Iraftex, provides tools for translating IRAF online documentation (*.hlp files) into LaTeX and HTML.

Version : 0.15
Author(s) : Klaus Elmquist Nielsen (
License : GPL
Website :

Installs from Open Source Astronomy for Linux cd 2
Disk space required for installation is 23.94 Kb


The IRAF online documentation is written in a language supported by the lroff formatter inside IRAF. This language is similar to nroff/troff in the Unix system. Being designed for text output the semantics of the language is somewhat tied to a current indent counted as the number of space characters. But the language also have a simple block structure that matches similar structures in LaTeX and HTML quite nicely.

The aim of this project is to translate the IRAF online documentation into (sorry) more modern formats like LaTeX and HTML. The translation uses the block structured part of the language and ignores for most parts the `number of spaces in the current indent' bias of the language. Most of the IRAF online documentation can be translated using this approach with good results.

The motivation for doing this project is to obtain nice looking prints of the IRAF online documentation. LaTeX was chosen for its high typographic quality and because the author is already familiar with it. Support for HTML was added from the beginning of the project because it was easy to do and could be useful for others. Part of the motivation for doing this project is that it may be useful to the IRAF user community.

Much of the inspiration for this translation comes from the IRAF V2.11 Release Notes on the IRAF web site (