ManOpen is a MacOS X GUI application for viewing Unix manual pages,
which are the standard documentation for Unix command line programs,
programmer libraries, and other system information. It can open files
directly or be given titles, in which case it will display the output
from the `man' command-line program. An apropos interface is also
provided, which is basically a quick-and-dirty search of the man page
databases. Services are provided to other applications to open selected
files/titles or do apropos searches using the selected text.
ManOpen can be useful for opening a man page without dropping
down to the command line, browsing and searching through long and
complex man pages, or simply for printing them out.
Also included is an `openman' command line tool, which is similar
to man except it will display the man pages in ManOpen.app instead
of directly to the terminal.
Well, one screenshot anyways. There is a small version (about 50K) and a full-size version (about 170K).
ManOpen requires MacOS X 10.4 and higher (including Lion); it is compiled to work on both Power PC and Intel Macs. Source code is also available. Older versions ran on MacOS versions prior to 10.4, MacOS X Server 1.2, and OPENSTEP/Mach machines.
To install the app, first unpack the distribution. A .dmg disk image
Unpacking the distribution should create a directory with a README,
the ManOpen application, the openman command-line tool, and openman's
man page (openman.1).
Place the application in one of the standard Application directories, such
as /Applications, /Network/Applications, or ~/Applications. If you want
to install the openman tool, put it in one of the directories in the
Unix $PATH, such as /usr/local/bin or ~/bin. Put its openman.1 man page
in a standard man page directory, such as /usr/local/man/man1.
The current version is 2.6.
The older version 2.5.1 runs on older operating systems:
Version 2.6, March 2012
Version 2.5.1, December 2005
- Requires MacOS X 10.4; works on 10.7
- Updated to use more current MacOS interface
- Added a "Copy URL" function to copy the current page URL
to the clipboard (suggested by Quinn)
- Handle versions of groff/grotty which use ANSI escape sequences
(reported by Kim Holburn)
- Preference on Lion to disable saving of open windows upon quit
- No longer declares 1, 2, 3, 4, ... , 9 file extensions as man pages.
This caused problems on some systems.
- Page loading got slower under MacOS X 10.4.2; this should be fixed.
- Handled some cases where UTF8 sequences appeared in the man page
and were not displayed properly.
- Add support for the 'n' man page section, (ab)used by Tcl for
its man pages.
Version 2.5, May 2005
- Fixes operation on MacOS X 10.4 (Tiger)
- Has a Section pulldown for quickly jumping to man page sections
- Handles the "x-man-page" URL scheme introduced by Apple
in the MacOS X 10.3 version of Terminal.app
- Includes a preference to select the default x-man-page viewer
- Page numbers are added when printing
- Open and Apropos panels remember their position if non-modal
- Open and Apropos panels can be closed with escape or Command-. keys
- Find Previous shortcut on MacOS X is now Command-Shift-g, as per
Apple UI guidelines
- Declares 1, 2, 3, 4, ... , 9 file extensions as man pages on Mac OS X
- Worked around MacOS X 10.3 man(1) change so that the Man Search Path
works for Apropos searches again
- Pops up a warning if many windows will be opened when using the
Open Selection button in a man page window
- Accepts entries of the form "3 printf" in the Open Title panel
- A few other minor fixes
Version 2.4, March 2003
- Space bar pages down (shift-space pages up)
- Switched Cmd-O and Cmd-Shift-O; Cmd-O now brings up
title panel and Cmd-Shift-O brings up File Open panel
- Can rearrange man paths in preferences
- Added preference to open title panel on startup
- Titles get added to Open Recent menu on MacOS X
- Gzipped man pages are now handled
- Fixed bug with Page Setup changes not being remembered
- Fixed crash on launch when opening files from Finder
- Fixed bug causing cancel buttons to appear as blue
- Mouse cursor changes over hyperlinks
- Printing works in the Apropos window now
- openman command line tool now has -b option to avoid
forcing ManOpen.app to the front
- Fink's /sw/share/man is added to the default man path if
- Avoids treating binary files as man pages
- Apropos list sorted alphabetically
- Preferences uses "org.clindberg.ManOpen" now
- Added note on tcsh completion for openman to help
- Hyperlinks supported on OPENSTEP (uses RTF Help links)
Version 2.3.2, October 2001
- Fixed another crasher under MacOS X 10.1
- Find panel works again in OPENSTEP
- Changed some defaults setting names; occasional conflict caused
crashes on MacOS X Server 1.2
Version 2.3.1, October 2001 (MacOS X-only release)
- Fixed bug that caused crashes under MacOS X 10.1
Version 2.3, April 2001
- Colors are now settable in preferences
- Added menu items to list man sections
- Version number shows in Info panel
- Preference to keep open title/apropos panels open
- Opening files explicitly sometimes wouldn't work
- openman now forces ManOpen to the front
- A couple of other minor bug fixes and improvements
Version 2.2, December 2000
- Fixed bugs that prevented ManOpen from working if it was
located under a directory that had spaces in its name
- Much improved window maximize behavior
- Better MacOS X icon (though it still needs a completely new one)
- A couple of other minor bug fixes and improvements
Version 2.1, October 2000
- Runs on MacOS X Public Beta
- Added apropos(1) interface
- Added hyperlinking of referenced man pages
- Added font preference
- Can choose manual section when opening titles
- A few other minor bug fixes and improvements
Version 2.0, October 1999
- First MacOS X Server version
I'm always interested in bug reports, suggestions, comments, or any other feedback (and I'd like to thank all those who have written in so far). I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.