How to quickly access and search unix command man pages

Here’s something I stumbled across recently. I have no idea how long this feature has existed for, but I am really pleased I found it! Apologies to those that already know this, but despite using the Terminal on a Mac for years, I never knew about this!

If you double-click on a unix command in the Terminal to highlight the command, you can then control/right-click and select “Open man Page”:

open man page

This will then load up a new window with the man page of the highlighted command so that you can see what the command’s synopsis, description and options are without having to cancel or clear the command you have started to enter:

defaults write terminal

Whilst a command is highlighted, you can also control/right-click and select “Search man Page Index” :

search man page index

For those of you familiar with using ‘apropos’, this option will load up a new window with all command line references to the highlighted word:

apropos default

This feature may be something you are already aware of and, therefore, my question is why has no-one told me before! 🙂

I decided to blog this to share the word to those, like me, that have not stumbled across this and I hope like me they will find this useful!

One other useful feature which I think may have been added in Mavericks, is that you can option/alt-click anywhere in the middle of a unix command to move the cursor directly to the exact point you clicked. Nice!

Disclaimer:

While the author has taken care to provide our readers with accurate information, please use your discretion before acting upon information based on the blog post. Amsys will not compensate you in any way whatsoever if you ever happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of/while making use of information in this blog.

This feature has been tested using OS X v10.9.2 which was the latest Mac OS release at the time of writing.

3 Replies to "How to quickly access and search unix command man pages"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *