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Manual Reference Pages  -  REED (1)


reed - an auto-scrolling text pager


See Also


reed [-p | -u] [-b | -q] [-d delay] [-j jump] filename ...
reed [-h | -v]


Reed is a program originally written to automatically scroll large text files, such as etexts from Project Gutenberg ( or, but its functionality has expanded to make it a decent default text pager, as well. Its feature set is minimal compared to pagers like less(1), but is large enough for most tasks.


-d delay Specify the delay between lines. This is in approximately tenths of a second.
-j jump Specify how many lines to jump at a time.
filename Specify the filename to load. Multiple filenames may be given.
-p/-u Start Reed paused or unpaused, respectively.
-b/-q Turn on or off audio cues, respectively.
-h Print a brief message describing command line options.
-v Print the version number and copyright information.
If the filename given is -, Reed will read from the standard input.


Reed has a selection of commands you can use within it. These commands are based on less(1)’s commands, as well as some other pagers. You can view this list of commands within Reed by pressing ’H’.
q Quit Reed.
s Set a new delay between lines. Higher numbers mean slower scrolling. This value can be a decimal number. On an infinitely fast computer, a delay of 1 is equal to a pause of 1/10th of a second between lines. Adjust for your own, finitely fast (or slow), system. On a 500 MHz P3 system, a delay of 1 is about 5 lines every second.
p Pause the scrolling. Pressing p again resumes it.
+, - Increase or decrease the delay (slow down or speed up), respectively.
J Set the number of lines Reed scrolls at a time. Setting this to a negative number will scroll backwards. Speed is calculated using this; scrolling happens every delay * jump intervals. By default this is 1.
t Go to a specific line in a file.
/, ? Search forward or backward (respectively) for a POSIX regexp.
n, N Repeat the previous search forward or backward.
F Forget (unhighlight) the previous search item.
{, [, ( Search for the matching bracket, starting from the top of the screen and going down. This feature does not always work correctly.
}, ], ) Search for the matching bracket, starting from the bottom of the screen and going up. This feature does not always work correctly.
Up arrow, y, or k Scroll up one line.
u Scroll up a half screen.
Page Up, w, or b Scroll up one whole screen.
Down arrow, e, j Scroll down a line.
d Scroll down a half screen.
Page Down, Space, z Scroll down a whole screen.
Home, g, <, , Go to the top of a file.
End, G, >, . Go to the end of a file.
Enter Force a scroll. This is useful with a large jump setting if you read faster than it scrolls.
m Go to a bookmark. Bookmarks are file dependent; moving a file invalidates all bookmarks for it. A bookmark name may be up to 25 characters long and contain any characters except \n (including control characters).
M Set a bookmark. See the previous comments about bookmarks for more information and caveats.
Followed by a single character, this goes to a bookmark named that character. For example, ’a takes you to bookmark a.
Followed by a single character, set a bookmark named that character. For example, "a sets bookmark a.
l Go to the bookmark named "default" in the current file.
L Set a bookmark named "default" in the current file.
D Delete a bookmark
C Clear all bookmarks in the current file.
B View all your bookmarks (by opening and displaying ~/.reed_bookmarks).
! Run a shell command.
% Go to a certain percent in the file. This is subject to slight rounding.
r Clear and redraw the screen.
v Start a text editor opened to the current file. Reed first tries $EDITOR, then $VISUAL, and defaults to /bin/ed.
a Toggle audio cues on or off.
R Rename the current buffer.
:n Go to the next buffer in the file list.
:p Go to the previous buffer in the file list.
:d Delete the current buffer from the file list.
:e Load (examine) a new file and add it to the file list.
:q Quit.
:r Reload the current file. This also re-spaces it to the new number of columns, so if you resize the terminal, use this.
:o If you are in a directory view or your bookmarks file, open the file at the top of the screen.



This file stores your bookmarks in the format of

<filename>      <linenumber>    <bookmark name>

The line number must be an integer. The bookmark name may have any characters in it, but must be under 25 characters long


This is Reed’s resource file. Valid options are:

delay number - Set the default delay between lines.
jump number - Set the default number of lines to skip at a time.
beep [on|off] - Set audio signals on or off. The default is on.
paused [on|off] - Start Reed paused or unpaused. The default is paused.


Reed includes two useful scripts by default. breed (before reed) is a utility script for viewing files besides text files. A full list of files supported (and programs needed to view them) is available in the breed(1) manual page.

The other script, wrap, word wraps text files.


The main author of Reed is Joe Wreschnig <>. However, the AUTHORS file included with Reed lists many more people that have helped with development.


wrap(1), breed(1)
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SCOL REED (1) January 11th, 2002

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