2.6 Emacs Info-mode Variables

The following variables may modify the behavior of Info-mode in Emacs; you may wish to set one or several of these variables interactively, or in your init file. See Examining and Setting Variables in The GNU Emacs Manual. The stand-alone Info reader program has its own set of variables, described in Manipulating Variables in GNU Info.


The list of directories to search for Info files. Each element is a string (directory name) or nil (try default directory). If not initialized Info uses the environment variable INFOPATH to initialize it, or Info-default-directory-list in addition to the value returned by the Info--default-directory-list function if there is no INFOPATH variable in the environment.

If you wish to customize the Info directory search list for both Emacs Info and stand-alone Info, it is best to set the INFOPATH environment variable, since that applies to both programs.


A list of additional directories to search for Info documentation files. These directories are not searched for merging the dir file.


Hooks run when Info-mode is called. By default, it contains the hook turn-on-font-lock which enables highlighting of Info files. You can change how the highlighting looks by customizing the faces info-node, info-xref, info-xref-visited, info-header-xref, info-header-node, info-menu-header, info-menu-star, and info-title-n (where n is the level of the section, a number between 1 and 4). To customize a face, type M-x customize-face RET face RET, where face is one of the face names listed here.


Maximum size of menu to fontify if font-lock-mode is non-nil.


If non-nil, menu items and cross-references pointing to visited nodes are displayed in the info-xref-visited face.


If non-nil, Emacs puts in the Info buffer a header line showing the ‘Next’, ‘Prev’, and ‘Up’ links. A header line does not scroll with the rest of the buffer, making these links always visible.


As explained in earlier sections, the Emacs version of Info normally hides some text in menus and cross references. It also replaces the ‘*note’ prefix of each cross reference with a more grammatically correct ‘see’. This is the effect of the default value of this option, t. Setting this option to nil disables both hiding and replacing of the original cross reference text, and Emacs will then display them as they are in the Info file. If you set it to the value hide, Emacs will do the same as with t, but will also remove ‘*note’ without replacing it with anything. Setting it to any other non-nil value produces an intermediate behavior, hiding a limited amount of text, but showing all text that could potentially be useful, including the name of the node that is the target of the cross reference and its file if it is different from the current file.


If set to a non-nil value, SPC and BACKSPACE (or DEL, or S-SPC) keys in a menu visit subnodes of the current node before scrolling to its end or beginning, respectively. For example, if the node’s menu appears on the screen, the next SPC moves to a subnode indicated by the following menu item. Setting this option to nil results in behavior similar to the stand-alone Info reader program, which visits the first subnode from the menu only when you hit the end of the current node. The default is nil.


If non-nil, isearch in Info searches through multiple nodes.


When set to a non-nil value, allows Info to execute Lisp code associated with nodes. The Lisp code is executed when the node is selected. The Lisp code to be executed should follow the node delimiter (the ‘DEL’ character) and an ‘execute: ’ tag, like this:

^_execute: (message "This is an active node!")