I am fairly new to using the OSX terminal, so before I move forward, I want to get good at finding information out for myself. So, I was reading about the manpages about manpages, and I saw that I could do man man in my terminal to see the manpages on the manpages, but when I tried that, I saw this, and it thoroughly confused me: wtf

So, I think the other "flags" are intended to prefix the next thing you enter, like man -B SomeBrowser would show the manpages for SomeBrowser, but what the hell could man [-acdfFhkKtwW] possibly mean?

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    further to what digit said you can combine them. so somecommand -ab is the same as -a -b. And the notation [abc] means any of those switches. – barlop Jan 21 '14 at 3:13

Basically what that means is that all of those are individual flags. So -a is an option, -W is a valid argument, etc. Yeah, Unix conventions are kinda esoteric. If you scroll down, you should see what each letter from your jumble does. Good luck!

  • Ahhh! you've done it, sir. Now, is there much of a difference between the manpages generated with man [some_command] and the manpages online? Can you change the verbosity of any given man [some_command] to see less or more of its manpages? – michaelsnowden Jan 21 '14 at 1:56
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    @doctordoder no they're all verbose. you could write your own notes listing just the switches that you've found useful! or look up tutorials on commands.. that just mention the useful switches or useful uses of the command. sometimes an online one uses a different version of a command. later or earlier. and depends where online. there's not much difference. – barlop Jan 21 '14 at 3:10
  • @doctordoder I suppose if you're using the latest version of the command then man that and you have the latest. If looking online you can see different versions e.g. superuser.com/questions/526710/… mentions that the wget online manual has a man page that's out of date but elsewhere online there is a more up to date man page. So it depends where you look online. In that instance googling man wget got me a more up to date man than the wget online manual showed. – barlop Jan 21 '14 at 3:10

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