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GNU Info 4.6

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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. Note that if your system has a lot of Info files installed, searching all of them might take some time.

You can invoke the apropos command from inside Info; see 6. Searching an Info File.

--directory directory-path
-d directory-path
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.

--file filename
-f filename
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 options.

--index-search string
After processing all command-line arguments, go to the index in the Info file and search for index entries which matche 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 6. Searching an Info File.

--node nodename
-n nodename
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 sequentially.

--output filename
-o filename
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 standard output.

Do not remove ANSI escape sequences from man pages. 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 removes those escape sequences before it displays the man page. If your terminal supports these escapes, use --raw-escapes to let the terminal handle them and display the man pages with those attributes.

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.

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 (see 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. (See section 12. Customizing Key Bindings and Variables, for a more general way of altering GNU Info's key bindings.)

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.

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