As a certified geek and official Apple fan guy, I’m here to tell you there’s more built into OS X than meets the eye. The Mac’s venerable OS is built on various Unix components, and one of them is the library of manuals.
What? Wait. Manuals? On the Mac? What manuals? I know what you’re thinking. “I’ve never seen or used a Mac manual!” Prepare to be enlightened. Because OS X is built on Unix, there are twenty eleven Unix commands available for use, usually in the Terminal.app. That sounds like fun, right? Reading manuals in Terminal? There is a better way.
Preview, Meet Man
Certified Mac geeks will be familiar with Man, the Unix utility which displays command-line command details. But Man files are sometimes complicated to understand and you have to open Terminal just to get a look.
Man Reader takes the complexity out of Man files so you can view such complicated command details with typical Mac-like ease of use. Behold.
Unix commands can be difficult to master but more because all the details for how a command works are only available in Man pages in Terminal. Man Reader brings them to the screen, without terminal, and with plenty of useful options.
- List all Man pages on your Mac
- Display sections of each Man
- Search for Man pages by name, or page
- Display Man pages in HTML
- Use Sticky Notes
- Bookmark frequently used Man pages
- Change font and size on the Mac’s screen
- Click to access commonly used Unix utilities
Are Man pages for Mac geeks? Certainly. You need to be comfortable with Terminal to access Unix commands, and that’s where the Man pages manuals reside. Man Reader brings them to the Mac’s screen but sans Unix and Terminal.
To a certain extent, Man Reader exposes you to both the intricacies and complexities of Unix commands, but does so gently. The Mac way.
All those Man pages already exist on your Mac. Mac users who know Unix know how to use them. Unix commands can be powerful tools, but the command line structure of Terminal.app and the Man pages themselves can be a deterrent to use.
Man Reader makes Man pages and Unix commands visible in a Preview app-like interface that is easier to scroll to read and much easier to search without learning some of the Unix commands you’ll find in the Man pages in the first place.
The app is highly recommended, quite useful, affordable, and– as is the case with the Mac in general– makes using something complex much easier.