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Church Of The
Swimming Elephant


history word designators
history substitution

event designators

A ‘:’ (colon) separates the event specification from the word designator. It can be omitted if the word designator begins with a ^, $, *, - or %. 

If the word is to be selected from the previous command, the second ! character can be omitted from the event specification. 

For instance, !!:1 and !:1 both refer to the first word of the previous command, while !!$ and !$ both refer to the last word in the previous command. 

Word designators include:

Word Designator Description
# The entire command line typed so far.
0 The first input word (command).
n The n’th argument.
^ The first argument, that is, 1.
$ The last argument.
% The word matched by (the most recent) ?s search.
x-y A range of words; -y abbreviates 0-y.
? All the arguments, or a null value if there is just one word in the event.
x* Abbreviates x-$.
x- Like x* but omitting word $.

After the optional word designator, you can add one of the following modifiers, preceded by a :.

Modifier Description
h Remove a trailing pathname component, leaving the head.
r Remove a trailing suffix of the form ‘.xxx’, leaving the basename.
e  Remove all but the suffix, leaving the Extension.
s/l/r/ Substitute r for l.
t Remove all leading pathname components, leaving the tail.
& Repeat the previous substitution.
g Apply the change to the first occurrence of a match in each word, by prefixing the above (for example, g&).
p Print the new command but do not execute it.
q Quote the substituted words, escaping further substitutions.
x Like q, but break into words at each space character, tab or newline.


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Church of the Swimming Elephant©1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 is a wholly owned subsidiary of Packetderm, LLC.

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