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Pico Help Page
Starting Pico Cutting and Pasting Spell Checking
Where Am I? From Netscape/windows Within Pico
Saving files Within Pico Using ispell or aspell -c
Basic commands From a file  
For additional Help, check out the Basic UNIX page, the Using Telnet and Pico for Web Pages and of course, some of the help links on the Linux page.
Starting pico
    Where am I?
    First, you need to know what your "working directory" presently is, as this is where pico will automatically look for files and save files. Check this by typing "pwd" at the command prompt (it ends in a $ sign usually). You'll see something like " ~ ", or /home/stu/username, which means you're in your home directory.

    If you are working on your web pages, you probably need to be in the "public_html" or www directory, and you should type "cd www". NOTE:Do this BEFORE you start pico, as you can't enter commands once you've started pico.

    Now, you are ready to start pico. If you just type "pico" at the command prompt on it's own, you get a blank, un-named file. I recommend you type "pico filename" (where filename is the name of the file you want to create or edit). Say, for example, you type "pico telnet.html". If this file exists in your "present working directory" (pwd), then it opens it, if not, it creates a new file by that name. Start typing away. :)

    Mouse Addicts Beware!
    Within the telnet window, the mouse is UTTERLY USELESS. <SARCASM> GASP! NO, SAY IT ISN'T SO, HIDE THE FERRETS AND THE CHILDREN!! </SARCASM> Ok, it's not that bad, honest. You can use the up, down, right and left arrow keys, along with this funny thing they put in front of the computer called a keyboard. It's really not that bad, honest. ;)

    Saving files
    If you look at the bottom of the pico screen, you notice a lot of thinks that look like "^O" "^X" "^T" etc etc. Those are commands you can use while running pico. The "^" symbol is short for the "Ctrl" key on the keyboard near the spacebar. So to save a file, which is called "writeout" or "^O", you would hold down the "Ctrl" key, and hit the letter "o" on the keyboard. A white line appears on the bottom, asking you "Filename to Write:?....." and it should have the name of your present file there. If all is fine, just hit the "enter" key on the keyboard. All saved. (Now, hit "reload" in your web browser to see what the changes did. :)

    You can also save when you exit. When you type "^X" (ctrl x) to exit, if changes have been made, the white line at the bottom of the screen will ask you if you want to save or discard changes.

    Basic Commands
    Check out the commands at the bottom of the screen. Exit (ctrl x), Get Help (ctrl G), WriteOut which is save (ctrl o) are all commonly used commands. Prev pg (ctrl y) and Next Pg (ctrl v) are the equivalent of page up and page down. For the cut, spell and read file commands, check out the "Cutting and Pasting" info further on down the page.

Cutting and Pasting
    From Netscape/Win 95
    This is pretty basic. Remember you can ONLY cut and paste plain text. DO NOT try to cut and paste pictures. ;) Copy/cut what you want from windows or netscape (right click copy, whatever). Position the cursor in the telnet window by using the arrow keys on the keyboard, then use the most to go to "edit" and then "Paste". Positioning by using the arrow keys inside the telnet window is crucial.(If using Putty, just right click)

    You CAN use the mouse to highlight something in the telnet window, then go up to "edit" and "Copy". You can then reposition the cursor in that document using the arrow keys, OR, you can open a different document and then just go up to "edit" and then "paste" using the mouse.
    (Again, in PUTTY, you just highlight, move the cursor to where you want to paste, and right click the mouse)

    Within pico
    This only uses the keyboard. Move the cursor to where you want to start the cut. The sequence to start, or "mark" the text is "^^, which is short for "ctrl ^". You actually have to hold down three keys, "ctrl shift 6". Now use the arrow keys (up and down especially) to highlight the text you want to cut. Move the cursor one space past where you want to cut, then you use ^k (ctrl k) to cut. Move the cursor, and use ^u (ctrl u) to uncut. You can uncut as much as you want.

    From a File
    Sometimes you'd love to paste the contents of one file into another, and this is easily done. First, position the cursor where you want, then, down in the menu, you see an option "^r" read file. Hold down ctrl r, then you'll see another option, and hold down ctrl t and a list of directories and files shows up. Annoyingly, this always starts at your home directory, regardless of what directory you are presently working in, so you often have to use the arrow keys to move to say public_html and then select the file you want to import. When you hit enter it pastes the whole file in at the cursor position. Ta da!

Spell Checking
    Within pico
    Assuming everything has been set up properly, all you have to do is position the cursor at the beginning of word you want to spell check and then hit ^T (ctrl t). Follow the instructions in the white line that shows up near the bottom of the screen.
    Using ispell or aspell -c
    This is done when pico is NOT running. At the command prompt, type ispell filename or aspell -c filename(for mcunix students) where filename is the name of the text file you want to spell check. If it is a .html file, you'll have to type a often to "accept", as your HTML tags will be considered spelling errors. The instructions are pretty basic. Note, it saves the ORIGINAL document with the added ending of .bak, so you can always recover if you goof.