Unix is not beginner friendly. It was designed by some of the best computer scientists in the world when it was hard to tell if ordinary people would ever use a computer. So beginner-friendliness was not a priority.

I also suspect being able to ask the creator of a utility why it works that way makes people lazy about writing clear documentation.

So here’s some ways to get help in the command line.

I don’t know if this applies to Windows.

• -h or --help flags
• e.g. python -h
• e.g. python --help
• StackOverflow
• It’s sad that this is so high on my list, but it’s a great resource. Make sure to look for the question before you ask one.
• If StackOverflow fails. This is rare.
• man pages
• I can’t honestly recommend this over StackOverflow for learning how a command works. Man pages are references for people who already know how to use a command.
• apropos
• Use StackOverflow/Google instead. That has better inference for what you’re trying to find.
• info
• For GNU utilities. If you don’t like emacs, this will be annoying.
• help
• for bash builtins
• run-help
• for zsh builtins
• running command with no arguments
• I don’t recommend this. Google it instead. This can be dangerous as it may just execute the command.