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7.3 The Parts of a Menu

A menu entry has three parts, only the second of which is required:

  1. The menu entry name (optional).
  2. The name of the node (required).
  3. A description of the item (optional).

The template for a generic menu entry looks like this (but see the next section for one more possibility):

* menu-entry-name: node-name.   description

Follow the menu entry name with a single colon and follow the node name with tab, comma, newline, or the two characters period and space (‘. ’).

makeinfo warns when the text of a menu item (and node names and cross references) contains a problematic construct that will interfere with its parsing in Info. If you don’t want to see the warnings, you can set the customization variable INFO_SPECIAL_CHARS_WARNING to ‘0’ (see section Other Customization Variables).

In Info, a user selects a node with the m (Info-menu) command. The menu entry name is what the user types after the m command.

The third part of a menu entry is a descriptive phrase or sentence. Menu entry names and node names are often short; the description explains to the reader what the node is about. A useful description complements the node name rather than repeats it. The description, which is optional, can spread over multiple lines; if it does, some authors prefer to indent the second line while others prefer to align it with the first (and all others). It’s up to you. An empty line, or the next menu entry, ends a description.

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