Man pages are useful, but limited. A replacement system was developed by the Free Software Foundation and it is called texinfo. Texinfo can produce quality documentation in a variety of formats, including Postscript, text, HTML and info.

info pages are designed to be browsed with the GNU info program, and offer a number of advantages over man pages, including:

While this may seem passe in the days of HTML, when info first became available, it was a significant improvement over man.

info readers

There are a number of programs that can read info files:

info is the standard, text-mode info reader. The commands are fairly basic:

Info screenshot

TkInfo is a graphical info reader - note the more user-friendly interface with menus, command buttons, coloured links, etc.

TkInfo screenshot

GNU Emacs (and XEmacs) have an info mode: press Control-H I to access it:

EMACS info mode screenshot

For more information

Some related commands are texinfo and info2html.

Both KDE and GNOME come with fancy graphical help browsers that can read info pages, and the JED text editor can also read info pages.

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