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4.9.4 The Parts of a Menu

A menu entry has three parts, only the second of which is required:

  1. The menu entry name (optional).
  2. The name of the node (required).
  3. A description of the item (optional).

The template for a generic menu entry looks like this (but see the next section for one more possibility):

* menu-entry-name: node-name.   description

Follow the menu entry name with a single colon, and follow the node name with tab, comma, newline, or the two characters period and space (‘. ’).

The third part of a menu entry is a descriptive phrase or sentence. Menu entry names and node names are often short; the description explains to the reader what the node is about. A useful description complements the node name rather than repeats it. The description, which is optional, can spread over multiple lines; if it does, some authors prefer to indent the second line while others prefer to align it with the first (and all others). It’s up to you. An empty line, or the next menu entry, ends a description.

Space characters in a menu are preserved as-is in the Info output; this allows you to format the menu as you wish. Unfortunately you must type node names without any extra spaces or some versions of some Info readers will not find the node (see Node Line Requirements).

makeinfo warns when the text of a menu item (and node names and cross-references) contains a problematic construct that will interfere with its parsing in Info. If you don’t want to see the warnings, you can set the customization variable INFO_SPECIAL_CHARS_WARNING to ‘0’ (see Other Customization Variables).

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