ED [#ch,] [start_line]


Toolkit II

This command invokes Toolkit II’s full-screen editor. This provides powerful facilities for editing a SuperBASIC program loaded in memory and forms a useful alternative to the QL’s standard EDIT and AUTO commands.

ED will list the current SuperBASIC program from its first line (or from the specified start_line) onwards in the given channel (default #2). If the specified channel (#ch) is not a console con_ channel, then an error -15 (Bad Parameter) will be reported. If any lines are too long to fit in the specified window, they are wrapped round onto the next line, with this ‘continuation line’ indented in order to differentiate from other program lines. It does however make sense to use the widest possible window to avoid wrapping of lines.

Once a window-full of the listing is shown, ED will activate the cursor in the window and you can then move up or down through the listing by using the up and down cursor keys. The left and right cursor keys will move across the listing lines (and even ‘blank’ space where the actual program lines do not appear).

Any attempt to alter a line (eg. to delete a character) will activate that line, in which case it will be shown in inverse colours. Any attempt to move the cursor off that line (or pressing <ENTER>) will tell ED to accept the alterations and de-activate that line.

If the line is not acceptable to the SuperBASIC parser, then a ‘Bad Line’ error will be generated in #0 and the line re-activated.

If you press the Break key or <ESC> whilst a line is active, it will be de-activated and returned to its original state. If no line is active, <ENTER> will insert a new line number half-way (if possible) between the number of the line on which the cursor is situated and the next line number. If there is no room for an additional line between the two program lines, <ENTER> will be ignored.

If on the other hand, there is a gap of 20 or more (or there are no further program lines), the new line number will be the current line number plus 10.

Another way of creating new lines is to amend the line number of the current line. If you do this, a new line with the amended line number will be inserted (overwriting any existing line) and the current line will remain the same (the cursor remains on the same line). This enables you to copy lines from one part of a program to another.

By way of further assistance to the SuperBASIC programmer, ED can work in two modes - Overwrite Mode and Insert Mode. The latter is the default, in which case any characters typed will activate the current line and insert them at the current cursor position.

In Overwrite Mode, any characters typed will activate the current line and replace the characters under the cursor.

A line can be deleted either by using <CTRL><ALT><←> (except on SMS where you must use <CTRL><←>) or by deleting all of the visible characters in a line. If you delete everything but the line number, then the line pointed to by that line number will be deleted.

There are several other keys available which make editing a SuperBASIC program much easier than under EDIT. The keys available from within the standard ED are listed on the next page.


Avoid ED #0 if possible.


ED is likely to cause various problems if used from within a SuperBASIC program.


Any attempt to create SuperBASIC lines which are longer than 32766 characters may crash SuperBASIC.


If a program contains a line 32767, this may upset ED when you are editing the end of the program.


ED is not very helpful when there is no program actually in memory, as it starts off with a blank screen and you have to type the whole line, including line number (even if you passed a line number with the command).


As from SMS v2.58 you can use ED ERLIN to edit the line which has caused an error. We are not certain if this works on other implementations.


Any attempt to ED a line number greater than 32757 can cause problems (on some versions ED creates negative line numbers, on others you cannot see the line being edited). SMSQ/E v2.85 (at least) does not have these problems, but see Note 4 above.

ED Special Key Presses

The keys available in ED are:

Key Press



Create new line, unless line is active, in which case this tells ED to accept alterations to the line and de-activate it.


Leave ED - control returns to #0 unless line is active, in which case this de-activates line without altering it.


See <ESC>.


Move to the right by multiples of eight.


Move to the left by multiples of eight.

Move up one line.

<ALT> ↑

Scroll up a line (cursor remains still, text moves down).


Scroll up one page (cursor remains still).

Move down one line.

<ALT> ↓

Scroll down a line (cursor remains still, text moves up).


Scroll down one page (cursor remains still).

Move right one character.

<CTRL> →

Delete character under cursor (line becomes active).

Move left one character.

<CTRL> ←

Delete character to left of cursor (line becomes active).


Delete line under cursor (not under SMS).


Switch between overwrite and insert mode.

SMS adds the following additional keys:

Key Press



Move left one word.

<ALT> ←

Move to start of line.


Delete word to left of cursor (line becomes active).


Delete from cursor to start of line (line becomes active).


Move right one word.

<ALT> →

Move to end of line.


Delete word under cursor (line becomes active).


Delete from cursor to end of line (line becomes active).

<CTRL> ←

Delete whole line under cursor.


Stuff the currently activated line into the Hotkey buffer so that this can be later recalled with <ALT><SPACE>. Note this will only work if the Hotkey system is active (see HOT_GO). For this you need v2.58+.


Oddly, the SuperBasic interpreter allows you to enter a line which is beyond the permitted range of line numbers, for example, enter as a direct command:

40000 PRINT 'This should not be accepted'

No error is reported, and the line is executed as if it had been entered without a line number!

SMS also suffers with problems if you edit a long line at the bottom of a window, so that as you type in more text for the line, the program line extends below the bottom of the window. ‘Invalid Syntax’ is printed over and over in #0, crashing the computer. This was improved in v2.71 but still has not been totally fixed.

The keying <CTRL> → clashes with the key used by early versions of the program MasterBasic (by Ergon Software) which is used to move between occurrences of an object which has been searched for in the program. This has been resolved in v1.46+ of the program.

If you try to use ED on #2 and this is not open, then SMS will use #0 (if this is not open, it will open a default window #0). This is useful for SBASICs which may be started with only one channel open (an input channel).

Another useful feature implemented on SMS is that as from v2.69, if you enter the command ED without any parameters, this has one of two effects. If you have not previously used ED, this edits the start of the program (as on all other versions). However, if you have previously used ED, the line which is shown at the top of #2 is the line which was at the top of the window when you left ED previously - this can therefore be useful when testing a section of the program.


Please also refer to AUTO and EDIT which are replaced by this command.