Texi2HTML – Texinfo to HTML v1.78: 1. Overview
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1. Overview

Texinfo is the official documentation format of the GNU project. It uses a single source file to produce both online information and printed output.

It is often desirable to have a way to produce HTML from Texinfo sources, as GNU-Info files are produced. It is much simpler to run a converter than it is to rewrite all the documentation in HTML, especially considering that there is so much Texinfo documentation in the world.

Some time ago makeinfo wasn't able to produce HTML output format, but people still wanted documentation in HTML. This was the birthing hour for texi2html. The basic purpose of texi2html is to convert Texinfo documents into HTML.

Since then, HTML support in makeinfo has improved, but texi2html is still stronger in many areas, including the degree to which it allows customization. With texi2html, some important aspects of the resulting HTML files may be specified via command line options, and configuration files provide an even finer degree of control over the final output, allowing most every aspect of the final output not specified in the Texinfo input file to be specified. Configuration files are written in perl, like the main program, and anything which may be specified on the command line may also be specified within a configuration file.

For an example of the kind of pages texi2html is capable of producing, have a look at the following sites: the Singular Manual, the Cederqvist (CVS Manual).


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1.1 Why texi2html and not makeinfo?

You would like to produce HTML files from your existing Texinfo files? There are two programs you can use to do this. The first is makeinfo (see (texinfo)Generating HTML section `Generating HTML' in GNU Texinfo). The second is texi2html.

The design goal of makeinfo's HTML output was to produce readable HTML output. It is now possible to use CSS for HTML customization. Another possibility is to use intermediate formats, like docbook or makeinfo XML and XSL stylesheets to customize the resulting document. Still the output produced by makeinfo isn't customizable.

The current development of texi2html tries to provide for producing the more interesting and sophisticated HTML pages that today's Internet users have come to expect. The goal behind texi2html is to generate attractive HTML by default but also to allow users considerable freedom to affect the final style and design of the output HTML pages. This is achieved via command line options and flexible configuration files.

In contrast to the HTML produced by makeinfo --html (the makeinfo program is part of the Texinfo distribution), the texi2html program, among other differences, allows for the customization of the entire page layout, including headers, footers, style sheets, etc., allows for customization of the low level HTML formatting, provides for splitting documents at various levels, and provides for using the latex2html program to convert @tex sections of the Texinfo source.

The focus on HTML is still present but with the help of the customization files it is now possible to use texi2html to produce other formats as well. texi2html may for example be turned into a texinfo to roff translator with the help of a customization file provided with the distribution.

texi2html should reasonably convert all Texinfo 4.8 constructs. If you find it does not, please send a bug report to the texi2html-bug@nongnu.org email list.


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This document was generated by Derek Price on June, 5 2007 using texi2html 1.78.

Derek Price, CVS developer and technical editor of Essential CVS (Essentials line from O'Reilly Press) , and others offer consulting services and training through Ximbiot.