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On this page you find all important commands for the CLI tool less. If the command you are looking for is missing please ask our AI.


Less is a command line tool used for viewing and navigating through large text files on Unix-like systems. It is a part of the GNU Project and is similar to more command, but with additional features. It allows users to conveniently view files without loading the entire contents into memory at once.

The primary purpose of less is to read and paginate text files that are too large to fit into the terminal window. It displays one page of text at a time and provides various navigation options for scrolling through the file, such as scrolling forwards and backwards, jumping to specific line numbers, or searching for specific text.

Less supports both forward and backward navigation, allowing users to move through the file in a sequential manner or jump to any desired location. It also supports various commands to manipulate the displayed text, such as searching for specific words, highlighting patterns, and filtering the text through external commands.

One of the significant advantages of less is its ability to efficiently handle large files without causing system slowdowns or excessive memory usage. It only loads the portion of the file being viewed, making it suitable for working with files of any size.

Less also provides additional features like syntax highlighting for programming languages, copying text to the clipboard, and allowing users to open and view compressed files directly. It supports various configuration options, allowing users to customize its behavior according to their preferences.

Overall, less is a powerful and versatile command line tool for efficiently viewing and navigating through large text files, making it a valuable utility for developers, system administrators, and anyone who interacts with Unix-like systems.

List of commands for less:

tool overview