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This plugin embeds an API documentation browser and search functionality directly into Geany's user interface. In case you didn't know, Devhelp is an API documentation browser mainly aimed at GNOME-related libraries, although there are Devhelp books for a wide range of library APIs. Check your package manager and/or Google and you should have no trouble finding books that can be viewed with Devhelp.


  • search in Devhelp
  • search in 'man' pages
  • search in Google Code Search


User Interface Changes

When you load the plugin, two things are added to Geany's UI. The first is a new tab labeled 'Devhelp' in the Sidebar notebook. Inside this notebook page are two sub-tabs; Contents and Search. Contents lets you browse all of the books at once and see their table of contents in a tree view. Search, not surprisingly lets you search all of the books for a search term. The second UI element that gets added to Geany is the 'Documentation' tab. This new tab is added in the main area, where it will be next to a new tab called 'Code' which now holds the existing documents tabs.


There are several keybindings available when the Devhelp plugin is loaded to make it faster to access documentation. The following keybindings are available:

Toggle sidebar contents tab

Activates the "Contents" tab under the Devhelp sidebar tab. The previous tab will be saved so that when this keybinding is fired again, the previous tab selection will be activated.

Toggle sidebar search tab

Just like the previous keybinding but with the "Search" tab.

Toggle documentation tab

Flips between the main documentation viewer and your current code.

Search for current tag in Devhelp

While coding in the editor, the current tag, that is, the word that is nearest to the cursor that looks like a programming symbol, or the current selection, can be search for quickly by activating this keybinding. Once activated, the Devhelp books repository on your system will be searched for the current tag and if an exact match is found, it will be loaded into the documentation view and the view will be made active.

Search for current tag in Manual pages

Like the previous keybinding, but rather than searching Devhelp books, the systems manual pages will be searched, assuming a man program is available. The manual page sections will be searched in the order most likely to yield manual pages relevant to programming. For example, a search for mkdir should locate the mkdir() function from section 2 before it finds the mkdir shell utility in section 1.

Context Menu

There's also another way to invoke a search for the current symbol for our mouse loving friends out there. If you right click on the current document, on a tag/symbol you want help on, the context menu that appears will have an menu called Search for "Foo" documentation in. Under this menu are 3 items for the searches discussed under the Keybindings section which, when activated, will perform the same searches as described above.


  • GTK >= 2.16
  • libwebkitgtk >= 1.1.18
  • libdevhelp 1.0 >= 2.30.1 or libdevhelp 2.0 >= 2.32.0

Contact developers

You can email me at <>, or find me on the #geany IRC channel on FreeNode, with the nickname 'codebrainz'.