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Jerrad Pierce


IO::Pager - Select a pager and pipe text to it if destination is a TTY


  # Select an appropriate pager and set the PAGER environment variable
  use IO::Pager;

  # Optionally, pipe output to it
    # TIMTOWTDI, not an exhaustive list but you can infer the others
    my $token =     IO::Pager::open *STDOUT; # Unbuffered is  default subclass
    my $token = new IO::Pager       *STDOUT,  'Unbuffered'; # Specify subclass
    my $token =     IO::Pager::Unbuffered::open *STDOUT;    # Must 'use' class!
    my $token = new IO::Pager::Unbuffered       *STDOUT;    # Must 'use' class!

    print <<"  HEREDOC" ;
    A bunch of text later

    # $token passes out of scope and filehandle is automagically closed

    # You can also use scalar filehandles...
    my $token = IO::Pager::open($FH) or warn($!);
    print $FH "No globs or barewords for us thanks!\n";

    # ...or an object interface
    my $token = new IO::Pager::Buffered;

    $token->print("OO shiny...\n");


IO::Pager can be used to locate an available pager and set the PAGER environment variable (see "NOTES"). It is also a factory for creating I/O objects such as IO::Pager::Buffered and IO::Pager::Unbuffered.

IO::Pager subclasses are designed to programmatically decide whether or not to pipe a filehandle's output to a program specified in PAGER. Subclasses may implement only the IO handle methods desired and inherit the remainder of those outlined below from IO::Pager. For anything else, YMMV. See the appropriate subclass for implementation specific details.



Almost identical to open, except that you will get an IO::Handle back if there's no TTY to allow for IO::Pager agnostic programming.


Instantiate a new IO::Pager, which will paginate output sent to FILEHANDLE if interacting with a TTY.

Save the return value to check for errors, use as an object, or for implict close of OO handles when the variable passes out of scope.


You may provide a glob or scalar.

Defaults to currently select()-ed FILEHANDLE.


Specifies which variety of IO::Pager to create. This accepts fully qualified packages IO::Pager::Buffered, or simply the third portion of the package name Buffered for brevity.

Defaults to IO::Pager::Unbuffered.

Returns false and sets $! on failure, same as perl's open.


Call this method on the token returned by open to get the process identifier for the child process i.e; pager; if you need to perform some long term process management e.g; perl's waitpid

You can also access the PID by numifying the instantiation token like so:

  my $child = $token+0;


Explicitly close the filehandle, this stops any redirection of output on FILEHANDLE that may have been warranted.

This does not default to the current filehandle.

Alternatively, you may rely upon the implicit close of lexical handles as they pass out of scope e.g;

     IO::Pager::open local *RIBBIT;
     print RIBBIT "No toad sexing allowed";
  #The filehandle is closed to additional output

     my $token = new IO::Pager::Buffered;
     $token->print("I like trains");
  #The string "I like trains" is flushed to the pager, and the handle closed

binmode( FILEHANDLE )

Used to set the I/O layer a.k.a. discipline of a filehandle, such as ':utf8' for UTF-8 encoding.

print() to the filehandle.


printf() to the filehandle.


syswrite() to the filehandle.



The location of the default pager.


If the location in PAGER is not absolute, PATH may be searched.

See "NOTES" for more information.


IO::Pager may fall back to these binaries in order if PAGER is not executable.


See "NOTES" for more information.


The algorithm for determining which pager to use is as follows:

1. Defer to PAGER

If the PAGER environment variable is set, use the pager it identifies, unless this pager is not available.

2. Usual suspects

Try the standard, hardcoded paths in "FILES".

3. File::Which

If File::Which is available, use the first pager possible amongst less, most, w3m, lv, pg and more.

4. more

Set PAGER to more, and cross our fingers.

Steps 1, 3 and 4 rely upon the PATH environment variable.


IO::Pager::Buffered, IO::Pager::Unbuffered, IO::Pager::Page,

IO::Page, Meta::Tool::Less


Jerrad Pierce <jpierce@cpan.org>

Florent Angly <florent.angly@gmail.com>

This module was inspired by Monte Mitzelfelt's IO::Page 0.02


Copyright (C) 2003-2012 Jerrad Pierce

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Or, if you prefer:

This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself, either Perl version 5.0 or, at your option, any later version of Perl 5 you may have available.