A Linux program to view/edit manual pages
By David M. Balean


This describes gmanpage version 1.2.3 for viewing and editing manual pages. It requires Gtk 3. The primitive editor is an afterthought and is not WYSIWIG so a knowledge of the coding of man pages is required.

This is a bug fix. "
gmanpage version 1.2.2" failed to load a manpage when invoked from the command line as follows:-
$ gmanpage filename
and this now functions correctly.

To install in Ubuntu, download the RPM and convert it to DEB format using the command:-

$ alien -d gmanpage-1.2.3-1.fc18.x86_64.rpm

from the command line. The resulting .deb file can usually
be installed by clicking on it with the mouse. To install on a non-x86_64 compatible system such as i386 or sparc, the tar file will have to be downloaded and compiled from scratch.
An rpm spec file is included, so an alternative is to first create an rpm file from the command line using:-

$ rpmbuild -ta gmanpage-1.2.3.tar.gz

and then use the alien command on the resulting rpm file.

Brief Description
This program was originally written as a replacement for "xman" which no longer worked properly. At that stage it was called "gman" and coded using "C". Later it was compiled using "C++" and the name became "gmanpage". The main purpose is to display manual pages in a better way than using  "man" from the command line. The idea was to have a fairly small footprint on the desktop and to have the correct visual representation, e.g. Italic script was actually Italic and not merely underlined. Also the different types of script could be in colour. At present the colour of the displayed characters is fixed but the printed colours can be changed.

    To update the manual page data base, execute as root:-
# mandb

Some Screen Shots with Info

Main window
The user can enter the name of a manual page and press "Enter" or click on the Manual Page button to display the manual page. If the "Apropos" button is clicked apropos details regarding the entry will be displayed from which one may be chosen for display. If there are several manual pages with the same name they will all be displayed in seperate windows.

Main window - File Menu
Here the user has selected the file menu. "Open for view" and "Load for edit" will bring up a file requester so that the user can choose a file rather than an installed manual page.

Manpage window
This example is gmanpage's own manpage.

Apropos window
This is an example of the apropos window using the search string "list". An entry can be left-clicked with the mouse to display that entry's manual page. If no apropos is found, << NOTHING FOUND >> is displayed.

Section window
From the main window the user can choose a section to display which brings up a window similar to this. The user can then select an entry for display. The lines in red are not selectable, being the location of the entries beneath.

Edit window

This edit window shows gmanpage's own manpage being edited. Under the "File" menu there is an item "Manpage preview" available if it has been saved. This brings up a display window that is updated with every change. This can get a little annoying but it does enable the user to see changes almost immediately.

Editor Preferences Window

The user can select to have the manpage autosaved. This can be every so many seconds or changes. In this case the manpage is to be autosaved every 60 seconds or every 20 changes, whichever occurs first. If "Seconds" is set to 0 then timed autosaves are disabled. Similarly, if "Changes" is zero then autosaves at so many changes is disabled.

Window Sizes window
This window is for the user who wants to customise the window sizes of the various windows. This is one way to overcome the problem of having different screen resolutions.

Printer Preferences window
If the user wants to print a manual page this provides a small level of control for the user. If the user wants a preview then in this case Ghostview (gv) is used.

Download gmanpage-1.2.3.tar.gz              HERE
(size 802.4KB - source files)

Download gmanpage-1.2.3-1.fc18.x86_64.rpm   HERE
(size 445.4KB - Fedora 18 binary for x86_64)