I have written a program that outputs a lot of text to the terminal.

I am looking for certain words in the text to see if I have done it right, but simply reading the text is impossible.

Are there any capabilities or commands that can actually enable me to lookup a word in the terminal (like Ctrl + F)?

  • what is the right command to add a word or phrases in text file using terminal?
    – user10996
    Feb 17, 2011 at 10:17

5 Answers 5


It's Shift + Ctrl + F.

You might want to change the Scrollback value to Unlimited to not lose any lines:

  • Edit > Profile Preferences > Scrolling

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  • 10
    Rule of thumb: Shift + Shortcut will work for the most part
    – jrg
    Feb 3, 2011 at 11:43
  • Can this be achieved in Lubuntu? It seems it cannot Nov 24, 2013 at 19:36

Another option:

yourCommand | less

Now, you can press the arrow keys to go up,down, left and right (usually you only use the first two).

You can also type /word so search for a word (or a regex) after the cursor. Conversely, ?word will search the word/regex before (above) the cursor. (Cursor is the position where you are in the text.)

You can also use Home and End keys to go to the start and end of the output. Pressing Q will make you Quit (returning to the console).

More info:

man less

You could pipe the output to a file with > myfile.txt And then search the file with grep.

grep "word" myfile.txt

I usually prefer this approach as you don't need to worry about the terminal buffer size, and you can easily keep output from multiple runs of program.

mycommand | grep "phrase I want to find"

This eliminates @Alb's^ intermediary step of redirecting to a file.


If you use GNU Screen - copy mode and jk works fine.

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