py2exe and pydocs. Downloads?

Gabriel Genellina gagsl-py2 at
Mon Jan 18 04:40:22 CET 2010

En Sun, 17 Jan 2010 19:43:25 -0300, W. eWatson <wolftracks at>  

> According to Lutz's 4th edition (reading from Amazon), Pydoc is shipped  
> with Python. I found this earlier in the Python Help under Global Index  
> for modules.
> ==========================
> The pydoc module automatically generates documentation from Python  
> modules. The documentation can be presented as pages of text on the  
> console, served to a Web browser, or saved to HTML files.
> The built-in function help() invokes the online help system in the  
> interactive interpreter, which uses pydoc to generate its documentation  
> as text on the console. The same text documentation can also be viewed  
> from outside the Python interpreter by running pydoc as a script at the  
> operating system's command prompt. For example, running
> pydoc sys
> at a shell prompt
> =========================
> I get:
>  >>> import pydoc
>  >>> pydoc sys
> SyntaxError: invalid syntax
>  >>>
> The book says Help uses it, and there's some sort of html version, but  
> I'm missing something here. Command line, Linux shell?

 From *inside* the Python interpreter:

py> import sys
py> help(sys)
Help on built-in module sys:


[...lots of info...]

py> help("sys")
Help on built-in module sys:
[...same info...]

 From the system command line (shell, command prompt, DOS box...), assuming  
you're using 2.5 or later:

c:\temp>python -m pydoc sys
Help on built-in module sys:
[...same info...]

C:\TEMP>python -m pydoc
pydoc - the Python documentation tool <name> ...
     Show text documentation on something.  <name> may be the name of a
     Python keyword, topic, function, module, or package, or a dotted
     reference to a class or function within a module or module in a
     package.  If <name> contains a '\', it is used as the path to a
     Python source file to document. If name is 'keywords', 'topics',
     or 'modules', a listing of these things is displayed. -k <keyword>
     Search for a keyword in the synopsis lines of all available modules. -p <port>
     Start an HTTP server on the given port on the local machine. -g
     Pop up a graphical interface for finding and serving documentation. -w <name> ...
     Write out the HTML documentation for a module to a file in the current
     directory.  If <name> contains a '\', it is treated as a filename; if
     it names a directory, documentation is written for all the contents.

Try the -g option; it lets you search for the relevant documentation and  
show it on your favorite web browser (locally).

Depending on how you installed Python, you may find a 'pydoc' or  
'pydocgui' script somewhere in your Python directory.

Gabriel Genellina

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