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6.1 The @node Command

A node is a stretch of text that begins at an @node command and continues until the next @node command. The definition of node is different from that for chapter or section. A chapter may contain sections and a section may contain subsections, but a node cannot contain subnodes: the text of a node continues only until the next @node command in the file. A node usually contains only one chapter structuring command, immediately following the @node line.

To specify a node, write an @node command at the beginning of a line, and follow it with up to four arguments, separated by commas, on the rest of the same line. The first argument is required; it is the name of this node (for details of node names, see section @node Line Requirements). The subsequent arguments are optional—they are the names of the ‘Next’, ‘Previous’, and ‘Up’ pointers, in that order. We strongly recommend omitting them if your Texinfo document is hierarchically organized, as virtually all are (see section makeinfo Pointer Creation). You may insert spaces before or after each name on the @node line if you wish; such spaces are ignored.

Whether the node pointers are specified implicitly or explicitly, the Info and HTML output from makeinfo for each node includes links to the ‘Next’, ‘Previous’, and ‘Up’ nodes. The HTML also uses the accesskey attribute with the values ‘n’, ‘p’, and ‘u’ respectively. This allows people using web browsers to follow the navigation using (typically) M-letter, e.g., M-n for the ‘Next’ node, from anywhere within the node.

Usually, you write one of the chapter-structuring command lines immediately after an @node line—for example, an @section or @subsection line. See section Structuring Command Types.

TeX uses both @node names and chapter-structuring names in the output for cross references. For this reason, you must write @node lines in a Texinfo file that you intend to format for printing, even if you do not intend to format it for Info; and you must include a chapter-structuring command after a node for it to be a valid cross reference target (to TeX). You can use @anchor (see section @anchor: Defining Arbitrary Cross Reference Targets) to make cross references to an arbitrary position in a document.

Cross references, such as the one at the end of this sentence, are made with @xref and related commands; see Cross References.

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