- Find Out About Commands with man
- Search for a Command Based on What It Does
- Quickly Find Out What a Command Does Based on Its Name
- Rebuild man's Database of Commands
- Read a Command's Specific Man Page
- Print Man Pages
- Learn About Commands with info
- Navigate Within info
- Locate the Paths for a Command's Executable, Source Files, and Man Pages
- Read Descriptions of Commands
- Find a Command Based on What It Does
- Find Out Which Version of a Command Will Run
Navigate Within info
Within a particular section's screen, to move down, or forward, one line at a time, use the down arrow; to move up, or back, one line at a time, use the up arrow. When you reach the bottom, or end, of a particular section, your cursor stops and you are not able to proceed.
If you instead want to jump down a screen at a time, use your keyboard's PageDown button; to jump up a screen at a time, use the PageUp key instead. You are not able to leave the particular section you're in, however.
If you reach the end of the section and you want to jump back to the top, just press b, which stands for beginning. Likewise, e takes you to the "end."
If, at any time, as you're jumping around from place to place, you notice that things look a little strange, such as the letters or words being distorted, press Ctrl+l to redraw the screen, and all should be well.
Now that you know how to navigate within a particular section or node, let's move on to navigating between nodes. If you don't want to use PageDown and PageUp to move forward and backward within a section, you can instead use the spacebar to move down and the Backspace or Delete keys to move up. These keys offer one big advantage over PageDown and PageUp, besides being easier to reach: When you hit the end of a node, you automatically proceed onward to the next node, through subnodes if they exist. Likewise, going up moves you back to the previous node, through any subnodes. Using the spacebar, or the Backspace or Delete buttons, you can quickly run through an entire set of Info pages about a particular command.
If you want to engage in fewer key presses, you can use n (for next) to move on to the next node at the same level. If you are reading a node that had subnodes and you press n, you skip those subnodes and move to the next node that's a peer of the one you're currently reading. If you reading a subnode and press n, however, you jump to the next subnode. If n moves you to the next node at the current level, then p moves you to the previous one (p for previous, get it?), again at the same level.
If you instead want to move forward to a node or subnode, use the ], or right square brace, key. If you're reading a node and you press ], you'll jump to that node's first subnode, if one exists. Otherwise, you'll move to that node's next peer node. To move backward in the same fashion, use the [, or left square brace, key.
If you want to move up a node, to the parent of the node you're currently reading, use the u (for up) key. Be careful, though—it's easy to jump up past the home page of the command you're reading about in Info to what is termed the Directory node, the root node that leads to all other Info nodes (another way to reach the Directory node is to type d , for directory, at any time).
The Directory node is a particularly large example of a type of page you find all throughout Info: a Menu page, which lists all subnodes or nodes. If you ever find yourself on a Menu page, you can quickly navigate to one of the subnodes listed in that menu in one of two ways. First, type an m (for menu) and then start typing the name of the subnode to which you want to jump. For instance, here's the first page you see when you enter info info on the command line:
File: info.info, Node: Top, Next: Getting Started, Up: (dir) Info: An Introduction ********************* The GNU Project distributes most of its on-line manuals in the "Info format", which you read using an "Info reader" . You are probably using an Info reader to read this now. [content condensed due to length] * Menu: * Getting Started:: Getting started using an Info reader. * Expert Info:: Info commands for experts. * Creating an Info File:: How to make your own Info file. * Index:: An index of topics, commands, and variables.
To jump to Expert Info, you could type m , followed by Exp . At this point, you could finish typing ert Info , or you could just press the Tab key and Info fills in the rest of the menu name that matches the characters you've already entered. If Info complains, you have entered a typo, or more than one menu choice matches the characters you've typed. Fix your typo, or enter more characters until it is obvious to Info which menu choice is the one in which you're interested. If you realize that you don't want to go to a Menu choice at this time, press Ctrl+g to cancel your command, and go back to reading the node on which you find yourself.
Alternatively, you could just use your up or down arrow key to position the cursor over the menu choice you want, and then press Enter. Either method works.
If you don't want to navigate Info pages and instead want to search, you can do that as well, in two ways: By searching just the titles of all nodes for the Info pages about a particular command, or by searching in the actual text of all nodes associated with a particular command. To search the titles, enter i (for index because this search uses the node index created by Info), followed by your search term, and press Enter. If your term exists somewhere in a node's title, you'll jump to it. If you want to repeat your search and go to the next result, press the comma key.
If you want to search text instead of titles, enter s (for search), followed by your search term or phrase, and then press Enter. To repeat that search, enter s , followed immediately by Enter. That's not as easy as just pressing the comma key like you do when you're searching titles, but it does work.
If at any time you get lost inside Info and need help, just press the ? key and the bottom half of your window displays all of the various options for Info. Move up and down in that section using the keys you've already learned. When you want to get out of help, press l.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, to get out of Info altogether, just press q, for quit, which dumps you back in your shell. Whew!