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The te text editor is small, humble, and useful.

It's screen oriented, and can be easily adapted to a lot of computers.

It's written in the C language, and there are ports for various operating systems: CP/M, DOS, Windows and GNU/Linux.

te image

Command line

It's simple (for the PCW adaptation; see below for the name of the rest of available adaptations):

te_pcw [filename]


te_pcw           - To start an empty document.
te_pcw notes.txt - To edit the document 'notes.txt'.

You could rename the adaptation of your choice to simply te.

The screen layout

On the first screen line, you will see something like:

te: NOTES.TXT - The file name of the document your are editing.

And something like:

--- | Lin:0015/0042/0512 Col:32/90 Len:36

The very first field, can have one of the following values:

--- Means the clipboard is empty.
CLP Means the clipboard has data.

The numbers following 'Lin' are:

0015 - The line number you are editing right now.
0042 - The current total number of lines.
0512 - The maximum number of lines.

The numbers following 'Col' are:

32 - The column number on which you are.
90 - The number of screen columns.

And, finally, the number following 'Len' is:

36 - The length of the current line.

On the last screen line, you will see program messages and questions.

The options menu

You can enter to the menu, by pressing the ESCAPE key, as shown in the messages line:

Press [ESC] to show the menu.

Note that the exact name of your ESCAPE key may differ, depending of the program adaptation.

The options are:

New       - To start a new document
Open      - To open a document
Save      - To save the current document
save As   - To save the current document under another filename.
Help      - To show the help screen.
aBout te  - To show some te information.
eXit te   - To quit the program.

You can select an option by pressing the character in uppercase.

To leave the menu, you must press ESCAPE.

If you select one of the options New, Open or eXit, and there are any changes that are not saved yet, te will ask you for confirmation before proceed (both INTRO or Y mean YES).

If you start a new document, the Save option will redirect to you to the save As option.

The help screen will show the keyboard configuration, which depends of the program adaptation.

For example, in the case of TE_WS100 (25x80 VT100 and WordStar keys) you could see something like this:

Up       ^E           | Down     ^X           | Tab      ^I  TAB
Left     ^S           | Right    ^D           | Intro    ^M  or ^N
Begin    ^QS          | End      ^QD          | Escape   ^[  ESC
Top      ^QR          | Bottom   ^QC          | Macro    ^QM
PgUp     ^C           | PgDown   ^R           |
<-Word   ^A           | Word->   ^F           |
<-Del    ^H  or DEL   | Del->    ^G           |
BlkStart ^KB          | BlkEnd   ^KK          | BlkUnset ^KU
Cut      ^Y           | Copy     ^O           | Paste    ^W
Delete   ^KY          | ClrClip  ^T           |
Find     ^QF          | F.Next   ^L           | GoLine   ^J

The clipboard

The clipboard contents is not cleared after file operations (new, open, save...). That makes possible to share text between files.

But it's a good practice to clear the clipboard when you don't need it anymore, to free some memory.

Key bindings

As you can see in the help screen of example, there are some key bindings to perform actions when you are editing the file.

The exact keys you must press to do an action, depend on the adaptation you are running, but the meanings are the same:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right: to move the cursor one character at a time.
  • Begin, End: to move the cursor to the begin or the end of the current line.
  • Top, Bottom: to move the cursor to the begin or the end of the current file.
  • PgUp, PgDown: to move the cursor to the previous or next page.
  • <-Word, Word->: to move the cursor to the previous or next word.
  • <-Del, Del->: to delete the previous or next character.
  • Find, F.Next: to find a string or repeat the search.
  • GoLine: to go to a line number.
  • BlkStart: to mark the start of a block of lines.
  • BlkEnd: to mark the end of a block of lines.
  • BlkUnset: to unselect a block of lines.
  • Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete: to cut, copy, paste or delete a line or block of lines.
  • ClrClip: to clear the clipboard data.
  • Macro: to run a macro.
  • Tab: to insert spaces as indentation.
  • Intro: to insert a break or empty line.
  • Esc: to exit the menu or cancel an action.

Take into account that some actions could not be available in all te adaptations to save memory space. These actions are: <-Word, Word->, Find, F.Next, GoLine, BlkStart, BlkEnd, BlkUnset and Macro.

If you miss one or more of the mentioned actions, you can edit the exact file of the te adaptation and recompile it to include them.


Macros are a powerful way to perform repetitive tasks at editing level.

For example, you could create a macro with your signature to include it in all letters you write.

Or, being a programmer, you could create a gdoc block macro to document your own C functions.

Each time you want to run a macro, just press the corresponding key for the Macro action, enter the filename you choose when you saved it to disk, and press the key for the Intro action. That's all.

There are some special symbols you can use in your macros:

{up} {down} {left} {right}
{begin} {end}
{top} {bottom}
{cut} {copy} {paste} {delete}
{blkstart} {blkend}

As you can see, they are self explanatory.

The symbol names are case insensitive - ie: {ClrClip} and {clrclip} are equivalents.

Additionally, you can repeat a symbol as in:


Take into account that line endings in the macro are not translated to Intro actions. Use {intro} for that.

If you need to insert the { or } characters in the text of the macro, just write \{ and \}.

For example, a macro to insert a banner at the top of the document, could be written as:


File backup

Each time a file is saved, te does a backup of the previous file contents if it exists.

It is renamed as te.bkp.


The program adaptation is done by editing a small source code file.

In this file, you must specify the key bindings for the editor actions, according to your preferences and / or keyboard, and complete a few C language functions to clear the screen, etc.

As there are some adaptations already done, it's possible that your machine is already included between them.

If not, don't worry, you can start from a similar adaptation.

See the source code files for more information.

Current CP/M adaptations are:

  • te_pcw: Amstrad PCW and CP/M Plus (31x90 VT52 like terminal).
  • te_cpc3: Amstrad CPC and CP/M Plus (24x80 VT52 like terminal).
  • te_spec: Spectrum +3 and CP/M Plus (23x51 VT52 like terminal).
  • te_mur: K. Murakami's CP/M emulator (25x80 VT100/Ansi).
  • te_tak: Takeda Toshiya's CP/M emulator (25x80 VT100/Ansi).
  • te_ws100: Generic 25x80 VT100 and WordStar keys.
  • te_kp: Kaypro II, 4 and 10 (24x80 ADM-3A like terminal), contributed by Stephen S. Mitchell (thanks!).

Adaptations for other OS are (they are distributed apart):

  • Windows 32 bit (25x80), compiled with Pelles C and its 'conio.h' library.
  • DOS (25x80), compiled with Turbo C, and its 'conio.h' library.
  • GNU/Linux (24x80), compiled with GCC and ncurses.


This program is freeware, and it's licensed under the GNU GPL license.

See the file copying.txt for more details.

About this file

Of course, this text file has been created and edited with te.