Next: , Previous: Quitting Octave, Up: Getting Started

2.3 Commands for Getting Help

The entire text of this manual is available from the Octave prompt via the command help -i. In addition, the documentation for individual user-written functions and variables is also available via the help command. This section describes the commands used for reading the manual and the documentation strings for user-supplied functions and variables. See Function Files, for more information about how to document the functions you write.

— Command: help

Octave's help command can be used to print brief usage-style messages, or to display information directly from an on-line version of the printed manual, using the GNU Info browser. If invoked without any arguments, help prints a list of all the available operators, functions, and built-in variables. If the first argument is -i, the help command searches the index of the on-line version of this manual for the given topics.

For example, the command help help prints a short message describing the help command, and help -i help starts the GNU Info browser at this node in the on-line version of the manual.

Once the GNU Info browser is running, help for using it is available using the command C-h.

The help command can give you information about operators, but not the comma and semicolons that are used as command separators. To get help for those, you must type help comma or help semicolon.

— Built-in Variable: INFO_FILE

The variable INFO_FILE names the location of the Octave info file. The default value is "octave-home/info/", in which octave-home is the directory where all of Octave is installed.

— Built-in Variable: INFO_PROGRAM

The variable INFO_PROGRAM names the info program to run. Its default initial value is "octave-home/libexec/octave/version/exec/arch/info" in which octave-home is the directory where all of Octave is installed, version is the Octave version number, and arch is the system type (for example, i686-pc-linux-gnu). The default initial value may be overridden by the environment variable OCTAVE_INFO_PROGRAM, or the command line argument --info-program NAME, or by setting the value of INFO_PROGRAM in a startup script

— Built-in Variable: MAKEINFO_PROGRAM

The variable MAKEINFO_PROGRAM names the makeinfo program that Octave runs to format help text that contains Texinfo markup commands. Its default initial value is "makeinfo".

— Built-in Variable: suppress_verbose_help_message

If the value of suppress_verbose_help_message is nonzero, Octave will not add additional help information to the end of the output from the help command and usage messages for built-in commands.