help() function screen output

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Sat Jan 31 10:13:45 CET 2015

Jacob Kruger wrote:

> Using python 3.4 32 bit on windows 7 64 bit machine, and when, for
> example, type in something like the following in interpreter window:
> help(str)
> It will populate the screen with one full screen of information, with a
> prompt of --more-- to hit enter, or something to continue displaying
> information, but, when, for example, hit enter key, it merely populates
> one more line of info, each time - under pythn 2.7, it seemed to render
> one full screen of info each time.

Are you sure? 

I don't have Windows to try, but in Linux using both Python 2.7 and 3.3,
pressing Enter advances by a single line.

> Is there rather a different keystroke should use to invoke that, or is
> this a python 3.4 feature/issue?

Try using the Space key to advance an entire page.

You can also try Page Up and Page Down keys.

The exact keys will depend on the pager program used by help. The help
function depends on the pydoc module, which tries to use your operating
system's "pager" program for displaying pages of text. On Linux, that may
be the external programs "more" or "less". I don't know what Windows uses.
If there is no external pager program available, pydoc may end up using its
own internal pager. So the exact keys used will differ.


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