I'm a long-time user of ActivePython, and also own a couple of Komodo licenses.

I've recently moved to the Mac, and one thing that I'm missing a lot is the "offline" documentation (i.e., in Windows Help format) that was included with ActivePython.

Is there a Mac "equivalent" of that documentation? I'm not always online when banging away on some script (actually I've found that plane trips are great for some quick coding) so "googling it" doesn't work.

  • 2
    Take a look at Dash: kapeli.com/dash
    – deceze
    Commented Dec 23, 2013 at 9:19
  • Thanks for the tip about dash, it looks overkill for what I want to do, but it's very interesting...
    – JJarava
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 7:40

2 Answers 2


You can download the Python documentation directly from python.org, see Python Documentation for details.

You can also use pydoc in Terminal to access the documentation already stored on your Mac.

  • Again, something else I should have noticed! Duh!
    – JJarava
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 7:41

Thanks for the answers and suggestions so far. Finally the "answer" I've found has several components:

  • As @patrix commented, the offline docs in the Python home page are a good starting point (duh!) - Specially the PDF version as that's pretty searchable.
  • Updating ActivePython to the latest version ( also added documentation in file:///Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/Resources/Python.app/Contents/Resources/English.lproj/Help/index.html - so it comes closer to the "experience" of the CHM docs that come with the Windows version; the search still seems to be a bit odd, but it might be an issue of getting used to it...
  • ... And that part is what gave me the last link: Search for CHM viewers so I know for sure I'll be able to access this and any other docsets that "come" from Windows. I've tested a couple and so far I've settled on iChm

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