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perldoc(1) - perldoc - Look up Perl documentation in Pod format - man 1 perldoc

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PERLDOC(1)             Perl Programmers Reference Guide             PERLDOC(1)

       perldoc - Look up Perl documentation in(1,8) Pod format.

       perldoc [-h] [-v] [-t] [-u] [-m] [-l] [-F] [-i] [-V] [-T] [-r] [-ddes-
       tination_file] [-oformatname] [-MFormatterClassName] [-wformatterop-
       tion:value] [-nnroff-replacement] [-X] PageName|ModuleName|ProgramName

       perldoc -f BuiltinFunction

       perldoc -q FAQ Keyword

       See below for more description of the switches.

       perldoc looks up a piece of documentation in(1,8) .pod format that is embed-
       ded in(1,8) the perl installation tree or in(1,8) a perl script, and displays it
       via "pod2man | nroff -man | $PAGER". (In addition, if(3,n) running under
       HP-UX, "col -x" will be used.) This is primarily used for the documen-
       tation for the perl library modules.

       Your system may also have man(1,5,7) pages installed for those modules, in(1,8)
       which case you can probably just use the man(1,5,7)(1) command.

       If you are looking for a table of contents to the Perl library modules
       documentation, see the perltoc page.

       -h   Prints out a brief help message.

       -v   Describes search for the item in(1,8) detail (verbosely).

       -t   Display docs using plain text converter, instead of nroff. This
            may be faster, but it probably won't look(1,8,3 Search::Dict) as nice.

       -u   Skip the real Pod formatting, and just show the raw(3x,7,8,3x cbreak) Pod source

       -m module
            Display the entire module: both code and unformatted pod documen-
            tation.  This may be useful if(3,n) the docs don't explain a function
            in(1,8) the detail you need, and you'd like to inspect the code
            directly; perldoc will find the file(1,n) for you and simply hand it
            off for display.

       -l   Display only the file(1,n) name of the module found.

       -F   Consider arguments as file(1,n) names; no search in(1,8) directories will be

       -f perlfunc
            The -f option followed by the name of a perl built in(1,8) function
            will extract the documentation of this function from perlfunc.


                  perldoc -f sprintf

       -q perlfaq-search-regexp
            The -q option takes a regular expression as an argument.  It will
            search the question headings in(1,8) perlfaq[1-9] and print the entries
            matching the regular expression.  Example: "perldoc -q shuffle"

       -T   This specifies that the output is not to be sent to a pager, but
            is to be sent right to STDOUT.

       -d destination-filename
            This specifies that the output is to be sent neither to a pager
            nor to STDOUT, but is to be saved to the specified filename.
            Example: "perldoc -oLaTeX -dtextwrapdocs.tex Text::Wrap"

       -o output-formatname
            This specifies that you want Perldoc to try using a Pod-formatting
            class for the output format that you specify.  For example:
            "-oman".  This is actually just a wrapper around the "-M" switch(1,n);
            using "-oformatname" just looks for a loadable class by adding
            that format name (with different capitalizations) to the end of
            different classname prefixes.

            For example, "-oLaTeX" currently tries all of the following
            classes: Pod::Perldoc::ToLaTeX Pod::Perldoc::Tolatex Pod::Perl-
            doc::ToLatex Pod::Perldoc::ToLATEX Pod::Simple::LaTeX Pod::Sim-
            ple::latex Pod::Simple::Latex Pod::Simple::LATEX Pod::LaTeX
            Pod::latex Pod::Latex Pod::LATEX.

       -M module-name
            This specifies the module that you want to try using for format-
            ting the pod.  The class must must at least provide a
            "parse_from_file" method.  For example: "perldoc -MPod::Perl-

            You can specify several classes to try by joining them with commas
            or semicolons, as in(1,8) "-MTk::SuperPod;Tk::Pod".

       -w option:value or -w option
            This specifies an option to call the formatter with.  For example,
            "-w textsize:15" will call "$formatter->textsize(15)" on the for-
            matter object before it is used to format the object.  For this to
            be valid, the formatter class must provide such a method, and the
            value you pass should be valid.  (So if(3,n) "textsize" expects an
            integer, and you do "-w textsize:big", expect trouble.)

            You can use "-w optionname" (without a value) as shorthand for "-w
            optionname:TRUE".  This is presumably useful in(1,8) cases of on/off
            features like: "-w page_numbering".

            You can use a "=" instead of the ":", as in: "-w textsize=15".
            This might be more (or less(1,3)) convenient, depending on what shell
            you use.

       -X   Use an index if(3,n) it is present -- the -X option looks for an entry
            whose basename(1,3,3 File::Basename) matches the name given on the command line in(1,8) the
            file(1,n) "$Config{archlib}/pod.idx". The pod.idx file(1,n) should contain
            fully qualified filenames, one per line.

            The item you want to look(1,8,3 Search::Dict) up.  Nested modules (such as
            "File::Basename") are specified either as "File::Basename" or
            "File/Basename".  You may also give a descriptive name of a page,
            such as "perlfunc".

       -n some-formatter
            Specify replacement for nroff

       -r   Recursive search.

       -i   Ignore case.

       -V   Displays the version(1,3,5) of perldoc you're running.

       Because perldoc does not run properly tainted, and is known to have
       security issues, when run as the superuser it will attempt to drop
       privileges by setting the effective and real IDs to nobody's or
       nouser's account, or -2 if(3,n) unavailable.  If it cannot relinquish its
       privileges, it will not run.

       Any switches in(1,8) the "PERLDOC" environment variable will be used before
       the command line arguments.

       Useful values for "PERLDOC" include "-oman", "-otext", "-otk", "-ortf",
       "-oxml", and so on, depending on what modules you have on hand; or
       exactly specify the formatter class with "-MPod::Perldoc::ToMan" or the

       "perldoc" also searches directories specified by the "PERL5LIB" (or
       "PERLLIB" if(3,n) "PERL5LIB" is not defined) and "PATH" environment vari-
       ables.  (The latter is so that embedded pods for executables, such as
       "perldoc" itself, are available.)

       "perldoc" will use, in(1,8) order of preference, the pager defined in(1,8) "PERL-
       DOC_PAGER", "MANPAGER", or "PAGER" before trying to find a pager on its
       own. ("MANPAGER" is not used if(3,n) "perldoc" was told to display plain
       text or unformatted pod.)

       One useful value for "PERLDOC_PAGER" is "less(1,3) -+C -E".

       Having PERLDOCDEBUG set(7,n,1 builtins) to a positive integer will make perldoc emit
       even more descriptive output than the "-v" switch(1,n) does -- the higher
       the number, the more it emits.

       Current maintainer: Sean M. Burke, <>

       Past contributors are: Kenneth Albanowski <>, Andy
       Dougherty  <>, and many others.

perl v5.8.5                       2003-10-23                        PERLDOC(1)

References for this manual (incoming links)