Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: xman 1.1.3Index
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xman - Manual page display program for the X Window System
is a manual page browser. The default size of the initial xman
window is small so that you can leave it running throughout your entire login
session. In the initial window there are three options:
will pop up a window with on-line help, Quit
exit, and Manual Page
will pop up a window with a manual page
browser in it.
Typing Control-S will pop up a window prompting for a specific manual
page to display.
You may display more than one manual page browser window at a time
from a single execution of xman
For further information on using xman, please read the on-line
help information. Most of this manual will discuss
customization of xman.
Xman supports all standard Toolkit command line arguments (see
X(7)). The following additional arguments are supported.
- -helpfile filename
Specifies a helpfile to use other than the default.
Allows both the manual page and manual directory to be on the screen at
the same time.
Starts without the Top Menu with the three buttons in it.
- -geometry WxH+X+Y
Sets the size and location of the Top Menu with the three buttons in it.
- -pagesize WxH+X+Y
Sets the size and location of all the Manual Pages.
allows customization of both the directories to be searched for manual pages,
and the name that each directory will map to in the Sections
menu. Xman determines which directories it will
search by reading the MANPATH environment variable. If no
MANPATH is found then the directory is /usr/man is searched on
POSIX systems. This environment
is expected to be a colon-separated list of directories for xman to search.
setenv MANPATH /mit/kit/man:/usr/man
will search each of the following directories (in each of the directories
specified in the users MANPATH) for manual pages. If manual pages exist
in that directory then they are added to list of manual pages for
the corresponding menu item.
A menu item is only displayed for those sections that actually contain
|man1||(1) User Commands|
|man2||(2) System Calls|
|man5||(5) File Formats|
|man8||(8) Sys. Administration|
For instance, a user has three directories in her manual path and each
contain a directory called man3. All these manual pages will appear
alphabetically sorted when the user selects the menu item called
(3) Subroutines. If there is no directory called
mano in any of the directories in her MANPATH, or there are no manual
pages in any of the directories called mano then no menu item will be
displayed for the section called (o) Old.
BSD AND LINUX SYSTEMS
In newer BSD and Linux systems, Xman will search for a file named
/etc/man.conf which will contain the list of directories containing
manual pages. See man.conf(5) for a complete description of the file
THE MANDESC FILE
By using the mandesc file a user or system manager is able to
more closely control which manual pages will appear in each of the sections
represented by menu items in the Sections menu. This
functionality is only available on a section by section basis, and individual
manual pages may not be handled in this manner.
(Although generous use of
symbolic links --- see ln(1) --- will allow
almost any configuration you can imagine.)
The format of the mandesc file is a character followed by a label. The
character determines which of the sections will be added under this label.
For instance suppose that you would like to create an extra menu item that
contains all programmer subroutines. This label should contain all manual
pages in both sections two and three. The mandesc file
would look like this:
This will add a menu item to the Sections
menu that would
bring up a listing of all manual pages in sections two and three of
the Programmers Manual. Since the label names are exactly
same they will be added to the same section. Note, however, that the
original sections still exist.
If you want to completely ignore the default sections in a manual directory
then add the line:
no default sections
anywhere in your mandesc file. This keeps xman from searching
the default manual sections In that directory only
. As an example,
suppose you want to do the same thing as above, but you don't think that
it is useful to have the System Calls
any longer. You would need to duplicate the default entries, as well as
adding your new one.
no default sections
1(1) User Commands
5(5) File Formats
8(8) Sys. Administration
Xman will read any section that is of the from man<character>
<character> is an upper or lower case letter (they are treated distinctly) or
a numeral (0-9). Be warned, however, that man
(8) will not search directories that are non-standard.
In order to specify resources, it is useful to know the hierarchy of
the widgets which compose xman
. In the notation below,
indentation indicates hierarchical structure. The widget class name
is given first, followed by the widget instance name.
Xman xman (This widget is never used)
. (one for each section,
. created on the fly)
SmeBSB <name of section>
. (one for each section)
has the following application-specific resources which allow
customizations unique to xman
- manualFontNormal (Class Font)
The font to use for normal text in the manual pages.
- manualFontBold (Class Font)
The font to use for bold text in the manual pages.
- manualFontItalic (Class Font)
The font to use for italic text in the manual pages.
- directoryFontNormal (Class Font)
The font to use for the directory text.
- bothShown (Class Boolean)
Either `true' or `false,' specifies whether or not you want both the
directory and the manual page shown at start up.
- directoryHeight (Class DirectoryHeight)
The height in pixels of the directory, when the directory and the manual page
are shown simultaneously.
- topCursor (Class Cursor)
The cursor to use in the top box.
- helpCursor (Class Cursor)
The cursor to use in the help window.
- manpageCursor (Class Cursor)
The cursor to use in the manual page window.
- searchEntryCursor (Class Cursor)
The cursor to use in the search entry text widget.
- pointerColor (Class Foreground)
This is the color of all the cursors (pointers) specified above. The
name was chosen to be compatible with xterm.
- helpFile (Class File)
Use this rather than the system default helpfile.
- topBox (Class Boolean)
Either `true' or `false,' determines whether the top box (containing
the help, quit and manual page buttons) or a manual page is put on the screen
at start-up. The default is true.
- verticalList (Class Boolean)
Either `true' or `false,' determines whether the directory listing is
vertically or horizontally organized. The default is horizontal (false).
defines all user interaction through global actions. This allows
the user to modify the translation table of any widget, and bind any event
to the new user action. The list of actions supported by xman
When used in a manual page display window this will allow the user to
move between a directory and manual page display. The page argument can
be either Directory or ManualPage.
This action may be used anywhere, and will exit xman.
- Search(type, action)
Only useful when used in a search popup, this action will cause the search
widget to perform the named search type on the string in the search popup's
value widget. This action will also pop down the search widget. The
type argument can be either Apropos, Manpage or
Cancel. If an action of Open is specified then xman
will open a new manual page to display the results of the search, otherwise
xman will attempt to display the results in the parent of the search popup.
This action may be used anywhere, and will popup the help widget.
This action may be used anywhere except in a help window. It will cause
the search popup to become active and visible on the screen, allowing
the user search for a manual page.
This action may be used anywhere, and will create a new manual page
This action may be used in any manual page or help display window. When
called it will remove the window, and clean up all resources
associated with it.
This action can only be used in the likeToSave popup widget, and
tells xman whether to Save or Cancel a save of the
manual page that has just been formatted.
This action may be called from any manual page or help display window, and
will cause the informational display line to show the current version
- <manpath directory>/man<character>
- <manpath directory>/cat<character>
- <manpath directory>/mandesc
specifies required resources.
creates temporary files in /tmp for all unformatted man pages and all apropos
Athena Widget Set
the default host and display to use.
the search path for manual pages. Directories are separated by
colons (e.g. /usr/man:/mit/kit/man:/foo/bar/man).
to get the name of a resource file that overrides the global resources
stored in the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.
A string that will have ``Xman'' appended to it. This string will be
the full path name of a user app-defaults file to be merged into the
resource database after the system app-defaults file, and before
the resources that are attached to the display.
See X(7) for a full statement of rights and permissions.
Chris Peterson, MIT X Consortium from the V10 version written by Barry
Shein formerly of Boston University.
Bug fixes and Linux support by Carlos A M dos Santos, for The XFree86 Project.
- CUSTOMIZING XMAN
- BSD AND LINUX SYSTEMS
- THE MANDESC FILE
- APPLICATION RESOURCES
- GLOBAL ACTIONS
- SEE ALSO