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This article was written by the god Shadowfax, and posted on June 1, 2012.
It was last updated October 10, 2012.

Using the In-game Text Editor

Alter Aeon's in-game text editor is used in many places throughout the game, from posting messages to writing descriptions to scripting aliases. Learning to use the text editor will help you to have a more enjoyable experience while playing on the game.

Where the text editor is used

Here are some places where the text editor is typically used:

  • Character description, personality or history - Players can write their own stories about their characters using the 'set' command followed by the option they wish to change, such as 'set description'. Note that by default, using any text command will override any previous text.

  • Bulletin boards - One can post a message on a bulletin board using the 'write board' command.

  • Mudmail - To send a mudmail, type 'mudmail send [name or message]'.

  • Aliases - These are written and edited using the in-game text editor.

There are also clan longs, channel disclaimers, trade object descriptions, and many more places where the in-game editor is used.


The process begins in edit mode. It will begin by displaying the message:

Enter description. Terminate with '@'.
Below, a command prompt displaying a right bracket (]) will appear, and you can start typing what you want to write. Pressing enter or using a semicolon (;) will advance the editor to the next line. When you are finished, use the "at sign" (@) to leave edit mode. You will then enter into the edit menu.

While in the edit menu, you will be presented with a command prompt that looks like this:

Here is a list of edit menu options:

  • look - Use 'look' to review your text.

  • format [options] - The format option with no arguments will format the text to 78 columns. One can override the default width (78 columms) by typing a number after the command. A trick to making your text easier to edit is to change the column width to something smaller so as to make the lines more manageable, such as 20 or 30. It is also possible to format sections of a description by specifying a start and end line after the format command: 'format <start> <end>' and optionally with a column width if desired.

    A good habit to get into is to always use the format command before exiting the edit menu. In order to prevent all of the text from being crammed into one continuous block, remember to seperate paragraphs with blank lines.

  • show - This option displays your text with line numbers, making it easier to use the next several commands.

  • append <line number> - This lets you re-enter edit mode, beginning on the line after the line number in the command. To start editing at the beginning, use line 0.

  • change <line number> <new text> - This command replaces the text on a particular line with the new text.

  • copy <line number> [end] - With this option, the text from the line is copied to the buffer. Optionally, you may specify an end line number, which will copy all lines from the first line number to end.

  • cut <line number> [end] - This option copies text from the line to the buffer and leaves an empty line in the description.

  • delete <line number> [end] - This erases the line's text and removes the line from that description.
[Note: At the time of this writing, there is a bug with the copy, cut and delete options. It is possible to copy, cut or delete a line that doesn't even exist. Doing so will do nothing.]

  • paste <line number> - Pasting will copy the text from the buffer to the line number, overwriting any text that might have been there.

  • break <line number> - This command divides the line into sentences, placing one sentence on each line after the first line number. The ends of sentences are recognized by terminating punctuation, such as a period (.), question mark (?) or exclamation point (!). If any single sentence is longer than than the column width, it continues to the next line.

  • parse - This allows you parse commands normally, such as moving, fighting or casting spells. The only thing you cannot do is use another text command. A shortcut for this option is the backslash (/).

  • done, exit, stop. @ - Exits the edit menu, finalizing your text.

  • abandon - Exits the edit menu, deleting all text. Board messages are not posted, and mudmails are not sent. If you were editing an existing description, no changes will be made.

After the 'copy,', 'cut', 'delete', and 'paste' commands, a message will inform you how many lines were effected.

If you need to review the edit menu options, use the 'help' command.

Editing and deleting existing descriptions

If you wish to modify the text instead of overwriting it, add the 'edit' switch to the end of the command, such as 'set personality edit'. (The edit switch works with some other commands, too.)

In addition, if you wish to delete a character description, personality or history, one can add the special 'null' at the end of the command, such as 'set history null'. (Like the edit switch, the null switch can be used with other commands, as well.)

Noedit mode

There's also a "noedit" mode which will drop you directly out of edit mode, bypassing the edit menu when you hit '@'. It is toggleable by typing 'noedit'. To edit in that mode, you have to use the '/' commands, which are largely the same.

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