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Survival TECO

Version 3.0

Learning to speak a little TECO can be really useful to edit files on old DEC and related systems.


  1. Pressing the Escape key (displayed in TECO and shown below as $ — that's not a dollar key) twice executes typed commands instead of the more familiar Enter key. (A single $ terminates string arguments for some commands.)
  2. Commands don't have to be executed one-at-a-time. You can type a long series of commands then $ $ and TECO will execute the commands in order.
  3. TECO is character-oriented, so it remembers the character position of your current location in the file, called “pointer”. Most commands display or change the file's contents at pointer, or move pointer to another location in the file.


1. ERfile$Y1 Open file for input and read 9. J Jump to beginning of file
2. EWfile$1 Open file for output 10. ZJ Jump to end of file
3. EX Save and exit 11. T3 Type from pointer to end of line
4. ^C ^C Exit (no save) 12. V Type current line
5. C2 Move character forward 13. D2 Delete character at pointer
6. R2 Move character backward 14. K3 Delete current line
7. L3 Move to beginning of next line 15. Stext$ Search for text
8. Itext$ Insert text 16. FStext1$text2$ Substitute text2 for text1


  1. Some versions of TECO accept a file name as a command line argument, making ER… and EW… unnecessary. Some versions of TECO have a command EBfile$Y that does the same as EREW… in one step.
  2. Numeric prefix (C, R, D): move/delete multiple characters (negative reverses direction)
  3. Numeric prefix (L, T, K): move/type/delete multiple lines (negative reverses direction); (T, K only) prefix H: type/delete whole file


You can use TECO on the following LCM+L systems.

dec-10 DECSYSTEM-2065 Invoke TECO with MAKE to create a new file or TECO to edit an old file.
ki587 DECsystem-1090
toad2a TOAD-2
vax780 VAX-11/785 EDIT/TECO to create or edit a file with TECO.


“You can hack anything you want with TECO …”sra. Alice's PDP-10

This page is based on Survival TECO Version 2.0 at SDF.

survival_teco.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/16 09:08 by papa