When I use less and press v it switches into the currently set editor (Emacs or vim).

v    Edit the current file with $VISUAL or $EDITOR.

Is it possible to prevent this behavior where I don't want current file to be open in the editor?

2 Answers 2


You can disable v by binding it to noaction: add

# command
v noaction

to ~/.lesskey (or, if $XDG_CONFIG_HOME is set and you’re using less 582 or later, $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/lesskey), and, if you’re using less 581 or older, run lesskey.

You can also bind v to a different command. For example, to make it move down a line instead of opening an editor, use

# command
v forw-line

instead. (The default binding is visual.)

Another way to disable v in less is to set VISUAL to true:

VISUAL=true less foo

Pressing v will then run true foo, which will immediately return to less.


You may disable the v command by setting the environment variables LESSSECURE to 1.

You can set this for new shell sessions with export LESSSECURE=1 in your shell's initialisation files.

Note, though, that this also disables the !, |, :e, and the s command, as well as a few other potentially insecure features. See the "SECURITY" section in the less(1) manual.

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