XMAN(1) MachTen Programmer’s Manual XMAN(1)
xman - Manual page display program for the X Window System
xman [ -options ... ]
Xman is a manual page browser. The default size of the
initial xman window is small so that you can leave it run-
ning throughout your entire login session. In the initial
window there are three options: Help will pop up a window
with on-line help, Quit will exit, and Manual Page will
pop up a window with a manual page browser in it. Typing
Control-S will pop up a window prompting for a specific
manual page to display. You may display more than one
manual page browser window at a time from a single execu-
tion of xman.
For further information on using
xman, please read the on-
line help information. Most of this manual will discuss
customization of xman.
Xman supports all standard Toolkit command line arguments
(see X(1)). The following additional arguments are sup-
Specifies a helpfile to use other than the default.
Allows both the manual page and manual directory to
be on the screen at the same time.
Starts without the Top Menu with the three buttons
Sets the size and location of the Top Menu with the
three buttons in it.
Sets the size and location of all the Manual Pages.
Xman allows customization of both the directories to be
searched for manual pages, and the name that each direc-
tory will map to in the Sections menu. Xman determines
which directories it will search by reading the MANPATH
environment variable. If no MANPATH is found then the
directory is /usr/man is searched on POSIX systems. This
environment is expected to be a colon-separated list of
directories for xman to search.
setenv MANPATH /mit/kit/man:/usr/man
By default, xman will search
each of the following direc-
tories (in each of the directories specified in the users
MANPATH) for manual pages. If manual pages exist in that
directory then they are added to list of manual pages for
the corresponding menu item. A menu item is only dis-
played for those sections that actually contain manual
Directory Section Name
man1 (1) User Commands
man2 (2) System Calls
man3 (3) Subroutines
man4 (4) Devices
man5 (5) File Formats
man6 (6) Games
man7 (7) Miscellaneous
man8 (8) Sys. Administration
manl (l) Local
mann (n) New
mano (o) Old
For instance, a user has three
directories in her manual
path and each contain a directory called man3. All these
manual pages will appear alphabetically sorted when the
user selects the menu item called (3) Subroutines. If
there is no directory called mano in any of the directo-
ries in her MANPATH, or there are no manual pages in any
of the directories called mano then no menu item will be
displayed for the section called (o) Old.
THE MANDESC FILE
By using the mandesc file a user or system manager is able
to more closely control which manual pages will appear in
each of the sections represented by menu items in the Sec-
tions menu. This functionality is only available on a
section by section basis, and individual manual pages may
not be handled in this manner. (Although generous use of
symbolic links -- see ln(1) -- will allow almost any con-
figuration you can imagine.)
The format of the mandesc file
is a character followed by
a label. The character determines which of the sections
will be added under this label. For instance suppose that
you would like to create an extra menu item that contains
all programmer subroutines. This label should contain all
manual pages in both sections two and three. The mandesc
file would look like this:
This will add a menu item to the
Sections menu that would
bring up a listing of all manual pages in sections two and
three of the Programmers Manual. Since the label names
are exactly the same they will be added to the same sec-
tion. Note, however, that the original sections still
If you want to completely ignore
the default sections in a
manual directory then add the line:
no default sections
anywhere in your mandesc file.
This keeps xman from
searching the default manual sections In that directory
only. As an example, suppose you want to do the same
thing as above, but you don’t think that it is useful to
have the System Calls or Subroutines sections any longer.
You would need to duplicate the default entries, as well
as adding your new one.
no default sections
1(1) User Commands
5(5) File Formats
8(8) Sys. Administration
Xman will read any section that
is of the from
man<character>, where <character> is an upper or lower
case letter (they are treated distinctly) or a numeral
(0-9). Be warned, however, that man(1) and catman(8) will
not search directories that are non-standard.
In order to specify resources, it is useful to know the
hierarchy of the widgets which compose xman. In the nota-
tion below, indentation indicates hierarchical structure.
The widget class name is given first, followed by the wid-
get instance name.
Xman xman (This widget is never
. (one for each section,
. created on the fly)
SmeBSB <name of section>
. (one for each section)
xman has the following application-specific resources
which allow customizations unique to xman.
manualFontNormal (Class Font)
The font to use for normal text in the
manualFontBold (Class Font)
The font to use for bold text in the
manualFontItalic (Class Font)
The font to use for italic text in the
directoryFontNormal (Class Font)
The font to use for the directory text.
bothShown (Class Boolean)
Either ‘true’ or ‘false,’ specifies
whether or not you want both the
directory and the manual page shown at
The height in pixels of the directory,
when the directory and the manual page
are shown simultaneously.
topCursor (Class Cursor)
The cursor to use in the top box.
helpCursor (Class Cursor)
The cursor to use in the help window.
manpageCursor (Class Cursor)
The cursor to use in the manual page
searchEntryCursor (Class Cursor)
The cursor to use in the search entry
pointerColor (Class Foreground)
This is the color of all the cursors
(pointers) specified above. The name
was chosen to be compatible with xterm.
helpFile (Class File)
Use this rather than the system default
topBox (Class Boolean)
Either ‘true’ or ‘false,’ determines
whether the top box (containing the
help, quit and manual page buttons) or a
manual page is put on the screen at
start-up. The default is true.
verticalList (Class Boolean)
Either ‘true’ or ‘false,’ determines
whether the directory listing is verti-
cally or horizontally organized. The
default is horizontal (false).
Xman defines all user interaction through global actions.
This allows the user to modify the translation table of
any widget, and bind any event to the new user action.
The list of actions supported by xman are:
GotoPage(page) When used in a
manual page display window
this will allow the user to move between a
directory and manual page display. The
page argument can be either Directory or
Quit() This action may be used
anywhere, and will
Only useful when used in a search popup,
this action will cause the search widget to
perform the named search type on the string
in the search popup’s value widget. This
action will also pop down the search wid-
get. The type argument can be either
Apropos, Manpage or Cancel. If an action
of Open is specified then xman will open a
new manual page to display the results of
the search, otherwise xman will attempt to
display the results in the parent of the
PopupHelp() This action may be
used anywhere, and will
popup the help widget.
PopupSearch() This action may be
used anywhere except in
a help window. It will cause the search
popup to become active and visible on the
screen, allowing the user search for a man-
This action may be used anywhere, and will
create a new manual page display window.
This action may be used in any manual page
or help display window. When called it
will remove the window, and clean up all
resources associated with it.
This action can only be used in the like-
ToSave popup widget, and tells xman whether
to Save or Cancel a save of the manual page
that has just been formatted.
ShowVersion() This action may be
called from any manual
page or help display window, and will cause
the informational display line to show the
current version of xman.
specifies required resources.
<XRoot> refers to the root of the
X11 install tree.
/tmp Xman creates temporary
/tmp for all unformatted man
pages and all apropos searches.
X(1), man(1), apropos(1), catman(8), Athena Widget Set
DISPLAY the default host and display to use.
MANPATH the search path for
manual pages. Directo-
ries are separated by colons (e.g.
XENVIRONMENT to get the name of
a resource file that
overrides the global resources stored in
the RESOURCE_MANAGER property.
XAPPLRESDIR A string that will
have ‘‘Xman’’ appended
to it. This string will be the full path
name of a user app-defaults file to be
merged into the resource database after the
system app-defaults file, and before the
resources that are attached to the display.
See X(1) for a full statement of rights and
Chris Peterson, MIT X Consortium from the V10 version
written by Barry Shein formerly of Boston University.
X Version 11 Release 6 7