lv - Man Page

a Powerful Multilingual File Viewer / Grep


lv, lgrep
lv -h
lv -V
lv [-acdfgiklmnqsuvz] [+acdfgiklmnqsuvz]
    [-Acoding-system] [-Icoding-system] [-Kcoding-system]
    [-Ocoding-system] [-Pcoding-system] [-Dcoding-system]
    [-Ssseq] [-Srseq] [-Sbseq] [-Suseq] [-Shseq]
    [-Tnumber] [-Wwidth] [-Hheight] [-E'editor'] [-+]
    [+number] [+/grep-pattern]
    [-] (grep-pattern) [files ...]


Multilingual file viewer

lv is a powerful multilingual file viewer. Apparently, lv looks like less (1), a representative file viewer on UNIX as you know, so UNIX people (and less people on other OSs) don't have to learn a burdensome new interface. lv can be used on MSDOS ANSI terminals and almost all UNIX platforms. lv is a currently growing software, so your feedback is welcome and helpful for us to refine the future lv.

Multiple coding systems

lv can decode and encode multilingual streams through many coding systems, for example, ISO 2022 based coding systems such as iso-2022-jp, and EUC (Extended Unix Code) like euc-japan. Furthermore, localized coding systems such as shift-jis, big5 and HZ are also supported. lv can be used not only as a file viewer but also as a coding-system translation filter like nkf (1) and tcs (1).

Multilingual regular expressions / Multilingual grep

lv can recognize multi-bytes patterns as regular expressions, and lv also provides multilingual grep (1) functionality by giving it another name, lgrep. Pattern matching is conducted in the charset level, so an EUC fragment, for example, can be found in the ISO 2022 tailored streams, of course.

Supporting the Unicode standard

lv provides Unicode facilities which enables you to handle Unicode streams encoded in UTF-7 or UTF-8, and lv can also convert their code-points between Unicode and other charsets. So you can display Unicode or foreign texts on your terminal, using the code conversion function to your favorite charsets via Unicode. (However, MSDOS version of lv has none of the Unicode facility.)

ANSI escape sequence through

lv can recognize ANSI escape sequences for text decoration. So you can look ANSI-decorated streams such as colored source codes generated by another software just like intended image on ANSI terminals.

Completely original

lv is a completely original software including no code drawn from less and grep and other programs at all.



Set all coding systems to coding-system.


Set input coding system to coding-system.


Set keyboard coding system to coding-system. If it is not set, output coding system will be applied to it.


Set output coding system to coding-system.


Set pathname coding system to coding-system.


Set default (fall-back) coding system to coding-system.


a: auto-select
c: iso-2022-cn
j: iso-2022-jp
k: iso-2022-kr
ec: euc-china
ej: euc-japan
ek: euc-korea
et: euc-taiwan
u7: UTF-7
u8: UTF-8
l1..9: iso-8859-1..9
l0: iso-8859-10
lb,ld,le,lf,lg: iso-8859-11,13,14,15,16
s: shift-jis
b: big5
h: HZ
r: raw mode


-Il2: input coding system is iso-8859-2
-Ks:  keyboard coding system is shift-jis
-Oek: output coding system is euc-korea
-Ab:  all coding systems are big5

Coding-system translations / Code-points conversions:

iso-2022-cn, -jp, -kr can be converted into euc-china or -taiwan, euc-japan, euc-korea, respectively (and vice versa). shift-jis uses the same internal code-points as iso-2022-jp and euc-japan.

Since big5 characters can be converted into CNS 11643-1992 with negligible incompleteness, big5 streams can be translated into iso-2022-cn or euc-taiwan (and vice versa) with code-points conversion. Note that the iso-2022-cn referred here is not GB sequence, only just CNS one. You should remember that lv cannot translate big5 into GB directly.

The search function of lv may not work correctly when lv additionally performs “code-points” conversion (not “coding-system” translation), because visible code and internal code are different from each other. lv will try to avoid this problem with converting charsets of search patterns automatically, but this function is not always perfect.


Screen width


Screen height

-E'<editor>' (default 'vi -c %d')

Editor name (default 'vi -c %d')
“%d” means the line number of current position in a file.


