Declarative definition of command line interfaces for OCaml
Module tool_man.html


Man page sections for a command are printed in the order specified by manual as given to Unless specified explicitely in the command's manual the following sections are automaticaly created and populated for you:

The various doc documentation strings specified by the command's term arguments get inserted at the end of the documentation section they respectively mention in their docs argument:

  1. For commands, see
  2. For positional arguments, see Those are listed iff both the docv and doc string is specified by
  3. For optional arguments, see
  4. For exit statuses, see
  5. For environment variables, see Cmdliner.Arg.env_var and

If a docs section name is mentioned and does not exist in the command's manual, an empty section is created for it, after which the doc strings are inserted, possibly prefixed by boilerplate text (e.g. for Cmdliner.Manpage.s_environment and Cmdliner.Manpage.s_exit_status).

If the created section is:

  • standard, it is inserted at the right place in the order specified here, but after a possible non-standard section explicitely specified by the command's manual since the latter get the order number of the last previously specified standard section or the order of Cmdliner.Manpage.s_synopsis if there is no such section.
  • non-standard, it is inserted before the Cmdliner.Manpage.s_commands section or the first subsequent existing standard section if it doesn't exist. Taking advantage of this behaviour is discouraged, you should declare manually your non standard section in the command's manual page.

Finally note that the header of empty sections are dropped from the output. This allows you to share section placements among many commands and render them only if something actually gets inserted in it.

Documentation markup language

Manpage blocks and doc strings support the following markup language.

  • Markup directives $(i,text) and $(b,text), where text is raw text respectively rendered in italics and bold.
  • Outside markup directives, context dependent variables of the form $(var) are substituted by marked up data. For example in a term's man page $(tname) is substituted by the term name in bold.
  • Characters $, (, ) and \ can respectively be escaped by \$, \(, \) and \\ (in OCaml strings this will be "\\$", "\\(", "\\)", "\\\\"). Escaping $ and \ is mandatory everywhere. Escaping ) is mandatory only in markup directives. Escaping ( is only here for your symmetric pleasure. Any other sequence of characters starting with a \ is an illegal character sequence.
  • Refering to unknown markup directives or variables will generate errors on standard error during documentation generation.