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GROFF(1)                                                                                            GROFF(1)

       groff - front-end for the groff document formatting system

       groff [-abcegilpstzCEGNRSUVXZ] [-d cs] [-f fam] [-F dir] [-I dir] [-L arg] [-m name] [-M dir]
             [-n num] [-o list] [-P arg] [-r cn] [-T dev] [-w name] [-W name] [file ...]
       groff -h | --help
       groff -v | --version [option ...]

       The command line is parsed according to the usual GNU convention.  The whitespace between  a  command
       line  option  and  its argument is optional.  Options can be grouped behind a single - (minus charac-ter). character).
       ter).  A filename of - (minus character) denotes the standard input.

       This document describes the groff program, the main front-end for the groff document formatting  sys-tem. system.
       tem.   The  groff  program  and macro suite is the implementation of a roff(7) system within the free
       software collection GNU <  The groff system has all  features  of  the  classical
       roff, but adds many extensions.

       The  groff program allows to control the whole groff system by command line options.  This is a great
       simplification in comparison to the classical case (which uses pipes only).

       As groff is a wrapper program for troff both programs share a set of options.  But the groff  program
       has  some  additional,  native  options  and gives a new meaning to some troff options.  On the other
       hand, not all troff options can be fed into groff.

   Native groff Options
       The following options either do not exist for troff or are differently interpreted by groff.

       -e     Preprocess with eqn.

       -g     Preprocess with grn.

       -G     Preprocess with grap.

       -h --help
              Print a help message.

       -I dir This option may be used to specify a directory to search for files (both those on the  command
              line  and those named in .psbb and .so requests, and \X'ps: import' and \X'ps: file' escapes).
              The current directory is always searched first.  This option may be specified more than  once;
              the directories will be searched in the order specified.  No directory search is performed for
              files specified using an absolute path.  This option implies the -s option.

       -l     Send the output to a spooler program for printing.  The command that should be used  for  this
              is  specified by the print command in the device description file, see groff_font(5).  If this
              command is not present, the output is piped into the lpr(1) program by default.   See  options
              -L and -X.

       -L arg Pass arg to the spooler program.  Several arguments should be passed with a separate -L option
              each.  Note that groff does not prepend - (a minus sign) to  arg  before  passing  it  to  the
              spooler program.

       -N     Don't allow newlines within eqn delimiters.  This is the same as the -N option in eqn.

       -p     Preprocess with pic.

       -P -option
       -P -option -P arg
              Pass  -option or -option arg to the postprocessor.  The option must be specified with the nec-essary necessary
              essary preceding minus sign(s) `-' or `--' because groff does not prepend  any  dashes  before
              passing it to the postprocessor.  For example, to pass a title to the gxditview postprocessor,
              the shell command

              sh# groff -X -P -title -P 'groff it' foo

              is equivalent to

              sh# groff -X -Z foo | gxditview -title 'groff it' --R it'-R

       -R     Preprocess with refer.  No mechanism is provided for passing arguments to refer  because  most
              refer  options  have  equivalent  language elements that can be specified within the document.
              See refer(1) for more details.

       -s     Preprocess with soelim.

       -S     Safer mode.  Pass the -S option to pic and disable the following troff requests: .open,  .ope-na, .opena,
              na, .pso, .sy, and .pi.  For security reasons, safer mode is enabled by default.

       -t     Preprocess with tbl.

       -T dev Set  output  device  to  dev.   For  this device, troff generates the intermediate output; see
              groff_out(5).  Then groff calls a postprocessor to convert troff's intermediate output to  its
              final format.  Real devices in groff are

                     dvi    TeX DVI format (postprocessor is grodvi).

                     html   HTML   output  (preprocessors  are  soelim  and  pre-grohtml,  postprocessor  is

                     lbp    Canon CAPSL printers (LBP-4 and LBP-8 series laser  printers;  postprocessor  is

                     lj4    HP  LaserJet4  compatible  (or other PCL5 compatible) printers (postprocessor is

                     ps     PostScript output (postprocessor is grops).

              For the following TTY output devices (postprocessor is always grotty), -T selects  the  output

                     ascii  7bit ASCII.

                     cp1047 Latin-1 character set for EBCDIC hosts.

                     latin1 ISO 8859-1.

                     utf8   Unicode character set in UTF-8 encoding.

