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22.5.4 Other Customization Variables

This table gives the remaining customization variables, which apply to multiple formats, or affect global behavior, or otherwise don’t fit into the categories of the previous sections.


When a closing quote is needed, use this character; default &rsquo; in HTML, &#8217; in Docbook. The default for Info is the same as OPEN_QUOTE_SYMBOL (see below).


Recognize #line directives in a “preprocessing” pass (see section External Macro Processors: Line Directives); on by default.


If set, debugging output is generated; default is off (zero).


For Docbook, HTML, XML. Specifies the SystemLiteral, the entity’s system identifier. This is a URI which may be used to retrieve the entity, and identifies the canonical DTD for the document. The default value is different for each of HTML, Docbook and Texinfo XML.


For debugging. If set, no conversion is done, only parsing and macro expansion. If the option ‘--macro-expand’ is set, the Texinfo source is also expanded to the corresponding file. Default false.


For debugging. If set, the tree constructed upon parsing a Texinfo document is output to standard error; default false.


For HTML, XML. If ‘--enable-encoding’ is set, and there is an entity corresponding with the letter or the symbol being output, prefer the entity. Set by default for HTML, but not XML.


For cross references to other manuals, this determines if the other manual is considered to be split or monolithic. By default, it is set based on the value of SPLIT. See section HTML Cross References, and see section HTML Cross Reference Configuration: ‘htmlxref.cnf.


The extension added to the output file name. The default is different for each output format.


For “plain Texinfo” (see the PLAINTEXINFO item). If set to false, the resulting Texinfo does not have all errors corrected, such as missing ‘@end’; default true. This variable is only relevant when expanding Texinfo; other converters always try to output something sane even if the input is erroneous.


If set, begin outputting at @setfilename, if @setfilename is present; default true.


If set, spaces are ignored after an @-command that takes braces. Default true, matching the TeX behavior.


Symbol used between the index entry and the associated node or section; default ‘:’.


If set, warn about problematic constructs for Info output (such as the string ‘::’) in node names, menu items, and cross references; default true. Do not warn about index entries, since parsing problems there don’t prevent navigation; readers can still relatively easily find their way to the node in question.


If set, @insertcopying is replaced by the @copying content (see section @copying: Declare Copying Permissions) as if @insertcopying were a user-defined macro; default false.


Normalized encoding name suitable for output. Should be a usable charset name in HTML, typically one of the preferred IANA encoding names. You should not need to use this variable, since it is set by @documentencoding (see section @documentencoding enc: Set Input Encoding).


Perl encoding used to process the Texinfo source. You should not need to use that variable, since it is set by @documentencoding (see section @documentencoding enc: Set Input Encoding).


Ignore white space at the beginning of user defined macro body line, mimicking a TeX limitation (see section Macro Details and Caveats). Default off.


The maximal number of recursive calls of @-commands defined through @rmacro; default 100000. The purpose of this variable is to avoid infinite recursions.


Symbol used between the menu entry and the description; default ‘:’.


If set, do not use @setfilename to set the document name; instead, base the output document name only on the input file name. The default is false.


If set, node names are used to construct file names. By default, it is set if the output is split by node, or if NODE_FILES is set and the output is split in any way.


If set, use node names in index entries, otherwise prefer section names; default true.


If set, use node names in menu entries, otherwise prefer section names; default true.


When an opening quote is needed, e.g., for ‘@samp’ output, use the specified character; default &lsquo; for HTML, &#8216; for Docbook. For Info, the default depends on the enabled document encoding (see section @documentencoding enc: Set Input Encoding); if no document encoding is set, or the encoding is US-ASCII, etc., ‘'’ is used. This character usually appears as an undirected single quote on modern systems. If the document encoding is Unicode, the Info output uses a Unicode left quote.


Normalized encoding name used for output files. Should be a usable charset name in HTML, typically one of the preferred IANA encoding names. By default, if an input encoding is set (typically through @documentencoding or INPUT_ENCODING_NAME), this information is used to set the output encoding name. If no input encoding is specified, the default output encoding name may be set by the output format. In particular, the XML-based formats use utf-8 for OUTPUT_ENCODING_NAME if the encoding is not otherwise specified. See section @documentencoding enc: Set Input Encoding.


If set, the cross references in the Overview link to the corresponding Table of Contents entries; default true.


