Chapter 35. Help Commands

The asciidoc(1) command has a --help option which prints help topics to stdout. The default topic summarizes asciidoc(1) usage:

$ asciidoc --help

To print a help topic specify the topic name as a command argument. Help topic names can be shortened so long as they are not ambiguous. Examples:

$ asciidoc --help manpage
$ asciidoc -h m              # Short version of previous example.
$ asciidoc --help syntax
$ asciidoc -h s              # Short version of previous example.

35.1. Customizing Help

To change, delete or add your own help topics edit a help configuration file. The help file name help-<lang>.conf is based on the setting of the lang attribute, it defaults to help.conf (English). The help file location will depend on whether you want the topics to apply to all users or just the current user.

The help topic files have the same named section format as other configuration files. The help.conf files are stored in the same locations and loaded in the same order as other configuration files.

When the --help command-line option is specified AsciiDoc loads the appropriate help files and then prints the contents of the section whose name matches the help topic name. If a topic name is not specified default is used. You don’t need to specify the whole help topic name on the command-line, just enough letters to ensure it’s not ambiguous. If a matching help file section is not found a list of available topics is printed.