward and backwards through the file.

A consequence of less implementing it’s own scroll buffer is that the terminal history will not be polluted with the contents of the file once less is closed.

## Basic Commands

Type the following at the command-prompt to open a file for viewing in less:

\$ less my_file.txt


Once in less, use the arrow keys to scroll forward and back in the file. You can also use the mouse wheel for scrolling.

Press q or Q to exit less.

## Searching

You can search for text in less with the /<search string> command:

While in less, the following will find the first instance of foo:

/foo


To continue jumping to each successive match, press n.

To include spaces in the search pattern you must enclose the search pattern in quotes:

/"find me"