Tcl/Tk Man Pages

These hypertext man pages for John Ousterhout's Tcl, tool command language, and Tk, graphical user interface tool kit are designed to keep the vocabulary of Tcl and Tk at your fingertips. They are built by a Tcl program which reads all the Tcl/Tk man pages and cross references them as an integrated unit, so that every reasonable link between man pages is made, along with some that aren't so reasonable. The man page builder also recognizes patterns of formatting in the Tcl/Tk man pages and extracts these patterns into tables of contents for the large man pages.

You can try them out by visiting the top level table of contents:

If you find them useful, please feel free to take the whole tree. These are currently kept at the Tcl Developer Xchange where you can find man pages for earlier releases and much other useful information.

All references, except for one pointer back to here, are local, so you can install it on a standalone machine, point your favorite web browser at the table of contents, and have your own hypertext manual.

As of September 15, 1996, AltaVista found copies of these man pages installed at the following domains:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and There is also a copy installed at

These pages were built with a Scriptics modified version of a tcl script which can be found somewhere in the tcl distribution.

The Tcl script solves a specific problem without worrying much about general solutions. It might serve as a starting point for other domain sensitive conversions of man pages into web documents.

The Tcl script has been updated for this release to run under tclsh8.0, and to use filenames consistent with MS-DOS file systems. A previous release added a command line processor contributed by Tom Tromey. The script is released under the terms of the BSD copyright.

Please mail any comments, corrections, or questions to the author,

If reading the man pages leaves you curious about Tcl/Tk, you must be a very unusual person. In the normal course of computer programming, initial curiosity mutates into interest and onto frustration before anyone cracks a manual page. Visit the Tcl/Tk home page to obtain the current Tcl/Tk distributions and to obtain additional information about Tcl/Tk and the variety of things that people do with it.

Release history for these Tcl/Tk man pages:

May 15, 1995
Original release.
May 16, 1995
Added a pointer back to here from the table of contents so that propagated copies could more easily propagate further. Thanks to (Don Libes) for the suggestion.
May 21, 1995
Broke the contents pages into smaller pieces. Thanks to for the suggestion. Added a keyword index section. Second release.
June 22, 1995
Upgraded to the b4 releases. Third release.
September 24, 1995
Upgraded to the Tcl 7.5a1 and Tk 4.1a1 releases, and suppressed the table of contents for most pages. Thanks to Rob Nagler ( for the impetus to do that.
October 11, 1995
Upgraded to the Tcl 7.5a2 and Tk 4.1a2 releases, and reorganized directories a bit.
March 10, 1996
Upgraded to the Tcl 7.5b3 and Tk 4.1b3 releases.
May 21, 1996
Upgraded to the Tcl 7.5 and Tk 4.1 releases. Incorporated Tom Tromey's contributed command line processing. Placed everything under the Berkeley copyright terms.
August 25, 1996
Upgraded to the Tcl 7.5p1 and Tk 4.1p1 releases.
September 15, 1996
Upgraded to the Tcl 7.6b1 and Tk 4.2b1 releases.
September 22, 1996
Built archives for the older versions of tcl/tk that people need.
October 18, 1996
Upgraded to the Tcl 7.6 and Tk 4.2 releases.
May 28, 1997
Upgraded to the Tcl 8.0b1 and Tk 8.0b1 releases.
October 24, 1997
Finally upgraded to the Tcl 8.0 and Tk 8.0 releases.
January, 1999
Rewrote all links to refer to copies maintained at Scriptics. Thanks guys.
Summer, 1999
A new hire at Scriptics announces that he's going to convert the man pages into XML that will regenerate the nroff -man sources, HTML, and more.

By the way, these materials are covered by one or more of the following copyrights:

Copyright © 1989-1994 The Regents of the University of California.

Copyright © 1992-1995 Karl Lehenbauer and Mark Diekhans.

Copyright © 1993-1997 Bell Labs Innovations for Lucent Technologies

Copyright © 1994 The Australian National University

Copyright © 1994-1997 Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Copyright © 1995-1997 Roger E. Critchlow Jr.

most of which specify the same terms.