Why would I want to use nano?


Why would I want to use nano?


On a regular basis, nano will not substitute our best text editor, but it used to be the text editor before there was a Graphical User Interface, it had stayed as part of the command line for the simplicity, while we could probably use Word for most of our document needs, if we are working already on the command line and we need to make a quick adjustment to one of our files, nano will be one of our best tools for the job, once we get the hang of a few of the commands needed, the time spent updating a text file would be two times as fast in comparison to using any other known text editor.

It might not be a replacement for what we have been using now, but it is a helpful tool when we need to make quick updates or text files.


Thank you for this answer, really helpful.


If I want to update a word document from the command line, how can I do it?

I get only hieroglyphics.

Word files are not stored in plain text like .txt files, but in a binary or XML based format that is not properly readable by a plain text editor like nano.

For more information, have a look at


So what can you use nano for? For instance, can you adjust js files?

You could. Code is generally stored in plain text even if it’s .js, .py, .cpp, etc…

Plenty of files are stored in plain text, basically when the output format of the text isn’t really something you want to waste resources saving.

this first lesson about nano is Not working… If I type GNU nano 2.5.3 File: hello.txt Modified

“Hello, I am nano.” oO^
I either get as you see only o or O and if I hold down the command, the apple on my iMac and push o at the same time it opens up file in my computer at desktop… and if I use the ^ and x instead of apple symbol for command it starts my iTunes playing the last played record… so no matter how I do it I am stuck not making this work… what to do now?

Try using control instead of command and see if that works.