Assert there is delete/insert-lines control.
Please set this option on a MSDOS ANSI terminal that has capability to delete and/or insert lines. As to termcap and terminfo version, it will be set automatically.


Set ANSI Standout sequence to seq  (default "7")


Set ANSI Reverse sequence to seq   (default "7")


Set ANSI Blink sequence to seq     (default "5")


Set ANSI Underline sequence to seq (default "4")


Set ANSI Highlight sequence to seq (default "1")

These sequences are inserted between “ESC [” and “m” to construct full ANSI escape sequences.


Set Threshold-code which divides Unicode code-points in two regions. Characters belonging to the lower region are assumed to have a width of one, and the higher characters are equated to a width of two. (Default: 12288, = 0x3000)


Force Unicode code-points which have the same glyphs as iso-8859-* to be Mapped to iso-8859-* in a conversion from Unicode to another character set which also has the corresponding code-points, in particular, Asian charsets.


Adjust character set for search pattern (default)


Allow ANSI escape sequences for text decoration (Color)

-d, -i

Make regexp-searches ignore case (case folD search) (default)


Substitute Fixed strings for regular expressions


Convert X0201 Katakana to X0208 while decoding


Allow physical lines of each logical line printed on the screen to be concatenated for cut and paste after screen refresh


Force old pages to be swept out from the screen Smoothly


Unify several character sets, eg. JIS X0208 and C6226. In addition, lv equates ISO 646 variants, eg. JIS X0201-Roman, and unknown charsets with ASCII.


Turn on lgrep mode.


Prefix each line of output with the line number within its input file on lgrep.


Invert the sense of matching on lgrep.


Enable HZ auto-detection (also enabled by run-time C-t).


Clear all options
You can also turn OFF specified options, using “+<option>” like +c, +d, ... +z.


Treat the following arguments as filenames


lv works like grep (1) when its name is lgrep


Jump to the specified line immediately when lv is invoked.


Search  the specified pattern immediately when lv is invoked.


Show lv version


Show this help


Options can be described in configuration file “.lv” (“_lv” on MSDOS) located at you HOME directory.  If and only if you use MSDOS, you can locate “_lv” at current working directory. They can be also described in the environment variable LV. Every configuration will be overloaded in this order if there is. Command line options are always read finally.

Command Key Bindings



g, <:

Jump to the line number (default: top of the file)

G, >:

Jump to the line number (default: bottom of the file)


Jump to the percentage position in line numbers (0-100)

b, C-b:

Previous page

u, C-u:

Previous half page

k, w, C-k, y, C-y, C-p:

Previous line

j, C-j, e, C-e, C-n, CR:

Next line

d, C-d:

Next half page

f, C-f, C-v, SP:

Next page


Jump to the end of file, and wait for a data to be appended to the file until interrupted.


Find a string in the forward direction (regular expression)


Find a string in the backward direction (regular expression)


Repeat previous search in forward direction


Repeat previous search in backward direction (not REVERSE)


Redisplay all lines

r, C-r:

Refresh screen and memory


Reload current file


Examine the next file


Examine the previous file


Toggle input coding systems


Toggle input coding systems reversely


Toggle HZ decoding mode


Launch the editor defined by option -E

C-g, =:

Show file information (filename, position, coding system)


Show LV version


Suspend (call SHELL or “” under MSDOS)

q, Q:



Previous/Next line


Previous/Next half page


Previous/Next page

How to Input Search Strings?

C-m, Enter:

Enter the current string

C-h, BS, DEL:

Delete one character (backspace)


Cancel the current string and try again


Restore a few old strings incrementally (history)



Regular Expression

Special characters are ^, $, ., *, +, ?, [, ^, -,  ], \. \| specifies an alternative. \(, \) is a grouping construct. \1 and \2 matches any charset consists of one- or two- column(s) characters respectively. Mutually overlapping ranges (or charset) are not guaranteed.

See Also

LV Homepage:

Bug Report

Please send bug reports to:

Referenced By


v.4.51 (Jan.16th,2004)