I want to press M-j and have readline place my cursor on the next line without entering a command. Thus I should be able to go back a character onto the prev. line. This answer states that it cannot be done. I think it's wrong.

You can kill the newline character, and yank it. This achieves what I want to do. However I just can't create the binding.

To test this out type: echo <<EOFRETURNENTERC-cC-pM-1C-dC-c

Now you should be on a newline, type C-y. It does what I want! But what character is this? What binding works in an inputrc file?

EDIT: It turns out the character is a line-feed. Still not sure how to bind it.

  • 1
    You can type a newline as C-v C-j, which is mostly useful for breaking lines up while line editing. The linked question is referring to up and down cursor motions in a multi-line line edit. I'm not sure that either of those are what you want to do.
    – rici
    Mar 30, 2015 at 4:11
  • I added some to clarify, I want to be on the next line and able to go back.
    – cdosborn
    Mar 30, 2015 at 4:21
  • 1
    On my system, @rici's shortcuts seem to achieve what you're asking for. What happens on yours?
    – Dennis
    Mar 30, 2015 at 5:28
  • That is the correct behavior, The following binding works "\ej": "\C-v\C-j" based on how my terminal interprets meta. Please post an answer for me to accept @rici
    – cdosborn
    Mar 30, 2015 at 6:24

2 Answers 2


You can type a newline character without having the line accepted by using readline's "quoted-insert", usually bound to C-v, followed by the newline character C-j.

"quoted-insert" is also useful for typing a tab character without invoking tab completion (C-vC-i).

  • Wow this is really useful, anyway to make this automatic when I use `\` to escape the newline when creating a multiline command? Apr 6, 2016 at 11:09
  • @cmcdragonkai: not that I know of but you could bind some key sequence to \\\C-j.
    – rici
    Apr 6, 2016 at 14:46
bind '"\C-j": "\C-v\C-j"'

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