Twin Cities Free-Net Help Center

Editing and Changing Text

From time to time you will want to change something that you entered into a Caucus conference. You may want to fix a typing error, update your telephone number, add some new information to a response, and so forth. Anything that you put into a conference, you can change. The following sections describe how to use various Caucus commands and prompts to make these changes.


Typing errors are common. If you make a mistake while entering a line of text and have not pressed <RETURN> yet, you can fix the mistake with the <BACKSPACE> key. Press <BACKSPACE>or <DELETE> to back up one character at a time until you get to the mistake, then retype the rest of the line correctly and press <RETURN>. (If your keyboard does not have a backspace key or it does not work, on most computers <BACKSPACE> is Control-H. Hold down the control key and press H.)

When you type an item, response, or message, you may not notice a typing mistake until several lines later. If you are still entering text (that is, if Caucus is prompting you with ">"), you can immediately use a text editor or word processor to fix your mistake. Type EDIT immediately after the ">" prompt, and press <RETURN>. Do not type any other words on that line.

The word EDIT does not become part of your text. Instead, it tells Caucus to edit the text you have entered, using the default text editor. If you have not selected a default text editor (see Chapter 9 for a discussion of the command), Caucus uses its own built-in text editor. (See Chapter 10 to learn about the Caucus text editor.) When you are finished editing, Caucus shows you the ">" prompt again and lets you continue entering text.

If you want to use a particular text editor, you can tell Caucus to use it instead of the default editor. Suppose you want to use an editor called "VI". At the ">" prompt, type EDIT VI and press <RETURN>. Caucus edits your text with the "VI" editor.

Occasionally Caucus specifically asks you if you want to edit your text. For example, when you SEND a message to someone Caucus asks:


after you have finished entering the text of the message. If you answer YES or EDIT, Caucus uses the default editor to allow you to edit the text of your message.


You may wish to modify an item or response you already entered into a conference. That is what the CHANGE verb is for. At "AND NOW?", the commands:

CHANGE instance

CHANGE instance

CHANGE instance

tell Caucus that you want to change an item, response, or title of an item, respectively. In all cases, the instance selects a set of items, or an "item:response". The instance can be any of the forms shown in the examples in Other Ways to SHOW ITEMS.


Changing an item means changing the introductory text you created with ADD ITEM. You can only change the introduction for items that you created. (The organizer can change the text of any item in the conference.)

When you change an item, Caucus first displays the title of the item and then offers you several choices about what to do with the item. For example:

AND NOW? change item 3

Item 3 14-APR-89 16:46 Charles Roth Current Trends in Microcomputer Marketing

EDIT, DELETE, REPLACE, or ? for options: (edit)

Notice what each piece of this prompt tells you:

EDIT Type EDIT; (or just E) to edit the text of this item with the default text editor.

DELETE Type DELETE (or just D) to completely erase the entire item including all of its responses.

REPLACE Type REPLACE (or just R) to erase your introduction to this item, and replace it with new text. The responses remain unchanged.

? for options Type ? or HELP to learn about your other options.

(edit) Press <RETURN> to select the default choice, which is EDIT.

Caucus protects you from accidentally damaging or destroying an item by always asking for confirmation before changing or deleting an item. Whenever you choose to delete an item, Caucus prompts you with:

Are you absolutely sure you want to delete this item and all of its responses?

Delete this item? (no)

As a further precaution, the default response (if you press <RETURN>) is "no", that is, do not delete the item. You must type "yes" to delete the item.

If you choose to EDIT or REPLACE an item, Caucus proceeds to edit the text or prompt for the replacement text. When you are finished, Caucus asks:

OK to make these changes to the original item? (yes)

Typing NO (or pressing the <CANCEL> key) leaves the original item unchanged.

There is one exception to this protection. You may use CHANGE ITEM to immediately replace an item with the contents of a file. For example:


replaces the text of item 5 with the contents of file, without any prompting of or interaction with the user.


Changing a response means changing the text of a response you added to an item. You can change your own responses. (Only the organizer can change anyone's responses.)

If you know exactly where your response is, you can tell Caucus explicitly to change that response. For example:


tells Caucus that you want to change the 2nd response to item 11.

If you do not know exactly where your response is, but you know the item number, you can tell Caucus to scan the responses to that item. For example:


tells Caucus that you want to change one or more of your responses to item 11. Caucus displays your last response to item 11, then the next-to-last, and so on.

In either case, Caucus then prompts you to:

EDIT, DELETE, REPLACE, <RETURN> for previous, or ? for options:

As in the previous section, you can EDIT your response with the default text editor; DELETE the response altogether; or REPLACE the entire response with new text.

If the response shown is not the one you want to change, you have two options.

Remember, when in doubt, type ? or HELP to see the list of all of your options.

When you EDIT, DELETE, or REPLACE a response, Caucus does not ask you for confirmation, because the entire response is displayed before you change it.


Changing a title means changing the title of an item that you created with ADD ITEM. You can change only the titles of items that you created. (The organizer can change the title of any item.)

If you type CHANGE TITLE without an item number, Caucus prompts you for an item number. Once Caucus knows what item you want to change, it displays the old title of the item and prompts you to enter a new one. The title of an item must fit on one line. You cannot edit a title; you can only replace it.

Changing Personal Information

You can CHANGE more than the text of your items and responses. You can also change any of the personal information you supplied when you first registered with Caucus. People see your name, telephone number and brief introduction when they use the SHOW PERSON command (see Chapter 8). This section describes the commands:




Type CHANGE NAME to change your full name as registered with Caucus. Caucus displays your old name and prompts you to enter your new name. Your old items and responses continue to bear your old name, although they still belong to you.

Type CHANGE to change your telephone number. Caucus displays your old telephone number and prompts you to enter your new number.

Type CHANGE to change the brief self-description you entered when you first registered with Caucus. Caucus displays your old introduction and prompts you to enter a new one. Type as many lines as you like, but remember to press <RETURN> at the end of each line. Type a dot (period) at the start of a new line when you are finished.

Type CHANGE INTRO <FILE to replace your introduction text with the contents of FILE, without any prompting or interaction.

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©1997, Twin Cities Free-Net
Last modified: March 1997