View man files as PDF

Sometimes viewing man pages on the command line is less than convenient. Ok, its always inconvenient. But there’s a better way: convert the man page to pdf and view it with Preview.

Add this to a file, I named mine manv, put it in a safe place (I keep a /bin folder in my home directory) and make it executable with chmod a+x filename.

#! /bin/bash
if [ "$#" = "1" ]; then
	man -t ${1} > /tmp/${1}.ps
	pstopdf /tmp/${1}.ps /tmp/${1}.pdf
	open -a /tmp/${1}.pdf
	sleep 10
	rm /tmp/${1}.ps /tmp/${1}.pdf

Now invoke the man page with your new script name instead of with man and read it in Preview. Enjoy!

Tagged as: bash command line man pdf preview script