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xman - Manual page display program for the X Window System
[ -options ... ]
Xman 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:
Help will pop up a window with on-line help, Quit will 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
Xman supports all standard Toolkit command line arguments
). The following additional arguments are supported.
- -helpfile filename
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.
without the Top Menu with the three buttons in it.
- -geometry WxH+X+Y
the size and location of the Top Menu with the three buttons in it.
- 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
By default, xman 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 manual pages.
Directory Section Name
man1 (1) User Commands
man2 (2) System Calls
man3 (3) Subroutines
man4 (4) Devices
man5 (5) File Formats
man6 (6) Games
man7 (7) Miscellaneous
man8 (8) Sys. Administration
manl (l) Local
mann (n) New
mano (o) Old
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)
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 format.
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 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 the 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
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 or Subroutines sections 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>, where <character>
is an upper or lower case letter (they are treated distinctly) or a numeral
(0-9). Be warned, however, that man(1)
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)
xman has the following application-specific resources
which allow customizations unique to xman.
Xman 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 are:
- manualFontNormal (Class Font)
- The font to use for normal text in the manual pages.
- manualFontBold (Class
- The font to use for bold text in the manual pages.
- The font to use for italic text in the manual pages.
- 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
- manpageCursor (Class Cursor)
- The cursor to use in the manual page
- 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
- helpFile (Class File)
- Use this rather than the system default
- 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.
- Either `true' or `false,' determines whether the directory
listing is vertically or horizontally organized. The default is horizontal
- 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
- 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 display
- 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 of xman.
Athena Widget Set
- <manpath directory>/man<character>
- <manpath directory>/cat<character>
- specifies required
- Xman creates temporary files in /tmp for all unformatted
man pages and all apropos searches.
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.
- 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
- 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.
for a full statement of rights and permissions.
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