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Pod::Usage(3pm)        Perl Programmers Reference Guide        Pod::Usage(3pm)


       Pod::Usage - print a usage message from embedded pod documentation


         use Pod::Usage

         my $message_text  = "This text precedes the usage message.";
         my $exit_status   = 2;          ## The exit status to use
         my $verbose_level = 0;          ## The verbose level to use
         my $filehandle    = \*STDERR;   ## The filehandle to write to



         pod2usage( { -message => $message_text ,
                      -exitval => $exit_status  ,
                      -verbose => $verbose_level,
                      -output  => $filehandle } );

         pod2usage(   -msg     => $message_text ,
                      -exitval => $exit_status  ,
                      -verbose => $verbose_level,
                      -output  => $filehandle );

         pod2usage(   -verbose => 2,
                      -noperldoc => 1  );

         pod2usage(   -verbose => 2,
                      -perlcmd => $path_to_perl,
                      -perldoc => $path_to_perldoc,
                      -perldocopt => $perldoc_options );


       pod2usage should be given either a single argument, or a list of
       arguments corresponding to an associative array (a "hash"). When a
       single argument is given, it should correspond to exactly one of the

       o   A string containing the text of a message to print before printing
           the usage message

       o   A numeric value corresponding to the desired exit status

       o   A reference to a hash

       If more than one argument is given then the entire argument list is
       assumed to be a hash.  If a hash is supplied (either as a reference or
       as a list) it should contain one or more elements with the following

       "-message" string
       "-msg" string
           The text of a message to print immediately prior to printing the
           program's usage message.

       "-exitval" value
           The desired exit status to pass to the exit() function.  This
           should be an integer, or else the string "NOEXIT" to indicate that
           control should simply be returned without terminating the invoking

       "-verbose" value
           The desired level of "verboseness" to use when printing the usage
           message.  If the value is 0, then only the "SYNOPSIS" section of
           the pod documentation is printed. If the value is 1, then the
           "SYNOPSIS" section, along with any section entitled "OPTIONS",
           "ARGUMENTS", or "OPTIONS AND ARGUMENTS" is printed. If the
           corresponding value is 2 or more then the entire manpage is
           printed, using perldoc if available; otherwise Pod::Text is used
           for the formatting. For better readability, the all-capital
           headings are downcased, e.g. "SYNOPSIS" => "Synopsis".

           The special verbosity level 99 requires to also specify the
           -sections parameter; then these sections are extracted and printed.

       "-sections" spec
           There are two ways to specify the selection. Either a string
           (scalar) representing a selection regexp for sections to be printed
           when -verbose is set to 99, e.g.


           With the above regexp all content following (and including) any of
           the given "=head1" headings will be shown. It is possible to
           restrict the output to particular subsections only, e.g.:


           This will output only the "=head2 Algorithm" heading and content
           within the "=head1 DESCRIPTION" section. The regexp binding is
           stronger than the section separator, such that e.g.:


           will print any "=head2 Caveats" section (only) within any of the
           three "=head1" sections.

           Alternatively, an array reference of section specifications can be

             pod2usage(-verbose => 99, -sections => [
               qw(DESCRIPTION DESCRIPTION/Introduction) ] );

           This will print only the content of "=head1 DESCRIPTION" and the
           "=head2 Introduction" sections, but no other "=head2", and no other
           "=head1" either.

       "-output" handle
           A reference to a filehandle, or the pathname of a file to which the
           usage message should be written. The default is "\*STDERR" unless
           the exit value is less than 2 (in which case the default is

       "-input" handle
           A reference to a filehandle, or the pathname of a file from which
           the invoking script's pod documentation should be read.  It
           defaults to the file indicated by $0 ($PROGRAM_NAME for users of

           If you are calling pod2usage() from a module and want to display
           that module's POD, you can use this:

             use Pod::Find qw(pod_where);
             pod2usage( -input => pod_where({-inc => 1}, __PACKAGE__) );

       "-pathlist" string
           A list of directory paths. If the input file does not exist, then
           it will be searched for in the given directory list (in the order
           the directories appear in the list). It defaults to the list of
           directories implied by $ENV{PATH}. The list may be specified either
           by a reference to an array, or by a string of directory paths which
           use the same path separator as $ENV{PATH} on your system (e.g., ":"
           for Unix, ";" for MSWin32 and DOS).

           By default, Pod::Usage will call perldoc when -verbose >= 2 is
           specified. This does not work well e.g. if the script was packed
           with PAR. The -noperldoc option suppresses the external call to
           perldoc and uses the simple text formatter (Pod::Text) to output
           the POD.

           By default, Pod::Usage will call perldoc when -verbose >= 2 is
           specified. In case of special or unusual Perl installations, the
           -perlcmd option may be used to supply the path to a perl executable
           which should run perldoc.

       "-perldoc" path-to-perldoc
           By default, Pod::Usage will call perldoc when -verbose >= 2 is
           specified. In case perldoc is not installed where the perl
           interpreter thinks it is (see Config), the -perldoc option may be
           used to supply the correct path to perldoc.

