I have gone from node top to node coreutils. When i press n it goes into the introduction node. If i press u it goes back into node coreutils.

In the help menu it says.

n           Go to the next node on this level.
u           Go up one level.

So if n preserves the level, how can u return me back to the same node?

edit: I was using the info reader not emacs.

Here is a diagram of what I expected.

 .  ↑
|n \|u

where the dots are nodes

  • Do you see this if you start Emacs with emacs -Q (no init file)? If not then bisect your init file to find the culprit. If yes, consider filing a bug report: by default, u should move up to a parent node, if there is one.
    – Drew
    Nov 1, 2022 at 4:20
  • What do you mean by "undoes n"? If n takes you to a child node then it's normal that u takes you back to that child's parent. Is that "undoing n"?
    – Drew
    Nov 1, 2022 at 4:21
  • I interpreted that n Go to the next node on this level as n not taking me to child node. Here is a diagram of what I expected. . ↑ |n \|u .<--. ` n:go to node on same level u: go up a level
    – Progamer
    Nov 1, 2022 at 18:44
  • This is emacs.stackexchange.com, so if your question is not about the info reader implemented in Emacs then it's off-topic.
    – phils
    Nov 1, 2022 at 22:01

1 Answer 1


u does not undo n.

It's a tree structure, and u takes you up to the parent node.

You can navigate forward and back with n/p or [/] (refer to docs for the difference), and you can use l to go back to the previous node you were looking at no matter where you came from.

I strongly recommend the tutorial: C-h i h

Note that the Top node (table of contents) tends to be a special case, and not strictly on a higher level than the subsequent nodes.

If the "Introduction" is numbered "1", you can think of the Top node as implicitly numbered "0" at the same level for the purposes of navigating with n and p.

Node 1 will actually specify Prev: Top, Up: Top and therefore either p or u would take you back to the Top node. Similarly, the Top node will have a Next declaration pointing to the Introduction node.

  • I was confused about this while going through the emacs tutorial, so I started messing around in the info reader and what is said in the help (H) appears to be different than in emacs.
    – Progamer
    Nov 1, 2022 at 13:26
  • Also, i expected u to not undo n as well.
    – Progamer
    Nov 1, 2022 at 18:34
  • Re-reading your question, I think it's the special-case handling of the Top node and its first child which is causing confusion. I've updated my answer to cover that.
    – phils
    Nov 1, 2022 at 22:18

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