Also, can you view any metadata stored which describes the manuals/top level nodes you have previously visited?

  • 2
    Assuming you are referring to Info manuals (and not the Help system), have a look at the Intermediate Commands node of the Info manual. In particular, L (Info-history) lists your node history and l (Info-history-back) and r (Info-history-forward) go back and forth, respectively, through your history.
    – Basil
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 9:15
  • 2
    By the way, I recommend going through the excellent Info tutorial by typing h (Info-help).
    – Basil
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


Library Info+ (info+.el) offers several features that can help with this, especially when used with library Bookmark+.

  • Info-persist-history-mode – Enabling this minor mode saves the list of your visited Info nodes between Emacs sessions. Together with command Info-history (bound to L by default), this gives you a persistent virtual manual of the nodes you have visited in the past.

    If the mode is enabled then the list of visited nodes is saved to the file named by option Info-saved-history-file when you quit Emacs (not Info) or when you kill an Info buffer.

  • Command Info-change-visited-status (bound to C-x DEL) – Toggle or set the visited status of the node at point or the nodes in the active region. Useful if you use Info-fontify-visited-nodes to show you which nodes you have visited. No prefix arg: toggle. Non-negative prefix arg: set to visited. Negative prefix arg: set to unvisited.

  • Info-save-current-node (bound to .) – Save name of current node to list Info-saved-nodes, for use by v (Info-virtual-book).

  • Bookmarking Info nodes lets you associate arbitrary metadata with them. In many ways an Info node and its default bookmark can be thought of as the same thing.

    • You can tag nodes with any number of arbitrary tags, to classify them in different and overlapping ways. You can also annotate them (in Org mode, by default) with arbitrary text.

    • You can use C-h C-b in Info to show the metadata for a (bookmarked) node. This is all of the associated bookmark information, including the annotation and tags for that node and the number of times you have visited it.

    • Links for bookmarked nodes can have a different face, to let you know that those nodes have associated metadata. Option Info-fontify-bookmarked-xrefs-flag controls whether this is done.

    • The face for this is info-xref-bookmarked by default, but you can set the face to use for a given Info bookmark using C-x f (command Info-set-face-for-bookmarked-xref). This gives you an easy way to classify nodes and show the class of a node by its links. Use faces to make clear which nodes are most important to you, or which are related to this or that general topic.

    • If option Info-node-access-invokes-bookmark-flag is non-nil then going to a bookmarked Info node invokes its bookmark, so that the node metadata (such as the number of visits) gets updated. Command Info-toggle-node-access-invokes-bookmark toggles the option value.

    • You can automatically bookmark nodes you visit, by enabling mode bmkp-info-auto-bookmark-mode. Toggle the mode off anytime you do not want to record Info visits.

    • In the bookmark-list display (from C-x r l) you can sort bookmarks by the time of last visit (s d) or by the number of visits (s v). This gives you an easy way to see which parts of which Info manuals you have visited most recently and how much you have visited them. You can also create bookmark lists for only bookmarks of a given type, such as Info bookmarks.

  • Editable, outline-enabled tables of contents (TOCs). Command Info-toc-outline (bound to O) opens a separate Info buffer showing the table of contents (TOC).

    This is similar to the standard command Info-toc (bound to T), but the buffer is cloned from the manual, is editable, and is in outline-minor-mode.

    You can have any number of such TOCs, for the same manual or for different manuals.

    Outline minor mode lets you hide and show, and promote and demote, various parts of the TOC tree for a manual. And since the TOC is editable you can make other changes to it: sort parts of it, delete parts of it, duplicate parts of it, move parts around in an ad hoc way, and so on.

    Especially when combined with Info-persist-history-mode, command Info-change-visited-status (C-x DEL), and the Info+ bookmarking enhancements (e.g., special link highlighting and persistently tracking the number of visits per node), Info-toc-outline gives you a way to organize access and visibility of a manual’s nodes, to reflect how you use it.

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