       "-perldocopt" string
           By default, Pod::Usage will call perldoc when -verbose >= 2 is
           specified.  The -perldocopt option may be used to supply options to
           perldoc. The string may contain several, space-separated options.

   Formatting base class
       The default text formatter is Pod::Text. The base class for Pod::Usage
       can be defined by pre-setting $Pod::Usage::Formatter before loading
       Pod::Usage, e.g.:

           BEGIN { $Pod::Usage::Formatter = 'Pod::Text::Termcap'; }
           use Pod::Usage qw(pod2usage);

       Pod::Usage uses Pod::Simple's _handle_element_end() method to implement
       the section selection, and in case of verbosity < 2 it down-cases the
       all-caps headings to first capital letter and rest lowercase, and adds
       a colon/newline at the end of the headings, for better readability.
       Same for verbosity = 99.

   Pass-through options
       The following options are passed through to the underlying text
       formatter.  See the manual pages of these modules for more information.

         alt code indent loose margin quotes sentence stderr utf8 width


       pod2usage will print a usage message for the invoking script (using its
       embedded pod documentation) and then exit the script with the desired
       exit status. The usage message printed may have any one of three levels
       of "verboseness": If the verbose level is 0, then only a synopsis is
       printed. If the verbose level is 1, then the synopsis is printed along
       with a description (if present) of the command line options and
       arguments. If the verbose level is 2, then the entire manual page is

       Unless they are explicitly specified, the default values for the exit
       status, verbose level, and output stream to use are determined as

       o   If neither the exit status nor the verbose level is specified, then
           the default is to use an exit status of 2 with a verbose level of

       o   If an exit status is specified but the verbose level is not, then
           the verbose level will default to 1 if the exit status is less than
           2 and will default to 0 otherwise.

       o   If an exit status is not specified but verbose level is given, then
           the exit status will default to 2 if the verbose level is 0 and
           will default to 1 otherwise.

       o   If the exit status used is less than 2, then output is printed on
           "STDOUT".  Otherwise output is printed on "STDERR".

       Although the above may seem a bit confusing at first, it generally does
       "the right thing" in most situations.  This determination of the
       default values to use is based upon the following typical Unix

       o   An exit status of 0 implies "success". For example, diff(1) exits
           with a status of 0 if the two files have the same contents.

       o   An exit status of 1 implies possibly abnormal, but non-defective,
           program termination.  For example, grep(1) exits with a status of 1
           if it did not find a matching line for the given regular

       o   An exit status of 2 or more implies a fatal error. For example,
           ls(1) exits with a status of 2 if you specify an illegal (unknown)
           option on the command line.

       o   Usage messages issued as a result of bad command-line syntax should
           go to "STDERR".  However, usage messages issued due to an explicit
           request to print usage (like specifying -help on the command line)
           should go to "STDOUT", just in case the user wants to pipe the
           output to a pager (such as more(1)).

       o   If program usage has been explicitly requested by the user, it is
           often desirable to exit with a status of 1 (as opposed to 0) after
           issuing the user-requested usage message.  It is also desirable to
           give a more verbose description of program usage in this case.

       pod2usage doesn't force the above conventions upon you, but it will use
       them by default if you don't expressly tell it to do otherwise.  The
       ability of pod2usage() to accept a single number or a string makes it
       convenient to use as an innocent looking error message handling

           use strict;
           use Pod::Usage;
           use Getopt::Long;

           ## Parse options
           my %opt;
           GetOptions(\%opt, "help|?", "man", "flag1")  ||  pod2usage(2);
           pod2usage(1)  if ($opt{help});
           pod2usage(-exitval => 0, -verbose => 2)  if ($opt{man});

           ## Check for too many filenames
           pod2usage("$0: Too many files given.\n")  if (@ARGV > 1);

       Some user's however may feel that the above "economy of expression" is
       not particularly readable nor consistent and may instead choose to do
       something more like the following:

           use strict;
           use Pod::Usage qw(pod2usage);
           use Getopt::Long qw(GetOptions);

           ## Parse options
           my %opt;
           GetOptions(\%opt, "help|?", "man", "flag1")  ||
             pod2usage(-verbose => 0);

           pod2usage(-verbose => 1)  if ($opt{help});
           pod2usage(-verbose => 2)  if ($opt{man});

           ## Check for too many filenames
           pod2usage(-verbose => 2, -message => "$0: Too many files given.\n")
             if (@ARGV > 1);

       As with all things in Perl, there's more than one way to do it, and
       pod2usage() adheres to this philosophy.  If you are interested in
       seeing a number of different ways to invoke pod2usage (although by no
       means exhaustive), please refer to "EXAMPLES".

