(info-stnd.info.gz) Invoking Info
(info-stnd.info.gz) Stand-alone Info
(info-stnd.info.gz) Cursor Commands
2 Invoking Info
GNU Info accepts several options to control the initial node being
viewed, and to specify which directories to search for Info files. Here
is a template showing an invocation of GNU Info from the shell:
info [OPTION]... [MENU-ITEM...]
The program accepts the following options:
Specify a string to search in every index of every Info file
installed on your system. Info looks up the named STRING in all
the indices it can find, prints the results to standard output,
and then exits. If you are not sure which Info file explains
certain issues, this option is your friend. (If your system has a
lot of Info files installed, searching all of them might take some
You can invoke the apropos command from inside Info; see
Prepend DIRECTORY-PATH to the list of directory paths searched
when Info needs to find a file. You may issue `--directory'
multiple times; once for each directory which contains Info files.
The list of directories searched by Info is constructed from the
value of the environment variable `INFOPATH'; `--directory' causes
the named DIRECTORY-PATH to be prepended to that list. The value
of `INFOPATH' is a list of directories usually separated by a
colon; on MS-DOS/MS-Windows systems, the semicolon is used. If
you do not define `INFOPATH', Info uses a default path defined
when Info was built as the initial list of directories. If the
value of `INFOPATH' ends with a colon (or semicolon on
MS-DOS/MS-Windows), the initial list of directories is constructed
by appending the build-time default to the value of `INFOPATH'.
Specify a file where all user keystrokes will be recorded. This
file can be used later to replay the same sequence of commands,
see the `--restore' option below.
Specify a particular Info file to visit. By default, Info visits
the file `dir'; if you use this option, Info will start with
`(FILENAME)Top' as the first file and node.
If FILENAME is an absolute file name, or begins with `./' or
`../', Info looks for FILENAME only in the directory of the
specified FILENAME, and adds the directory of FILENAME to the
value of `INFOPATH'. In contrast, if FILENAME is in the form of a
relative file name, but without the `./' or `../' prefix, Info
will only look for it in the directories specified in `INFOPATH'.
In other words, Info does _not_ treat file names which lack `./'
and `../' prefix as relative to the current directory.
In every directory Info tries, if FILENAME is not found, Info
looks for it with a number of known extensions of Info files(1).
For every known extension, Info looks for a compressed file, if a
regular file isn't found. Info supports files compressed with
`gzip', `bzip2', `compress' and `yabba' programs; it calls
`gunzip', `bunzip2', `uncompress' and `unyabba', accordingly, to
decompress such files. Compressed Info files are assumed to have
`.z', `.gz', `.bz2', `.Z', or `.Y' extensions, possibly in
addition to one of the known Info files extensions(2).
Produces a relatively brief description of the available Info
After processing all command-line arguments, go to the index in
the Info file and search for index entries which match STRING. If
such an entry is found, the Info session begins with displaying
the node pointed to by the first matching index entry; press `,'
to step through the rest of the matching entries. If no such
entry exists, print `no entries found' and exit with nonzero
status. This can be used from another program as a way to provide
online help, or as a quick way of starting to read an Info file at
a certain node when you don't know the exact name of that node.
This command can also be invoked from inside Info; see
Specify a particular node to visit in the initial file that Info
loads. This is especially useful in conjunction with `--file'(3).
You may specify `--node' multiple times; for an interactive Info,
each NODENAME is visited in its own window, for a non-interactive
Info (such as when `--output' is given) each NODENAME is processed
Specify FILENAME as the name of a file to which to direct output.
Each node that Info visits will be output to FILENAME instead of
interactively viewed. A value of `-' for FILENAME specifies the
Do not remove ANSI escape sequences from documents. Some versions
of Groff, the GNU document formatter, produce man pages with ANSI
escape sequences for bold, italics, and underlined characters, and
for colorized text. By default, Info lets those escape sequences
pass through directly to the terminal. If your terminal does not
support these escapes, use `--no-raw-escapes' to make Info remove
Read keystrokes from DRIBBLE-FILE, presumably recorded during
previous Info session (see the description of the `--dribble'
option above). When the keystrokes in the files are all read, Info
reverts its input to the usual interactive operation.
Show malformed multibyte sequences in the output. By default, such
sequences are dropped.
This option causes Info to look for the node that describes how to
invoke the program and its command-line options, and begin the
session by displaying that node. It is provided to make it easier
to find the most important usage information in a manual without
the need to wade through complex menu hierarchies. The effect is
similar to the `M-x goto-invocation' command (
goto-invocation) from inside Info.
On MS-DOS/MS-Windows only, this option causes Info to use standard
file I/O functions for screen writes. (By default, Info uses
direct writes to the video memory on these systems, for faster
operation and colored display support.) This allows the speech
synthesizers used by blind persons to catch the output and convert
it to audible speech.
This option only has meaning when given in conjunction with
`--output'. It means to recursively output the nodes appearing in
the menus of each node being output. Menu items which resolve to
external Info files are not output, and neither are menu items
which are members of an index. Each node is only output once.
Prints the version information of Info and exits.
This option binds functions to keys differently, to emulate the key
bindings of `vi' and Less. The default key bindings are generally
modeled after Emacs. ( Custom Key Bindings, for a more
general way of altering GNU Info's key bindings.)
Show the filename that would be read and exit, instead of actually
reading it and starting Info.
Info treats its remaining arguments as the names of menu items.
The first argument is a menu item in the initial node visited
(generally `dir'), the second argument is a menu item in the first
argument's node, etc. You can easily move to the node of your
choice by specifying the menu names which describe the path to
that node. For example,
info emacs buffers
first selects the menu item `Emacs' in the node `(dir)Top', and
then selects the menu item `Buffers' in the node `(emacs)Top'.
To avoid searching the `dir' files and just show some arbitrary
file, use `-f' and the filename, as in `info -f ./foo.info'.
The index search and the search for the node which describes program
invocation and command-line options begins _after_ processing all the
command-line menu items. Therefore, the Info file searched for the
index or the invocation node is the file where Info finds itself after
following all the menu items given on the command line. This is so
`info emacs --show-options' does what you'd expect.
Finally, Info defines many default key bindings and variables.
Custom Key Bindings, for information on how to customize these
---------- Footnotes ----------
(1) `.info', `-info', `/index', and `.inf'.
(2) The MS-DOS version allows for the Info extension, such as
`.inf', and the short compressed file extensions, such as `.z' and
`.gz', to be merged into a single extension, since DOS doesn't allow
more than a single dot in the basename of a file. Thus, on MS-DOS, if
Info looks for `bison', file names like `bison.igz' and `bison.inz'
will be found and decompressed by `gunzip'.
(3) Of course, you can specify both the file and node in a `--node'
command; but don't forget to escape the open and close parentheses and
whitespace from the shell as in: `info --node "(emacs)Buffers"'.
(info-stnd.info.gz) Stand-alone Info
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