apropos- are not enough. How can I search the Emacs Lisp Reference Manual (C-h i m elisp) from within emacs?
EDIT: I just found the wonderful
M-x info-apropos which searches full text over all info documents and returns the relevant nodes. Seems this gem is relatively unknown.
If you use
helm package from MELPA with
helm-mode on, using either
i (info-index) or
I (info-virtual-index) pops up a helm window with the index terms. You can then use typical helm completion patterns to discover and browse the index.
You can use
elisp-index-search. I use it daily.
I use it mostly when I already know a function name and want to see it in emacs lisp manual.
More of a full text search but C-s (
isearch-forward) will search through the whole info document if you repeat enough times. I use it mostly as a desperation measure when I can't work out the actual term that appears in the index.
The closest I know of is searching the index by running
Info-virtual-index (bound to
I) from within the manual.
In addition to what others have mentioned, Icicles facilitates browsing and searching Info manuals.
Info-index) is your friend in Info. Start your search with it. It is typically more useful than a brute-force text search, because a human has indexed useful terms.
iin vanilla index accepts a substring of an index entry as input (using
RET), it does not provide substring, let along regexp, completion. In Icicle mode,
iin Info is bound to
icicle-Info-index, which provides such completion, and it also lets you filter using multiple patterns (progressive completion). It is also a multi-command, which means that with a single
iinvocation you can visit any number of occurrences for any number of index entries.
With Icicles, you can optionally have
iand other Info commands highlight a bit differently, in buffer
*Completions*, completion candidates that correpond to Info nodes that you have already visited. This is handy to avoid revisiting a node that you have already consulted, when searching in different ways. It helps especially with double-entry indexing, that is, multiple index entries to the same node.
In addition to index lookup, you can search an Info manual. In vanilla Emacs you can use
C-M-srepeatedly to do this. This can be handy in cases where
idoes give you the help you want.
With Icicles, you can limit searching to a particular set of nodes.
Info-goto-node) accepts multi-completion input. You can provide a pattern (regexp, substring, etc.) that matches node names or a pattern that matches node content, or both. Matching a pattern against node content means searching manual content. The completion candidates shown in
*Completions*are the node names.
You can search a set of nodes or an entire manual. After you choose one of the matching nodes to visit, you can use
C-M-sto find each match of the content-search pattern within the node. And just as for
gis a multi-command, which means that you can visit any number of nodes in a single
You can create virtual books composed of different sets of nodes (even from different manuals), and save these persistently, for reuse later. Searching a smaller set of nodes (a sub-manual) can be faster.
See here for more info about Icicles Info enhancements.
You can also use
s to search the current document for the next instance of a given regular expression. Repeated presses of
s-<RET> will iteratively search for the next instance of the same expression. https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/info/Search-Text.html#Search-Text