       The Pod::Usage distribution comes with a script pod2usage which offers
       a command line interface to the functionality of Pod::Usage. See


       Each of the following invocations of "pod2usage()" will print just the
       "SYNOPSIS" section to "STDERR" and will exit with a status of 2:



           pod2usage(-verbose => 0);

           pod2usage(-exitval => 2);

           pod2usage({-exitval => 2, -output => \*STDERR});

           pod2usage({-verbose => 0, -output  => \*STDERR});

           pod2usage(-exitval => 2, -verbose => 0);

           pod2usage(-exitval => 2, -verbose => 0, -output => \*STDERR);

       Each of the following invocations of "pod2usage()" will print a message
       of "Syntax error." (followed by a newline) to "STDERR", immediately
       followed by just the "SYNOPSIS" section (also printed to "STDERR") and
       will exit with a status of 2:

           pod2usage("Syntax error.");

           pod2usage(-message => "Syntax error.", -verbose => 0);

           pod2usage(-msg  => "Syntax error.", -exitval => 2);

           pod2usage({-msg => "Syntax error.", -exitval => 2, -output => \*STDERR});

           pod2usage({-msg => "Syntax error.", -verbose => 0, -output => \*STDERR});

           pod2usage(-msg  => "Syntax error.", -exitval => 2, -verbose => 0);

           pod2usage(-message => "Syntax error.",
                     -exitval => 2,
                     -verbose => 0,
                     -output  => \*STDERR);

       Each of the following invocations of "pod2usage()" will print the
       "SYNOPSIS" section and any "OPTIONS" and/or "ARGUMENTS" sections to
       "STDOUT" and will exit with a status of 1:


           pod2usage(-verbose => 1);

           pod2usage(-exitval => 1);

           pod2usage({-exitval => 1, -output => \*STDOUT});

           pod2usage({-verbose => 1, -output => \*STDOUT});

           pod2usage(-exitval => 1, -verbose => 1);

           pod2usage(-exitval => 1, -verbose => 1, -output => \*STDOUT});

       Each of the following invocations of "pod2usage()" will print the
       entire manual page to "STDOUT" and will exit with a status of 1:

           pod2usage(-verbose  => 2);

           pod2usage({-verbose => 2, -output => \*STDOUT});

           pod2usage(-exitval  => 1, -verbose => 2);

           pod2usage({-exitval => 1, -verbose => 2, -output => \*STDOUT});

   Recommended Use
       Most scripts should print some type of usage message to "STDERR" when a
       command line syntax error is detected. They should also provide an
       option (usually "-H" or "-help") to print a (possibly more verbose)
       usage message to "STDOUT". Some scripts may even wish to go so far as
       to provide a means of printing their complete documentation to "STDOUT"
       (perhaps by allowing a "-man" option). The following complete example
       uses Pod::Usage in combination with Getopt::Long to do all of these

           use strict;
           use Getopt::Long qw(GetOptions);
           use Pod::Usage qw(pod2usage);

           my $man = 0;
           my $help = 0;
           ## Parse options and print usage if there is a syntax error,
           ## or if usage was explicitly requested.
           GetOptions('help|?' => \$help, man => \$man) or pod2usage(2);
           pod2usage(1) if $help;
           pod2usage(-verbose => 2) if $man;

           ## If no arguments were given, then allow STDIN to be used only
           ## if it's not connected to a terminal (otherwise print usage)
           pod2usage("$0: No files given.")  if ((@ARGV == 0) && (-t STDIN));


           =head1 NAME

           sample - Using GetOpt::Long and Pod::Usage

           =head1 SYNOPSIS

           sample [options] [file ...]

              -help            brief help message
              -man             full documentation

           =head1 OPTIONS

           =over 4

           =item B<-help>

           Print a brief help message and exits.

           =item B<-man>

           Prints the manual page and exits.


           =head1 DESCRIPTION

           B<This program> will read the given input file(s) and do something
           useful with the contents thereof.



       By default, pod2usage() will use $0 as the path to the pod input file.
       Unfortunately, not all systems on which Perl runs will set $0 properly
       (although if $0 isn't found, pod2usage() will search $ENV{PATH} or else
       the list specified by the "-pathlist" option).  If this is the case for
       your system, you may need to explicitly specify the path to the pod
       docs for the invoking script using something similar to the following:

           pod2usage(-exitval => 2, -input => "/path/to/your/pod/docs");

       In the pathological case that a script is called via a relative path
       and the script itself changes the current working directory (see
       "chdir" in perlfunc) before calling pod2usage, Pod::Usage will fail
       even on robust platforms. Don't do that. Or use FindBin to locate the

           use FindBin;
           pod2usage(-input => $FindBin::Bin . "/" . $FindBin::Script);


       Please report bugs using <>.

       Marek Rouchal <>

       Brad Appleton <>

       Based on code for Pod::Text::pod2text() written by Tom Christiansen


       rjbs for refactoring Pod::Usage to not use Pod::Parser any more.

       Steven McDougall <> for his help and patience with
       re-writing this manpage.


       Pod::Usage is now a standalone distribution, depending on 
       Pod::Text(3) which in turn depends on Pod::Simple(3).

       Pod::Perldoc(3), Getopt::Long(3), Pod::Find(3), FindBin(3), Pod::Text(3),
       Pod::Text::Termcap(3), Pod::Simple(3)

perl v5.24.0                      2016-03-01                   Pod::Usage(3pm)

perl 5.24 - Generated Mon Nov 21 18:29:32 CST 2016
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