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17.3 Interactive Help

The bindings documented in this section are provided by the racket/help and racket/init libraries, which means that they are available when the Racket executable is started with no command-line arguments. They are not provided by racket/base or racket.

(help string ...)
(help id)
(help id #:from module-path)
(help #:search datum ...)
For general help, see the main documentation page.

The help form searches the documentation and opens a web browser (using the user’s selected browser) to display the results.

See net/sendurl for information on how the user’s browser is launched to display help information.

A simple help or (help) form opens the main documentation page.

The (help string ...) form—using literal strings, as opposed to expressions that produce strings—performs a string-matching search. For example,

(help "web browser" "firefox")

searches the documentation index for references that include the phrase “web browser” or “firefox.”

A (help id) form looks for documentation specific to the current binding of id. For example,

(require net/url)
(help url->string)

opens a web browser to show the documentation for url->string from the net/url library.

For the purposes of help, a for-label require introduces a binding without actually executing the net/url library—for cases when you want to check documentation, but cannot or do not want to run the providing module.

(require racket/gui) ; does not work in racket
(require (for-label racket/gui)) ; ok in racket
(help frame%)

If id has no for-label and normal binding, then help lists all libraries that are known to export a binding for id.

The (help id #:from module-path) variant is similar to (help id), but using only the exports of module-path. (The module-path module is required for-label in a temporary namespace.)

(help frame% #:from racket/gui) ; equivalent to the above

The (help #:search datum ...) form is similar to (help string ...), where any non-string form of datum is converted to a string using display. No datum is evaluated as an expression.

For example,

(help #:search "web browser" firefox)

also searches the documentation index for references that include the phrase “web browser” or “firefox.”