MAN2TEXI 1 "23-Dec-2002" "0.01"

Table of contents


man2texi --- Unix manual page to Texinfo converter


man2texi [ -? ] [ -author ] [ -batch ] [ -copyright ] [ -dvi ] [ -filename filename ] [ -help ] [ -info ] [ -version ] [ infile(s) ] [ > outfile ]


man2texi options can be prefixed with either one or two hyphens, and can be abbreviated to any unique prefix. Thus, -a, -author, and --auth are equivalent.

To avoid confusion with options, if a filename begins with a hyphen, it must be disguised by a leading absolute or relative directory path, e.g., /tmp/ or ./

Display an author credit, and software distribution information, on the standard error unit, stderr, and then terminate with a success return code. Sometimes an executable program is separated from its documentation and source code; this option provides a way to recover from that.
man2texi normally writes its output on stdout, and expects only a single input file, or input from stdin, if no input file is specified.

When -batch is specified, man2texi processes each command-line file argument in turn, writing its output into files with the same basename, but extension .texi.

To prevent disasters, the output filename must be different from the input filename, and any existing .texi file is first renamed with extension before creating a new one.

Display copyright information on the standard error unit, stderr, and then terminate with a success return code.
Run TeX(1) to typeset the output .texi files to make .dvi files.

This option implies -batch, and automatically selects that option.

-filename filename
texinfo(5) files must contain the name of the target info file. When man2texi runs in a pipeline, it does not have a filename to construct the needed name, so this option gives it the needed name, which should be the name of the manual page file.
-help or -?
Display a help message on stderr, giving a usage description, and then terminate with a success return code.
Run makeinfo(1) to convert the output .texi files to .info files.

This option implies -batch, and automatically selects that option.

Display the program version number and release date on stderr, and then terminate with a success return code.


man2texi converts well-structured Unix manual page files in nroff(1)/ troff(1) format to texinfo(5) format, which can be typeset by TeX(1), and/or converted by makeinfo(1) to emacs(1) info(1) files, HTML, and DocBook/XML files.

texinfo(5) files are particularly convenient for large documents, since they can contain hypertext links and tables of contents, allowing fast navigation in a suitable document viewer.


emacs(1), info(1), makeinfo(1), nroff(1), TeX(1), tex(1), texinfo(5), troff(1), xinfo(1).


man2texi expects its input to follow reasonably strict, but common, conventions for UNIX manual page markup, as documented in Sun SunOS and Solaris troff(1) manuals.


man2texi is available from its master archive:
It requires only a few standard UNIX/POSIX tools, and is expected to be trivially installable on virtually any modern UNIX or POSIX-conformant system. It does, however, expect features of fairly recent releases of the texinfo(5) system, available at
If the validation tests run at software installation time by make check succeed, then the local texinfo(5) installation is acceptably recent.


man2texi is licensed under the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2, or (at your option) any later version. A copy of that license is included in the file COPYING included with the man2texi distribution. The license is also available from the Free Software Foundation, 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA, and at its World-Wide Web site at


Donald Knuth wrote TeX(1). makeinfo(1) and the texinfo(5) software documentation system were developed by the Free Software Foundation. Thanks to all of them for improving public access to software documentation.


Nelson H. F. Beebe
Center for Scientific Computing
University of Utah
Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB
155 S 1400 E RM 233
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090
Tel: +1 801 581 5254
FAX: +1 801 581 4148
Email:,,, (Internet)