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Under different Unix/Linux systems I've observed different double click behavior in X terminal applications (e.g. xterm).

Sometimes a double click selects everything left and right until the next non-alphabetic character (e.g. it selects the word under the cursor).

Sometimes everything until the next blank/eol is selected (e.g. full paths under the cursor are selected).

How can I configure the double click behavior - say - in xterm (because it is available on most systems)?

Currently, I find the 2nd mode more convenient for most use cases.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You do it with X resources. I have a file, .Xresources, that contains these xterm-related resources:

XTerm*VT100.cutNewLine: false
XTerm*VT100.cutToBeginningOfLine: false
XTerm*VT100.charClass: 33:48,35:48,37:48,42:48,45-47:48,64:48,95:48,126:48

In my .xinitrc file, I have some line that merge in those resources:

if [ -f $userresources ]; then
    /usr/X11/bin/xrdb -merge $userresources
fi

Those lines make xterm double-clicks and triple-clicks do what I like:

Double-click considers a "word" to include slash (/), dot (.), asterisk (*) and some other non-alphanumeric characters. That's the "charClass" resource. I had to do some tedious fiddling with that charClass to get it to do what I want. That mostly lets you double-click on URLs and fully- or partially-qualified paths to highlight them.

The other two lines make triple-click start from the word under the mouse, and go to the end of the line, but not include any new-line. That way, you can triple click on a command you just executed, paste it in another window, and because it has no new-line, you can edit it before running it in the other window.

The Arch Wiki has an article on X resources, including a section on xterm resources, but those xterm resources aren't complete.

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