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MC Macro Variables

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Built-in mc macrovariables  can be used not only in user menu, but also in the command line as well as in extensions menu and built-in editor user menu.

All macrovariables start with the symbol % (that means that %%  should be used to represent the % character  in strings where macros were used) and can be classified into three broad categories:

File related macrovariables

The most important are %f, %d and %t (for the active panel) and their counterparts for the passive panel

  1. %p -- name of the current file. (without path, but remember that $PWD is the path to the current  directory)
  2. %f -- name of the current file for non-local VFS. %F the same on the passive panel. Unlike %p, if file is located on a non-local virtual filesystem, i.e. either tarfs, mcfs or ftpfs, then the file will be temporarily copied into a local directory and %f will be the full path to this local temporal file. If you don't want to get a local copy and want to get the full path to the file located at the virtual FS then use %d/%p instead
  3. %s and %S -- The tagged files if there are any. Otherwise the current file.
  4. %x -- The extension of current file name.
  5. %b -- The current file name without extension.
  6. %d -- The current directory name. %D -- same on passive panel
  7. %t -- The currently selected files. %T --The selected files in the passive panel.
  8. %u and %U  Similar to the %t and %T macros, but after execution of this macros the selection is removed. That means you can use this macros only once in a menu item as the next time there is no any selected files in the panel.
  9. %s and %S If selected files exist them the list of selected files, otherwise the current file. 

Directory-related macrovariables

%d   the directory name on the active panel
The directory name of the passive panel

Here is an example of usage of %D macro variable is MC use menu:

T     Copy current directory to other panel recursively
      tar cf - . | (cd %D && tar xvpf -)


Other macrovariables

This is a special macro that is used to change the current directory to the directory specified in front of it. This is used primarily as an interface to the Virtual File System.


This macro is used to invoke the internal viewer. This macro can be used alone, or with arguments. If you pass any arguments to this macro, they should be enclosed in brackets.
The arguments are: ascii to force the viewer into ASCII mode; hex to force the viewer into hex mode; nroff to tell the viewer that it should interpret the bold and underline sequences of nroff; unformatted to tell the viewer to not interpret nroff commands for making the text bold or underlined.
%{some text}
Prompt for the substitution. An input box is shown and the text inside the braces is used as a prompt. The macro is substituted by the text typed by the user. The user can press ESC or F10 to cancel. This macro doesn't work on the command line
If environment variable ENV is unset, the default is substituted. Otherwise, the value of ENV is substituted.
The indent of blank space, equal the cursor column position. For edit menu only.
The syntax type of current file. For edit menu only.
The block file name.
The error file name.
The current menu name.

But Midnight Commander extends this functionality in  two nontrivial ways: only menu items that are applicable to the context existing on the current panel or passive panel can be selected. See MC Context Sensitive User Menu.

This idea permits to "compress" number of visible to user  menu to items to the subset that is relevant to the existing situation and omit all other items. Thus you can have a lot of items of menu and still in most cases you (and other users) see compact uncluttered menus, because non-relevant items will be omitted. 


When  accessing  a  user  menu,  or executing an extension dependent command, or running a command from  the  command  line input, a simple macro substitution takes place. Macro substitution is also available in built-in editor.


              The current file name.


              The current directory name.


              The current file in the unselected panel.


              The directory name of the unselected panel.


              The currently tagged files.


              The tagged files in the unselected panel.

       %u and %U

              Similar  to  the  %t and %T macros, but in addition
              the files are untagged. You can use this macro only
              once  per  menu file entry or extension file entry,
              because next time there will be no tagged files.

       %s and %S

              The selected files: The tagged files if  there  are
              any. Otherwise the current file.


              Dropped  files.  In  all  places except in the Drop
              action of the mc.ext file, this will become a  null
              string, in the Drop action it will be replaced with
              a space separated list of files that  were  dropped
              on the file.


              This  is a special macro that is used to change the
              current directory to  the  directory  specified  in
              front  of  it.  This is used primarily as an inter-
              face to the Virtual File System.


              This macro is used to invoke the  internal  viewer.
              This  macro  can  be used alone, or with arguments.
              If you pass  any  arguments  to  this  macro,  they
              should be enclosed in brackets.

              The  arguments  are: ascii to force the viewer into
              ascii mode; hex to force the viewer into hex  mode;
              nroff  to  tell the viewer that it should interpret
              the bold and underline sequences of  nroff;  unfor-
              mated  to  tell  the  viewer to not interpret nroff
              commands for making the text bold or underlined.


              The % character

       %{some text}

              Prompt for the substitution. An input box is  shown
              and the text inside the braces is used as a prompt.
              The macro is substituted by the text typed  by  the
              user. The user can press ESC or F10 to cancel. This
              macro doesn't work on the command line yet.



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