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Woman (WithOut Man) is a program to browse Unix manual pages without calling the external man utility. This presents both advantages and disadvantages over the classical man package, which uses the external man tool to format manpages:

  • [advantage] it is entirely integrated in Emacs and does not require external dependencies (which is useful on non-UNIX platforms where these dependencies might not be installed);
  • [disadvantage] it does not provide a complete support of the roff language; complex manpages might not be fully rendered.
Description Man page lookup integration into Emacs
Author F. J. Wright
Source http://centaur.maths.qmw.ac.uk/Emacs/WoMan/
Part of Emacs yes, since Emacs 21

Basic usage

WoMan is integrated in Emacs should work out of the box. Simply type e.g. M-x woman RET bash RET to see the bash manual page. If the topic name you enter is available in multiple sections, you'll have to choose the correct one interactively afterwards.

Helpful keybindings

Manpages are presented using a major mode essentially similar to man, with the same key bindings:

Jump to a specific section within the manpage.
[n] and [p]
Jump to the next/previous manpage section.
[m] or [w]
Open another manpage.
[q] and [k]
Quit the manpage, and bury/kill the buffer.

Recommended Reading

Project Pages

External documentation