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10 Miscellaneous Commands

GNU Info contains several commands which self-document GNU Info:

M-x describe-command

Read the name of an Info command in the echo area and then display a brief description of what that command does.

M-x describe-key

Read a key sequence in the echo area, and then display the name and documentation of the Info command that the key sequence invokes.

M-x describe-variable

Read the name of a variable in the echo area and then display a brief description of what the variable affects.

M-x where-is

Read the name of an Info command in the echo area, and then display a key sequence which can be typed in order to invoke that command.

C-h (get-help-window)
?
F1 (on DOS/Windows only)
h, vi-like operation

Create (or Move into) the window displaying *Help*, and place a node containing a quick reference card into it. This window displays the most concise information about GNU Info available.

h (get-info-help-node)
M-h, vi-like operation

Try hard to visit the node (info)Help. The Info file info.texi distributed with GNU Info contains this node. Of course, the file must first be processed with makeinfo, and then placed into the location of your Info directory.

= (display-file-info)

Show information about what’s currently being viewed in the echo area: the Info file name, and current line number and percentage within the current node.

Here are the commands for creating a numeric argument:

C-u (universal-argument)

Start (or multiply by 4) the current numeric argument. ‘C-u’ is a good way to give a small numeric argument to cursor movement or scrolling commands; ‘C-u C-v’ scrolls the screen 4 lines, while ‘C-u C-u C-n’ moves the cursor down 16 lines. ‘C-u’ followed by digit keys sets the numeric argument to the number thus typed: C-u 1 2 0 sets the argument to 120.

M-1 (add-digit-to-numeric-arg)
1, vi-like operation
M-2M-9
29, vi-like operation
M-0
0, vi-like operation

Add the digit value of the invoking key to the current numeric argument. Once Info is reading a numeric argument, you may just type the digits of the argument, without the Meta prefix. For example, you might give ‘C-l’ a numeric argument of 32 by typing:

C-u 3 2 C-l

or

M-3 2 C-l
M-- (add-digit-to-numeric-arg
-

To make a negative argument, type -. Typing - alone makes a negative argument with a value of -1. If you continue to type digit or Meta-digit keys after -, the result is a negative number produced by those digits.

- doesn’t work when you type in the echo area, because you need to be able to insert the ‘-’ character itself; use M-- instead, if you need to specify negative arguments in the echo area.

C-g (C-c in vi-like mode) is used to abort the reading of a multi-character key sequence, to cancel lengthy operations (such as multi-file searches) and to cancel reading input in the echo area.

C-g (abort-key)
C-c, vi-like operation

Cancel current operation.

The ‘q’ command of Info simply quits running Info. Under ‘--vi-keys’ (see --vi-keys), you can also exit with ‘:q’ or ‘ZZ’.

q (quit)
C-x C-c
:q, vi-like operation
ZZ, vi-like operation

Exit GNU Info.

If the operating system tells GNU Info that the screen is 60 lines tall, and it is actually only 40 lines tall, here is a way to tell Info that the operating system is correct.

M-x set-screen-height

Read a height value in the echo area and set the height of the displayed screen to that value.

On MS-DOS/MS-Windows, this command actually tries to change the dimensions of the visible screen to the value you type in the echo area.

Finally, Info provides a convenient way to display footnotes which might be associated with the current node that you are viewing:

ESC C-f (show-footnotes)

Show the footnotes (if any) associated with the current node in another window. You can have Info automatically display the footnotes associated with a node when the node is selected by setting the variable automatic-footnotes. See automatic-footnotes.


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