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GNU Info 4.6

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6. Searching an Info File

GNU Info allows you to search for a sequence of characters throughout an entire Info file, search through the indices of an Info file, or find areas within an Info file which discuss a particular topic.

s (search)
/
Read a string in the echo area and search for it. If the string includes upper-case characters, the Info file is searched case-sensitively; otherwise Info ignores the letter case. With a numeric argument of N, search for Nth occurrence of the string. Negative arguments search backwards.

? (search-backward, vi-like operation)
Read a string in the echo area and search backward through the Info file for that string. If the string includes upper-case characters, the Info file is searched case-sensitively; otherwise Info ignores the letter case. With a numeric argument of N, search for Nth occurrence of the string. Negative arguments search forward.

S (search-case-sensitively
Read a string in the echo area and search for it case-sensitively, even if the string includes only lower-case letters. With a numeric argument of N, search for Nth occurrence of the string. Negative arguments search backwards.

C-x n (search-next)
n, vi-like operation
Search for the same string used in the last search command, in the same direction, and with the same case-sensitivity option. With a numeric argument of N, search for Nth next occurrence.

C-x N (search-previous)
N, vi-like operation
Search for the same string used in the last search command, and with the same case-sensitivity option, but in the reverse direction. With a numeric argument of N, search for Nth previous occurrence.

C-s (isearch-forward)
Interactively search forward through the Info file for a string as you type it. If the string includes upper-case characters, the search is case-sensitive; otherwise Info ignores the letter case.

C-r (isearch-backward)
Interactively search backward through the Info file for a string as you type it. If the string includes upper-case characters, the search is case-sensitive; otherwise Info ignores the letter case.

i (index-search)
Look up a string in the indices for this Info file, and select a node where the found index entry points to.

, (next-index-match)
Move to the node containing the next matching index item from the last `i' command.

M-x index-apropos
Grovel the indices of all the known Info files on your system for a string, and build a menu of the possible matches.

The most basic searching command is `s' or `/' (search). The `s' command prompts you for a string in the echo area, and then searches the remainder of the Info file for an occurrence of that string. If the string is found, the node containing it is selected, and the cursor is left positioned at the start of the found string. Subsequent `s' commands show you the default search string within `[' and `]'; pressing RET instead of typing a new string will use the default search string. Under `--vi-keys' (see --vi-keys), using the `n' or `N' commands is a faster way of searching for the same string.

Incremental searching is similar to basic searching, but the string is looked up while you are typing it, instead of waiting until the entire search string has been specified.

Both incremental and non-incremental search by default ignore the case of letters when comparing the Info file text with the search string. However, an uppercase letter in the search string makes the search case-sensitive. You can force a case-sensitive non-incremental search, even for a string that includes only lower-case letters, by using the `S' command (search-case-sensitively). The `n' and `N' commands operate case-sensitively if the last search command was `S'.

The most efficient means of finding something quickly in a manual is the `i' command (index-search). This command prompts for a string, and then looks for that string in all the indices of the current Info manual. If it finds a matching index entry, it displays the node to which that entry refers and prints the full text of the entry in the echo area. You can press `,' (next-index-match) to find more matches. A good Info manual has all of its important concepts indexed, so the `i' command lets you use a manual as a reference.

If you don't know what manual documents something, try the M-x index-apropos. It prompts for a string and then looks up that string in all the indices of all the Info documents installed on your system. It can also be invoked from the command line; see --apropos.


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