TkInfo: a free browser for info files
Most GNU software documentation is written in the texinfo format (a
very restricted dialect of TeX) and then converted to
the info hypertext file format;
tkInfo is a graphical browser for these hypertext files. It requires Tcl7.4 and Tk4.0 or
better and runs on all systems which are supported by Tcl/Tk, i.e.,
Unix with X, Next, Windows, and MacOS.
Tcl/Tk is a free
scripting language for
quick development of portable
graphical user interfaces, among other things.
Features of tkInfo include:
TkInfo was orginally written by Kennard White for Tcl/Tk 3.6.
I made it work with
newer versions of Tcl/Tk, polished the interface a bit and added some features.
- Intuitive point-and-click interface.
- Supports index lookups (for info files which contain an index).
- File-wide search (exact or regular expression).
- Multiple windows.
- "Redirect window feature" (bound to right mouse button) allows easy
exploring of large menus.
- Repeatedly hitting Space will scroll through the whole info file in logical order.
- Can be operated with little mouse movement: important commands
bound to right button, scrolling with middle button, selecting with
- Quick mouse-less operation: Tab jumps from link to link, Return
selects, key bindings almost identical to the ones of the standard
info program and emacs' info mode.
- History list of visited info nodes.
- Can be embedded into other Tcl/Tk programs to provide on-line
- Deals with compressed info files.
There's also a RedHat-style .rpm
package of tkInfo and a
Debian-style .deb package.
Relevant information and links to other software
- The Texinfo Home page, contains documentation and gives a link
to download the main piece of software, texi2any, also known as makeinfo, which can be used to convcert
texinfo sources into a wide variety of formats.
- The editor Emacs at https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/
includes an info reader which allows for key-based or mouse-based
operation. Newer versions of the editor contain a cool feature, the
"speedbar", which provides a nice navigatable tree view of info
files. Emacs runs on Unix, MacOS and Windows.
- XEmacs, a variant of Emacs available from http://www.xemacs.org/, includes
the most powerful info reader to date; it supports bookmarks,
annotations, incremental search and index lookups. It is more user friendly than the
emacs info mode but still not too intuitive to use.
Once you've read the available help text you'll love it though.
Xemacs is huge and runs, contrary to what its name might suggest, on
Unix, Windows and Macs.
- OO-Browser is a powerful class browser and
editor for object oriented languages. It comes with the editor XEmacs and includes a
separate X-based program (xoobr) for tree views and stuff. OO-Browser
can also be used as an innovative object-oriented info browser.
- TkMan, a very comfortable man page reader
available from https://sourceforge.net/projects/tkman/,
includes a texinfo viewer. TkMan's formatting of info nodes
looks much better than
that of an ordinary info reader (such as tkInfo) and it also provides a
nice tree based view of the file structure; however, it needs the
texinfo sources of the documentation, not the info files. It uses Tcl/Tk and runs on Unix.
- Pinfo is a Unix text-mode browser for info files and
which is more intuitive than the original GNU info browser and works very much like the text-mode web browser lynx.
It is available from https://github.com/baszoetekouw/pinfo and is included in most Linux distributions.
- Pdftex can produce PDF files from texinfo input.
This produces nice, searchable, cross-linked files with
indexes and tables of contents which can be printed or viewed with any PDF reader. Pdftex can be gotten from http://ctan.tug.org/tex-archive/systems/pdftex/
- The file manager and web browser Konqueror is part of the Unix KDE desktop/GUI and can be
used to view man pages, info pages, and KDE help pages. It can be
gotten from the KDE homepage.
- Yelp is an integrated help browser for the Gnome
desktop/GUI which displays HTML documents, man pages and info files. It can be gotten from the GNOME homepage. GNOME is designed
- Two other lists of third-party texinfo/info software: