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w3m running in an xterm displaying the Wikipedia main page.
Developer(s) Akinori Ito and team members
Initial release 1995
Stable release 0.5.3[1] (15 January 2011; 3 years ago (2011-01-15)) [±]
Preview release none (n/a) [±]
Written in C
Operating system OS/2,[2][3] Unix, Windows (with Cygwin)
Available in ?
Type Web browser
License MIT license
Website w3m.sourceforge.net

w3m is a free software/open source text-based web browser. It has support for tables, frames,[3] SSL connections, color and inline images on suitable terminals. Generally, it renders pages in a form as true to their original layout as possible.

The name "w3m" stands for "WWW wo miru (WWWを見る?)", which is Japanese for "to see the WWW" where W3 is a numeronym of WWW.

In Emacs[edit]

w3m is also used by the Emacs text editor via the w3m.el Emacs Lisp module. This module gives fast browsing of web pages inside of Emacs. However, rendering of web pages isn't done in Emacs Lisp; only final display is handled in Emacs Lisp with the rendering done by the w3m application. There is a native web-browser in Emacs, called Emacs/W3, which does both rendering and display computation entirely in Emacs Lisp, but w3m.el is much faster.[4]


Two forks of w3m add support for multiple character-encodings and for other features not in the original:

  1. Hironori Sakamoto's w3m-m17n ("m17n" stands for multilingualization)
  2. Kiyokazu Suto's w3mmee ("mee" stands for "Multi-Encoding Extension")


  1. ^ "w3m: Files". SourceForge. 15 January 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  2. ^ TOKORO, Kyosuke. "w3m 0.2.1–3 for OS/2 WARP". Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Watson, Dave (September 2001). "Text-Mode Web Browsers for OS/2". The Southern California OS/2 User Group. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "EmacsWiki: emacs – w3m". Retrieved 15 October 2011. 

External links[edit]