As seen in Where can I find good ConTeXt documentation and Updated documentation of ConTeXt, there are many resources for learning how to use ConTeXt, but most are in the form of articles and books in PDF form.

Is there any search tool which can search the contents of all or most of the available documentation for ConTeXt?

2 Answers 2


There is no single way of searching through everything. You are advised to use a combination of different methods and information sources.

The following is what I am doing, it's the way that works best for me. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's also the best for everyone.

The PDF manuals

I downloaded all available manuals from the Pragma site and the ConTeXtGarden and divided the usefull ones (columns, details, etc.) from the ones I don't need (aleph, calculat, etc.). This directory can easily be searched through. (However, I know the content, I don't need to search.)

The mailing list

I either search locally in my mail client or I go to the Gmane search where it's very convenient to search through various mailing lists (e.g. gmane.comp.tex.context).

The source

Whenever I need to search the source I fire up a script that changes to the source directory and sets handy options for grep. My grep alias:

alias cgrep='grep              \
  --binary-files=without-match \
  --fixed-strings              \
  --recursive                  \
  --with-filename              \
  --line-number                \

You can easily perform searches which output the file and the line number of the relevant files. Searches are fastest if started from the directory tex/texmf-context/tex/context/base.

$ cgrep '\def\startFLOWchart' *
$ m-chart.mkvi:122:\unexpanded\def\startFLOWchart

The wiki

And of course the search box in the ConTeXt wiki offers a good service for searching the wiki (and other sites).

  • I’d add --color=auto to the grep options because in Hans’s coding style, lines tend to get very long and it helps you to focus on where the expression matches. Commented May 9, 2012 at 11:17

The search box in the ConTeXt wiki has a Google button that uses a dedicated search engine that searches (al)most all relevant sites and archives.

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