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9.1 Indicating Definitions, Commands, etc.

Texinfo has commands for indicating just what kind of object a piece of text refers to. For example, metasyntactic variables are marked by @var, and code by @code. Since the pieces of text are labelled by commands that tell what kind of object they are, it is easy to change the way the Texinfo formatters prepare such text. (Texinfo is an intentional formatting language rather than a typesetting formatting language.)

For example, in a printed manual, code is usually illustrated in a typewriter font; @code tells TeX to typeset this text in this font. But it would be easy to change the way TeX highlights code to use another font, and this change would not affect how keystroke examples are highlighted. If straight typesetting commands were used in the body of the file and you wanted to make a change, you would need to check every single occurrence to make sure that you were changing code and not something else that should not be changed.