Console text file viewer

Tony Baechler tony at
Mon May 21 10:08:22 UTC 2007

Hi all,

I'm looking for a file viewer program for plain text that's 
console-based.  I'm aware of more(1) and less(1) but that's not what 
I had in mind.  I want more than a pager.  I would like something 
like a DAISY reader but for plain text.  It would be nice if it 
automatically scrolls so I don't have to hit a key every 24 or 25 
lines of text.  I would like to jump to a specific screen number or 
line number in the file.  For example, if the file has 250 lines and 
there are 25 lines per screen, it would be nice to go to screen 5 or 
line 125 to reach the halfway point.  The biggest thing I want is to 
drop bookmarks at any position and have it immediately come back to 
that same point next time I open the file.

Something like the lynx(1) browser would work if it could do 
bookmarks like I described above and if it would automatically scroll 
the text.  If the viewer could do other formats like html and rtf 
that would be great but plain text is all that I really need.  It 
would be nice if it also runs under Windows or is written in a 
portable scripting language like Python or perl.  Oh, it needs a 
decent search facility, both case sensitive and otherwise, forward 
and backward.  I thought about something like vi(1) but it doesn't 
offer bookmarks and I don't want to make any changes to the 
files.  Finally, it needs to support large files of up to 30 MB or so.

I have an ancient DOS viewer that I'm using now from 1992 but it 
doesn't offer bookmarks and the search doesn't always work.  I can't 
send it to you but it's included with Vocal-Eyes from GW Micro in the 
demo archive.  If anyone has any ideas, I'm interested in looking at 
them.  It would be good if the viewer could run from an ssh 
session.  I'm running Debian Sarge but will be upgrading to Etch 
shortly.  Thanks for any help.
Tony Baechler
Baechler Productions

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