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What I'm looking for is how to configure the terminal so that it behaves like nano -m. I know that xterm inside fvwm2 running on slackware does this but neither gnome or kde does it. I have tested installing fvwm2 in Ubuntu but xterm still does not have that feature.

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Why do you think this is useful? – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Mar 26 '12 at 6:55
It makes editing a little easier especially for long lines not separated by spaces where Ctrl-Arrow-Key doesn't help. Pushing the arrow key and waiting for it to get to the spot I want to edit can sometimes take a while. – Jim Mar 31 '12 at 19:14

You can enable mouse position reporting on an X11 terminal emulator, but you need a co-operating application to read the position and act on it. The terminal doesn't do it on its own. nano obviously does it, and so do other screen-oriented applications (e.g. links).

If you're just using the command-line, this won't be very useful unless you have a mouse-tracking version of libreadline. Even then, I suspect that moving your hand off the keyboard, moving a mouse/using a trackpad, then moving back to the keyboard is slower than Meta-B or Ctrl-A.

Here's a very long list of various terminal directives, including mouse tracking on various terminal emulators.

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