Chapter 3. Introduction to the World of ELinks

Table of Contents

Overview of the User Interface
The Title, Tab and Status bar
The Main, Link and Tab Menus
The Managers
LED status indicators
Page-Oriented Navigation
Link-Oriented Navigation
Position-Oriented Navigation
Hints and Odd Features

The goal of this introduction is to explain the basic concepts in ELinks, give an overview of how to get started and serve as an entry point to many of the (undocumented) features of ELinks. It won't tell you all the details, but should hopefully give you an idea of how things work and make it possible for you to even figure out how to go further.

Although ELinks is text-based, the user interface has many of interaction methods normally found in graphical environments. There are menus, dialogs with buttons and hierarchic list boxes with folders. Care has been taken to make the interaction between various dialogs consistent, so the controls will quickly become familiar to new users.

The user interface can be controlled using both mouse and keyboard, but currently it is only possible to configure keybindings. Looking back, the key-controls have been more advanced than the mouse support, but during the 0.10 prereleases the mouse support has been much improved. You will now find find stuff like contextual menus when right-clicking in different document zones.

Overview of the User Interface

The main user interface of ELinks consists of the document view and dialog bars displaying the information such as the title of the currently viewed document, all opened tabs and the browsing status. The 3 bars are elaborated further below.

The most important dialogs that you will meet include the Main, Link and Tab menus and the different managers. The menus serve as entry points to the actions available from different contexts, while the managers let you check the state and control the various subsystems, such as loaded cookies and the global history. The utility menus and the manager tools are investigated further below.

The document viewer in ELinks provides a feature-rich set of ways to browse documents. That is, multiple options exist for navigating, searching and displaying documents and you will hopefully figure in time what works best for you. The basic browsing possibilities are presented below.

ELinks is highly configurable, so if there is something that you would like to change, it is most likely possible. The best overview of the many options are given in the elinks.conf(5) man page. Keybindings are discussed in the elinkskeys(5) man page. It is not always up-to-date, so you should also check the keybinding manager and the overview of all the configured keybindings given in the Help -> Keys dialog. The Keys dialogs serves as a good introduction to the most common keybindings.