Tag Archives: man pages

How I made reading man pages more efficient for me

I did fairly well in my college Linux class, but never felt comfortable reading man pages. I could do it more or less, but although I would not say man pages were inaccessible, i would say they weren’t terribly efficient for me. Although I grew up on, and still love the command-line I find reading and writing text in a GUI interface much more efficient, especially with copy paste and search commands that work well with screen readers. I work on my MacBook nowadays, and after some googling around, I found several articles on how to import man pages into textedit.

Here’s a function to make it work, it won’t work in an alias.

teman() {
#opens man pages in textedit
man “$1” | col -b | open -f
}

copy that to a file and then at the prompt type
source filename and then you can type teman command, and textedit will open it right up.

The part of the man page that always melts my brain is right at the top of course, the synopsis. Once i can easily arrow past that to the description section and beyond, I can make much more out of man pages and finally they’re a much better learning tool for me.

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