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In a Texinfo file, the commands that tell TeX how to typeset the printed manual and tell makeinfo and texinfo-format-buffer how to create an Info file are preceded by `@'; they are called @-commands. For example, @node is the command to indicate a node and @chapter is the command to indicate the start of a chapter.

Please note: All the @-commands, with the exception of the @TeX{} command, must be written entirely in lower case.

The Texinfo @-commands are a strictly limited set of constructs. The strict limits make it possible for Texinfo files to be understood both by TeX and by the code that converts them into Info files. You can display Info files on any terminal that displays alphabetic and numeric characters. Similarly, you can print the output generated by TeX on a wide variety of printers.

Depending on what they do or what arguments(4) they take, you need to write @-commands on lines of their own or as part of sentences:

As a general rule, a command requires braces if it mingles among other text; but it does not need braces if it starts a line of its own. The non-alphabetic commands, such as @:, are exceptions to the rule; they do not need braces.

As you gain experience with Texinfo, you will rapidly learn how to write the different commands: the different ways to write commands make it easier to write and read Texinfo files than if all commands followed exactly the same syntax. (For details about @-command syntax, see section @-Command Syntax.)

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