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GAPDoc --- A GAP 4 package for preparing documentation of GAP programs

                    Frank Lübeck
                   Max Neunhöffer
        (Lehrstuhl D für Mathematik, RWTH Aachen)              

This package provides:

  • Utilities to use the documentation (of GAP packages and in the future the GAP manuals as well) which is written in GAPDoc format with the GAP help system. If you don't want to write your own (package) documentation you can skip the remaining points.
  • The description of a markup language for GAP documentation (which is defined using the XML standard).
  • Three example documents using this language: The GAPDoc documentation itself, a short example which demonstrates all constructs defined in the GAPDoc language, and a very short example explained in the introduction of the main documentation.
  • A mechanism for distributing documentation among several files, including source code files.
  • GAP programs (written by the first named author) which produce from documentation written in the GAPDoc language several document formats:
    • text format with color markup for onscreen browsing.
    • LaTeX format and from this PDF- (and DVI)-versions with hyperlinks.
    • HTML (XHTML 1.0 strict) format for reading with a Web-browser (and many hooks for CSS layout).
  • Utility GAP programs which are used for the above but can be of independent interest as well:
    • unicode strings with translations to and from other encodings
    • further utilities for manipulating strings
    • tools for dealing with BibTeX data
    • another data format BibXMLext for bibliographical data including tools to manipulate/translate them
    • a tool ComposedDocument for composing documents which are distributed in many files

For further information see:


Just unpack one of the archives in the "pkg" subdirectory of your GAP installation. The archive is available in several formats:

  • GAPDoc-XXX.tar.gz (GNU tar archive, gzip'ed)
  • GAPDoc-XXX.tar.bz2 (GNU tar archive, bzip2'ed)
  • (with DOS/Windows style line breaks in text files)

Unpacking generates a subdirectory of form GAPDoc-x.y.z.

That's it! (Maybe you want to read the help section ?SetHelpViewer in the GAP reference manual.)

Installation outside the GAP main directory: When you don't have access to the directory of your main GAP installation you can also install the package by unpacking inside a directory MYGAPDIR/pkg. (Don't forget to call gap with the -l ";MYGAPDIR" option or to adjust your gap start script.)

On UNIX/Linux you can put this package in the directory ~/.gap/pkg/ where is will be found by the default start script.

The only drawback with this installation is that in the HTML version of the package documentation the links to the main GAP manuals don't work. You can correct this by recompiling the GAPDoc documentation: Say cd GAPDoc*; gap makedocrel.g.

For questions, suggestions, ... write to


or use the issue tracker ( of the git-repository.

Frank Lübeck