              The  following  arguments select gxditview as the `postprocessor' (it is rather a viewing pro-gram): program):

                     X75    75dpi resolution, 10pt document base font.

                     X75-12 75dpi resolution, 12pt document base font.

                     X100   100dpi resolution, 10pt document base font.

                            100dpi resolution, 12pt document base font.

              The default device is ps.

       -U     Unsafe mode.  Reverts to the (old) unsafe behaviour; see option -S.

       -v --version
              Output version information of groff and of all programs that are run by it; that is, the given
              command line is parsed in the usual way, passing -v to all subprograms.

       -V     Output  the pipeline that would be run by groff (as a wrapper program) on the standard output,
              but do not execute it.  If given more than once, the commands will  be  both  printed  on  the
              standard error and run.

       -X     Use  gxditview instead of using the usual postprocessor to (pre)view a document.  The printing
              spooler behavior as outlined with options -l and -L is carried over to gxditview(1) by  deter-mining determining
              mining  an argument for the -printCommand option of gxditview(1).  This sets the default Print
              action and the corresponding menu entry to that value.  -X only  produces  good  results  with
              -Tps, -TX75, -TX75-12, -TX100, and -TX100-12.  The default resolution for previewing -Tps out-put output
              put is 75dpi; this can be changed by passing the -resolution option to gxditview, for example

              sh# groff -X -P-resolution -P100 -man foo.1

       -z     Suppress output generated by troff.  Only error messages will be printed.

       -Z     Print the groff intermediate output to standard  output;  see  groff_out(5).   Normally  groff
              calls  automatically  a  postprocessor.  With this option, the output of troff for the device,
              the so-called intermediate output is issued without postprocessing.

   Transparent Options
       The following options are transparently handed over to the formatter program troff that is called  by
       groff subsequently.  These options are described in more detail in troff(1).

       -a     ascii approximation of output.

       -b     backtrace on error or warning.

       -c     disable color output.  Please consult the grotty(1) man page for more details.

       -C     enable compatibility mode.

       -d cs
       -d name=s
              define string.

       -E     disable troff error messages.

       -f fam set default font family.

       -F dir set path for font DESC files.

       -i     process standard input after the specified input files.

       -m name
              include macro file name.tmac (or; see also groff_tmac(5).

       -M dir path for macro files.

       -n num number the first page num.

       -o list
              output only pages in list.

       -r cn
       -r name=n
              set number register.

       -w name
              enable warning name.

       -W name
              disable warning name.

       The  groff  system implements the infrastructure of classical roff; see roff(7) for a survey on how a
       roff system works in general.  Due to the front-end programs available within the groff system, using
       groff  is  much easier than classical roff.  This section gives an overview of the parts that consti-tute constitute
       tute the groff system.  It complements roff(7) with groff-specific features.  This section can be re-garded regarded
       garded as a guide to the documentation around the groff system.

   Paper Size
       The  virtual  paper  size  used by troff to format the input is controlled globally with the requests
       .po, .pl, and .ll.  See groff_tmac(5) for the `papersize' macro package which provides  a  convenient

       The  physical  paper  size, giving the actual dimensions of the paper sheets, is controlled by output
       devices like grops with the command line options -p and -l.  See groff_font(5) and the man  pages  of
       the output devices for more details.  groff uses the command line option -P to pass options to output
       devices; for example, the following selects A4 paper in landscape orientation for the PS device:

              groff -Tps -P-pa4 -P-l ...

       The groff program is a wrapper around the troff(1) program.  It allows to specify  the  preprocessors
       by command line options and automatically runs the postprocessor that is appropriate for the selected
       device.  Doing so, the sometimes tedious piping mechanism of classical roff(7) can be avoided.

       The grog(1) program can be used for guessing the correct groff command line to format a file.

       The groffer(1) program is an allround-viewer for groff files and man pages.

       The groff preprocessors are reimplementations of the classical  preprocessors  with  moderate  exten-sions. extensions.
       sions.  The preprocessors distributed with the groff package are

       eqn(1) for mathematical formulae,

       grn(1) for including gremlin(1) pictures,

       pic(1) for drawing diagrams,

              for bibliographic references,

              for including macro files from standard locations,


       tbl(1) for tables.

