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3.2.1 The First Line of a Texinfo File

Every Texinfo file that is to be the top-level input to TeX must begin with a line that looks like this:

\input texinfo   @c -*-texinfo-*-

This line serves two functions:

  1. When the file is processed by TeX, the ‘\input texinfo’ command tells TeX to load the macros needed for processing a Texinfo file. These are in a file called texinfo.tex, which should have been installed on your system along with either the TeX or Texinfo software. TeX uses the backslash, ‘\’, to mark the beginning of a command, exactly as Texinfo uses ‘@’. The texinfo.tex file causes the switch from ‘\’ to ‘@’; before the switch occurs, TeX requires ‘\’, which is why it appears at the beginning of the file.
  2. When the file is edited in GNU Emacs, the ‘-*-texinfo-*-’ mode specification tells Emacs to use Texinfo mode.