Opening MAN files

Have a problem opening a .MAN file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what MAN files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .MAN file type?

As a short for "Manual," the .man filename suffix is conventionally associated with manual page (manpage) files on Unix and Unix-like OS'es.

In the Unix tradition, manpages represent an integrated help system, a compendium of concise manual texts on user commands, system administrator tools, configuration files, and all aspects of the system. Invoked by the "man" command on all Unix-style OS'es, manpages represent the classic help system, currently co-existing with the more recent GNU's "info" project.

A .man file is a Unix-style (only LF line-break characters) plaintext file, containing a description of a command or other item. It is formatted, using the traditional "troff" text-formatting tool.

On a GNU/Linux machine, system-wide manpages are usually located in the "/usr/share/man" directory, sorted by languages and packaged into gzip (.gz) archives. The .man suffix itself is often used only for third-party manpage files. Any .man file can be easily opened with a text editor.

Totally unrelated to the above, the .man extension is sometimes erroneously assigned to Windows Installer packages (.msi) downloaded from the Internet, using Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). Certain misconfigured web servers serve .msi files under the "application/x-troff-man" MIME-type, and IE automatically changes the extension of the downloaded file to .man. This is due to a software bug or misconfiguration.

Software to open or convert MAN files

You can open MAN files with the following programs:
Free Opener
Free Opener by Blue Labs, LLC
WinRAR by win.rar GmbH
VLC media player
VLC media player by VideoLAN

Popular formats