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Epsilon User's Manual and Reference
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Pulling Words  Commands by Topic   Context-Sensitive Help


Epsilon User's Manual and Reference > Commands by Topic > More Programming Features >

Accessing Help

This section describes how Epsilon can help you access compiler help files and similar external documentation. See Getting Help for directions on obtaining help on Epsilon itself.

To get help on the word at point, press Shift-F1 to run the context-help command. It provides help on the keyword at point, selecting the appropriate type of help based on the current mode. See Context-Sensitive Help for details. In some modes, it uses commands explained in this section.

Epsilon for Unix provides a man command for reading man pages. At its prompt, type anything you would normally type to the man command, such as -k open to get a list of man pages related to the keyword "open". If you don't use any flags or section names, Epsilon will provide completion on available topics. For example, type "?" to see all man page topics available. Within man page output, you can double-click on a reference to another man page, such as echo(1), or press <Enter> to follow it, or press m to be prompted for another man page topic. The man command also works with the Cygwin environment under Windows, if its man program is installed.

The search-man-pages command generates a list of man pages that contain some specified text, putting its results in the grep buffer. (See Searching Multiple Files.) It first prompts for the search string. You can use Ctrl-T, Ctrl-C, or Ctrl-W to toggle regular expression, case folding, or word searching behavior, as with grep and other searching commands.

Then it asks if you want to restrict searching to particular man page sections, such as 1 for commands or 3 for subroutines. Use * to search all sections. Finally, it asks if you want to restrict the search to man page entries matching a certain file pattern, such as *file* to search only pages whose names contain "file".

For speed reasons, it searches each man page without processing it through the man command, searching the man page in source format. By default, it shows only the first match in each page; set the search-man-pages-shows-all variable to see all matches. The result appears in the grep buffer; when you view a match from there, Epsilon will then use the man command to display its processed form.

Epsilon also includes a perldoc command for reading Perl documentation. Just like man, it works by running an external program, in this case the perldoc program that comes with Perl. Run perldoc on the topic perldoc to see the flags you can use with it, such as -f to locate the documentation for a specific Perl function.

You can set up Epsilon for Windows to search for help on a programming language construct (like an API function or a C++ keyword) in a series of help files. Epsilon can link to both .hlp and .chm (HtmlHelp) files. Run the Select Help Files... command on the help menu to select the help files you want to use. This command adds help files to the Help menu, to the context menu that the secondary mouse button displays, and to the list of files searched by the Search All Help Files... command on the help menu. The last command is only available under Windows. Edit the file gui.mnu to further modify the contents of Epsilon's menus. Edit the file epswhlp.cnt to modify the list of files searched by Search All Help Files.

If you highlight a word in the buffer before running a help command, Epsilon will search for help on that keyword. Otherwise Epsilon will display either a list of available keywords or the table of contents for the help file you selected.

Standard bindings:

    man
   perldoc
   search-man-pages
   select-help-files
   search-all-help-files
 



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