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1.2 Using Texinfo

Using Texinfo, you can create a printed document (via the TeX typesetting system) with the normal features of a book, including chapters, sections, cross references, and indices. From the same Texinfo source file, you can create an Info file with special features to make documentation browsing easy. You can also create from that same source file an HTML output file suitable for use with a web browser, a Docbook file, or a transliteration in XML format. See the next section (see section Output Formats) for details and sample commands to generate output from the source.

TeX works with virtually all printers; Info works with virtually all computer terminals; the HTML output works with virtually all web browsers. Thus Texinfo and its output can be used by almost any computer user.

A Texinfo source file is a plain ASCII file containing text interspersed with @-commands (words preceded by an ‘@’) that tell the Texinfo processors what to do. You can edit a Texinfo file with any text editor, but it is especially convenient to use GNU Emacs since that editor has a special mode, called Texinfo mode, that provides various Texinfo-related features. (See section Using Texinfo Mode.)

Texinfo is the official documentation format of the GNU project. More information is available at the GNU documentation web page.

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