4.2.10. less — view and navigate file contents#

With the less command, you have more control when viewing a file. It allows you to scroll up and down the file and provides features like searching the file using keywords.

To view the contents of a file, use less, followed by the name of the file:

less /usr/share/dict/words

When the file is open, it will appear as in Fig. 78.


Fig. 78 The words file open in less command#

At the : prompt, you can type commands that less will understand.

Searching the file#

You can search a file while viewing it in less.

To do this:

  1. Type / (forward slash) key

  2. Type the text you would like to search

  3. Press the ENTER key

  4. If there are matching results, they will be highlighted

Quitting the less command#

To quit the less command, type q at the prompt.