Perl 5 version 32.0 documentation



pod2usage - print usage messages from embedded pod docs in files


  • pod2usage

    [-help] [-man] [-exit exitval] [-output outfile] [-verbose level] [-pathlist dirlist] [-formatter module] [-utf8] file


  • -help

    Print a brief help message and exit.

  • -man

    Print this command's manual page and exit.

  • -exit exitval

    The exit status value to return.

  • -output outfile

    The output file to print to. If the special names "-" or ">&1" or ">&STDOUT" are used then standard output is used. If ">&2" or ">&STDERR" is used then standard error is used.

  • -verbose level

    The desired level of verbosity to use:

    1. 1 : print SYNOPSIS only
    2. 2 : print SYNOPSIS sections and any OPTIONS/ARGUMENTS sections
    3. 3 : print the entire manpage (similar to running pod2text)
  • -pathlist dirlist

    Specifies one or more directories to search for the input file if it was not supplied with an absolute path. Each directory path in the given list should be separated by a ':' on Unix (';' on MSWin32 and DOS).

  • -formatter module

    Which text formatter to use. Default is Pod::Text, or for very old Perl versions Pod::PlainText. An alternative would be e.g. Pod::Text::Termcap.

  • -utf8

    This option assumes that the formatter (see above) understands the option "utf8". It turns on generation of utf8 output.

  • file

    The pathname of a file containing pod documentation to be output in usage message format (defaults to standard input).


pod2usage will read the given input file looking for pod documentation and will print the corresponding usage message. If no input file is specified then standard input is read.

pod2usage invokes the pod2usage() function in the Pod::Usage module. Please see pod2usage() in Pod::Usage.


Pod::Usage, pod2text(1)


Please report bugs using

Brad Appleton <>

Based on code for pod2text(1) written by Tom Christiansen <>