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12.1.8 Specials

There are, however, some keys that act differently here from in vi. Vi does not allow to yank rectangular blocks of text, but screen does. Press

c or C to set the left or right margin respectively. If no repeat count is given, both default to the current cursor position.
Example: Try this on a rather full text screen: C-a [ M 20 l SPACE c 10 l 5 j C SPACE.

This moves one to the middle line of the screen, moves in 20 columns left, marks the beginning of the paste buffer, sets the left column, moves 5 columns down, sets the right column, and then marks the end of the paste buffer. Now try:
C-a [ M 20 l SPACE 10 l 5 j SPACE

and notice the difference in the amount of text copied.

J joins lines. It toggles between 4 modes: lines separated by a newline character (012), lines glued seamless, lines separated by a single space or comma separated lines. Note that you can prepend the newline character with a carriage return character, by issuing a set crlf on.

v is for all the vi users who use :set numbers - it toggles the left margin between column 9 and 1.

a before the final space key turns on append mode. Thus the contents of the paste buffer will not be overwritten, but appended to.

A turns on append mode and sets a (second) mark.

> sets the (second) mark and writes the contents of the paste buffer to the screen-exchange file (/tmp/screen-exchange per default) once copy-mode is finished. See Screen Exchange.
This example demonstrates how to dump the whole scrollback buffer to that file:
C-a [ g SPACE G $ >.

C-g gives information about the current line and column.

x exchanges the first mark and the current cursor position. You can use this to adjust an already placed mark.

@ does nothing. Absolutely nothing. Does not even exit copy mode.

All keys not described here exit copy mode.