XMAN is an X Window System manual browsing tool.
By default, xman starts by creating a small window that contains three
"buttons" (places on which to click a pointer button). Two of these
buttons, Help and Quit, are self-explanatory. The third, Manual Page,
creates a new manual page browser window; you may use this button to
open a new manual page any time xman is running.
A new manual page starts up displaying this help information. The
manual page contains three sections. In the upper left corner are two
menu buttons. When the mouse is clicked on either of these buttons a
menu is popped up. The contents of these menus is described below.
Directly to the right of the menu buttons is an informational display.
This display usually contains the name of the directory or manual page
being displayed. It is also used to display warning messages and the
current version of xman. The last and largest section is the
information display. This section of the application contains either a
list of manual pages to choose from or the text of a manual page.
To use xman pull down the Sections menu to select a manual section.
When the section is displayed, click the left pointer button on the name
of the manual page that you would like to see. Xman will replace the
directory listing with the manual page you selected.
That should be enough to get you started. Once you understand the
basics of how to use xman, take a look at the rest of this file to see
the advanced features that are available to make using xman fast and
The scroll bars are similar to xterm and xmh scroll bars; clicking the
left or right pointer button with the pointer at the bottom of the
scroll bar will scroll the text down or up one page, respectively.
Clicking with the pointer farther up the scroll bar scrolls
proportionally less than one page. Clicking the middle button a portion
of the way down the scroll bar will move the text window that portion of
the way down the text. Holding the middle button and moving the pointer
up and down allows the text to be scrolled dynamically.
You may also type 'f' or <space bar> to scroll down one page, and 'b' to
scroll up one page.
You can resize any of the windows in xman with your window manager, and
xman will do the best it can to resize everything internally into a
useful configuration. The only control over the internal arrangement
that you have is moving the border between the manual page and directory
when both are displayed. This is done by clicking and holding the any
pointer button when the cursor is over the small square (grip) on the
right side of the screen. The grip is located on the horizontal line
which separates the panes. The grip may be moved up and down to resize
the panes of the screen, and when the pointer button is released xman
will move the pane boundary to the newly specified location.
There are two ways to activate the menus. The first is to click any
pointer button in the menu button corresponding to the menu you want to
activate. The second method is to hold down the "Control" key and click
the left pointer button for the Options menu or the middle pointer
button for the Sections menu. Reguardless of how the menu was
activated, selecting items is the same.
Once a menu is activated, continue to hold down the pointer button and
drag the pointer cursor over the item that you would like to activate.
Once the item that you want to select is highlighted, select it by
releasing the pointer button. To avoid making a menu selection, move
the pointer cursor outside the menu and release the button.
Selecting one of the items in the Sections menu will display the named
The following commands are available through the Options menu:
Display Directory Show the current section directory.
Display Manual Page Show the current manual page.
Help Create a help window with this text displayed.
Search Pop up a dialogue box that allows the entire
tree of manual pages to be searched for a
specific name. A keyword (apropos) search is
also available through this dialogue box.
Show Both Screens Split the manual page display window to display
both the current manual page and the directory.
Show One Screen Return to a single screen display of either a
manual page or directory listing.
Remove This Man Page Remove this manual page, do not quit.
Open New Man Page Pop up a new manual page browser window.
Show Version Print the current version of xman to the
information display window. Please include the
version number when reporting bugs.
Quit Close all xman windows and quit xman.
SUMMARY OF BASIC ACTIONS
In a menu button:
CLICK: Pop up a menu
In a directory, manual page, or scroll bar:
<CONTROL> CLICK LEFT: Pop up the Options menu.
<CONTROL> CLICK MIDDLE: Pop up the Sections menu.
In a directory:
CLICK LEFT: Bring up named manual page
<SHIFT> CLICK MIDDLE: Go to manual page previously chosen.
In a manual page or apropos listing:
<SHIFT> CLICK MIDDLE: Go to directory of manual pages.
In scroll bars:
CLICK LEFT: Move down - more if pointer is near bottom
of window, less if at top.
CLICK MIDDLE: Move top of page to current pointer position.
CLICK RIGHT: Move up - more if pointer is near bottom
of window, less if at top.
Xman has a built-in searching utility that allows the user to search the
entire manual page tree for a specific topic (manual page search) or a
keyword (apropos search). The search dialogue box can be activated from
the Options menu, or by the key Control-s. If the search is started
from the small initial topbox xman will open a new manual page if the
search was successful, and fail silently if the search was unsuccessful.
Manual page searches are performed starting in the currently displayed
section. If no match is found then the remaining sections are searched
in the order that the sections appear in the Sections menu, starting at
the top. The current version of xman immediately displays the first
manual page that it finds. If the manual page cannot be found that fact
is noted in the informational display.
An apropos search will search a list of short descriptions for all
manual pages on the system and return a list of all descriptions which
contain the keyword specified.
Xman contains a set of preinstalled keyboard accelerators. These are a
set of key bindings that perform many of the same operations as the menu
items. Since it is not necessary to pull down the menu, these actions
can be performed more quickly, hence the name accelerators.
The default key bindings for xman are:
Control - c Exit xman
Control - h Create the help window
Control - n Create a new man page
Control - q Exit xman
Control - s Create a search popup
In a manual page, directory, or help window:
Control - r Remove this manual page or help display
Control - v Show the current version of xman
In a manual page or directory:
Control - d Display Directory
Control - m Display Man Page
In a manual page only:
b Page Back
f Page forward
<Space> Page forward
1 One line forward
2 Two lines forward
3 Three lines forward
4 Four lines forward
Note: Control-s does not have any effect in the help window.
Xman is highly customizable. Through the X resource database a user can
customize the look and feel of this application so that it meets a
preferred style of interaction. Almost any configuration that is
available dynamically can be specified through resources. This includes
changing the size, color, and fonts, starting with no topbox, showing
both screens, and rebinding the keyboard accelerators.
The information on customizing xman is contained in the xman manual
page, I will leave it to you to figure out how to find and display that
Chris D. Peterson MIT X
Version: Use 'Show Version' menu item.
Written By: Chris D. Peterson - formerly MIT X Consortium
Based Upon: Xman for X10 by Barry Shein - Boston University
Copyright 1988, 1989 X Consortium
Edited by Donna Converse and Dave Sternlicht