The implementation’s short package name, package version, package name and version concatenated, package url, and full package name, respectively. By default, these variables are all set through Autoconf, Automake, and configure.


The output file prefix, which is prepended to some output file names. By default it is set by @setfilename or from the input file (see section @setfilename: Set the Output File Name). How this value is used depends on the value of other customization variables or command line options, such as whether the output is split and NODE_FILENAMES. The default is unset.


Name of the program used. By default, it is set to the name of the program launched, with a trailing ‘.pl’ removed.


If set, use the value for the renamed nodes description file. If not set, the file is ‘doc_basename-noderename.cnf’. See section HTML Cross Reference Link Preservation: manual-noderename.cnf.


If set, create redirection files for renamed nodes. Set by default when generating HTML.


If set, Texinfo menus are output. By default, it is set unless generating Docbook or if ‘--no-headers’ is specified.


If set, the name of a file to which a list of elements (nodes or sections, depending on the output format) is dumped, sorted by the number of lines they contain after removal of @-commands; default unset. This is used by the program texi-elements-by-size in the ‘util/’ directory of the Texinfo source distribution (see texi-elements-by-size).


When dumping the elements-by-size file (see preceding item), use word counts instead of line counts; default false.


If set to true, some variables which are normally dynamically generated anew for each run (date, program name, version) are set to fixed and given values. This is useful to compare the output to a reference file, as is done for the tests. The default is false.


Name of the command used to produce PostScript, PDF, and DVI; default ‘texi2dvi’. See section texi2any Printed Output.


Generate HTML and try to be as compatible as possible with texi2html; default false.


Used with the indent_menu_descriptions tree transformation, described below; default 32 (matching texinfo-column-for-description in Emacs)).


For XML. Version of the DTD used in the XML output preamble. The default is set based on a variable in ‘’.


For stripped text content output (i.e., when TEXINFO_OUTPUT_FORMAT is set to textcontent). If set, also output comments. Default false.


Up node for the Top node; default ‘(dir)’.


The associated value is a comma separated list of transformations that can be applied to the Texinfo tree prior to outputting the result. If more than one is specified, the ordering is irrelevant; each is always applied at the necessary point during processing.

The only one executed by default is ‘move_index_entries_after_items’ for HTML and Docbook output. Here’s an example of updating the master menu in a document:

makeinfo \
  -c TREE_TRANSFORMATIONS=regenerate_master_menu \
  mydoc.texi \
  -o /tmp/out

(Caveat: Since PLAINTEXINFO output does expand Texinfo macros and conditionals, it’s necessary to remove any such differences before installing the updates in the original document. This will be remedied in a future release.)

The following transformations are currently supported (many are used in the pod2texi utility distributed with Texinfo; see section Invoking pod2texi: Convert POD to Texinfo):


Add menu entries or whole menus for nodes associated with sections of any level, based on the sectioning tree.


Adds empty @unnumbered... sections in a tree to fill gaps in sectioning. For example, an @unnumberedsec will be inserted if an @chapter is followed by an @subsection.


Reformat menus so that descriptions start at column TEXINFO_COLUMN_DESCRIPTION.


Insert nodes for sectioning commands lacking a corresponding node.


In @enumerate and @itemize, move index entries appearing just before an @item to just after the @item. Comment lines between index entries are moved too. As mentioned, this is always done for HTML and Docbook output.


Update the Top node master menu, either replacing the (first) @detailmenu in the Top node menu, or creating it at the end of the Top node menu.


Mostly the same as SIMPLE_MENU: use a simple preformatted style for the menu. It differs from setting SIMPLE_MENU in that SIMPLE_MENU only has an effect in HTML output.


Preferentially use nodes to decide where elements are separated. If set to false, preferentially use sectioning to decide where elements are separated. The default is true.


If set, use the node associated with a section for the section target in cross references; default true.


For HTML and XML. If set, use numeric entities instead of ASCII characters when there is no named entity. By default, set to true for HTML.


Fill in up sectioning direction with node direction when there is no sectioning up direction. In practice this can only happen when there is no @top section. Not set by default.


Default is on for Info, off for other output. If set, use exactly what @setfilename gives for the output file name, including the extension. You should not need to explicitly set this variable.


Use the full @titlepage as the title, not a simple title string; default false.


If set to false, do not use the Text::Unidecode Perl module to transliterate more characters; default true.

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