info - macOS


The info command on macOS provides a means to view the Info documentation files. Known for a more comprehensible and hyperlink-rich format than traditional man pages, info pages offer an organized structure with menu items, nodes, and navigational links to browse through detailed documentation. It is highly useful for users seeking an in-depth understanding of various commands and programs in a structured and linked format.


The general syntax of the info command is:

info [options] [menu-item]
  • menu-item is optional and specifies a particular file or topic the user wants to read about.


Here are the main options used with info:

  • --version: Displays version information about info.
  • --help: Shows the help message and exits.
  • -a, --all: When searching, match all documentation, not only the first found.
  • -k KEYWORD, --apropos=KEYWORD: Search for KEYWORD in all info files, similar to the functionality of man -k.
  • -d DIR, --directory=DIR: Add DIR to the list of directories searched for info documentation files.
  • -f FILE, --file=FILE: View the info file specified by FILE.
  • -o FILE, --output=FILE: Output the content to FILE instead of on the screen.
  • -h, --header: Output first page header, despite start-up default settings.


  • Viewing an info page:
info grep

This command opens the info documentation for grep.

  • Searching within all info pages:
info -k sort

This searches for the keyword “sort” in all info documents.

  • Outputting info content to a file:
info coreutils -o coreutils_info.txt

This saves the info pages of coreutils into the file coreutils_info.txt.

Common Issues

  • Documentation not found: If info fails to locate a specific document, ensure you have the documentation installed or check the directory path set using -d or --directory. macOS might not have all info files by default.

  • Output cluttered when redirected: When using info output redirection to a file, the result might include control characters. Use suitable viewing tools or applications that understand the formatting.


Combine info with shell scripts to automate the retrieval and processing of documentation content. For example:

info bash --output=~/bash_info.txt
grep -i "loop" ~/bash_info.txt

This script outputs the info page for bash to a file and then searches for “loop” within that file.

  • man: Display the system’s manual pages.
  • apropos: Search the manual page names and descriptions.

For further reading on info and man, you can visit the official GNU documentation online at