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What a Texinfo File Must Have

By convention, the names of Texinfo files end with one of the extensions `.texinfo', `.texi', or `.tex'. The longer extension is preferred since it describes more clearly to a human reader the nature of the file. The shorter extensions are for operating systems that cannot handle long file names.

In order to be made into a printed manual and an Info file, a Texinfo file must begin with lines like this:

\input texinfo
@setfilename info-file-name
@settitle name-of-manual

The contents of the file follow this beginning, and then you must end a Texinfo file with a line like this:


The `\input texinfo' line tells TeX to use the `texinfo.tex' file, which tells TeX how to translate the Texinfo @-commands into TeX typesetting commands. (Note the use of the backslash, `\'; this is correct for TeX.) The `@setfilename' line provides a name for the Info file and the `@settitle' line specifies a title for the page headers (or footers) of the printed manual.

The @bye line at the end of the file on a line of its own tells the formatters that the file is ended and to stop formatting.

Usually, you will not use quite such a spare format, but will include mode setting and start-of-header and end-of-header lines at the beginning of a Texinfo file, like this:

\input texinfo   @c -*-texinfo-*-
@c %**start of header
@setfilename info-file-name
@settitle name-of-manual
@c %**end of header

In the first line, `-*-texinfo-*-' causes Emacs to switch into Texinfo mode when you edit the file.

The @c lines which surround the `@setfilename' and `@settitle' lines are optional, but you need them in order to run TeX or Info on just part of the file. (See section Start of Header, for more information.)

Furthermore, you will usually provide a Texinfo file with a title page, indices, and the like. But the minimum, which can be useful for short documents, is just the three lines at the beginning and the one line at the end.

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