Better bash man pages
April 26th, 2014
Colorize them all.
We, developers, live much of our time within a shell. Modern CLIs output stunning help in a way before was not possible. Think of NPM or Heroku or the great GIT.
However we still have the man pages with their default style: black&white with some underline or bold.
So, we can change this luckily. It's a feature, probably an ancient one, most of us don't know or just forgot about it.
How to do that:
- create a file called .LESS_TERMCAP:
- edit the ~/.LESS_TERMCAP file with an editor:
fill ~/.LESS_TERMCAP with this:
# Less Colors for Man Pages export LESS_TERMCAP_mb=$'\E[0;103m' # begin blinking export LESS_TERMCAP_md=$'\E[0;93m' # begin bold export LESS_TERMCAP_me=$'\E[0m' # end mode export LESS_TERMCAP_se=$'\E[0m' # end standout-mode export LESS_TERMCAP_so=$(tput bold; tput setaf 8; tput setab 3) # begin standout-mode - info box export LESS_TERMCAP_ue=$'\E[0m' # end underline export LESS_TERMCAP_us=$'\E[04;32m' # begin underline export LESS_TERMCAP_mr=$(tput rev) export LESS_TERMCAP_mh=$(tput dim) export LESS_TERMCAP_ZN=$(tput ssubm) export LESS_TERMCAP_ZV=$(tput rsubm) export LESS_TERMCAP_ZO=$(tput ssupm) export LESS_TERMCAP_ZW=$(tput rsupm)
open your ~/.bash_profile with an editor:
- add to ~/.bash_profile this:
[[ -f ~/.LESS_TERMCAP ]] && . ~/.LESS_TERMCAP
- reload the ~/.bash_profile (or restart the bash session):
Now you have colorized the man pages. It's possible also to customize the colors, if you google a bit you'll find the table of colors and the meaning of those variables.