       Besides  these,  there  are some internal preprocessors that are automatically run with some devices.
       These aren't visible to the user.

   Macro Packages
       Macro packages can be included by option -m.  The groff system implements and extends  all  classical
       macro  packages in a compatible way and adds some packages of its own.  Actually, the following macro
       packages come with groff:

       man    The traditional man page format; see groff_man(7).  It can be specified on the command line as
              -man or -m man.

       mandoc The  general package for man pages; it automatically recognizes whether the documents uses the
              man or the mdoc format and branches to the corresponding macro package.  It can  be  specified
              on the command line as -mandoc or -m mandoc.

       mdoc   The  BSD-style man page format; see groff_mdoc(7).  It can be specified on the command line as
              -mdoc or -m mdoc.

       me     The classical me document format; see groff_me(7).  It can be specified on the command line as
              -me or -m me.

       mm     The classical mm document format; see groff_mm(7).  It can be specified on the command line as
              -mm or -m mm.

       ms     The classical ms document format; see groff_ms(7).  It can be specified on the command line as
              -ms or -m ms.

       www    HTML-like macros for inclusion in arbitrary groff documents; see groff_www(7).

       Details on the naming of macro files and their placement can be found in groff_tmac(5); this man page
       also documents some other, minor auxiliary macro packages not mentioned here.

   Programming Language
       General concepts common to all roff programming languages are described in roff(7).

       The groff extensions to the classical troff language are documented in groff_diff(7).

       The groff language as a whole is described in the (still incomplete) groff info file;  a  short  (but
       complete) reference can be found in groff(7).

       The central roff formatter within the groff system is troff(1).  It provides the features of both the
       classical troff and nroff, as well as the groff extensions.  The  command  line  option  -C  switches
       troff into compatibility mode which tries to emulate classical roff as much as possible.

       There is a shell script nroff(1) that emulates the behavior of classical nroff.  It tries to automat-ically automatically
       ically select the proper output encoding, according to the current locale.

       The formatter program generates intermediate output; see groff_out(7).

       In roff, the output targets are called devices.  A device can be a piece of hardware, e.g. a printer,
       or  a  software  file format.  A device is specified by the option -T.  The groff devices are as fol-lows. follows.

       ascii  Text output using the ascii(7) character set.

       cp1047 Text output using the EBCDIC code page IBM cp1047 (e.g. OS/390 Unix).

       dvi    TeX DVI format.

       html   HTML output.

       latin1 Text output using the ISO Latin-1 (ISO 8859-1) character set; see iso_8859_1(7).

       lbp    Output for Canon CAPSL printers (LBP-4 and LBP-8 series laser printers).

       lj4    HP LaserJet4-compatible (or other PCL5-compatible) printers.

       ps     PostScript output; suitable for printers and previewers like gv(1).

       utf8   Text output using the Unicode (ISO 10646) character set with UTF-8 encoding; see unicode(7).

       X75    75dpi X Window System output suitable for the previewers  xditview(1x)  and  gxditview(1).   A
              variant for a 12pt document base font is X75-12.

       X100   100dpi  X  Window  System output suitable for the previewers xditview(1x) and gxditview(1).  A
              variant for a 12pt document base font is X100-12.

       The postprocessor to be used for a device is specified by the postpro command in the device  descrip-tion description
       tion file; see groff_font(5).  This can be overridden with the -X option.

       The default device is ps.

       groff provides 3 hardware postprocessors:

              for some Canon printers,

              for printers compatible to the HP LaserJet 4 and PCL5,

              for text output using various encodings, e.g. on text-oriented terminals or line-printers.

       Today, most printing or drawing hardware is handled by the operating system, by device drivers, or by
       software interfaces, usually accepting PostScript.  Consequently, there isn't an urgent need for more
       hardware device postprocessors.

       The groff software devices for conversion into other document file formats are

              for the DVI format,

              for HTML format,

              for PostScript.

       Combined  with  the  many existing free conversion tools this should be sufficient to convert a troff
       document into virtually any existing data format.

       The following utility programs around groff are available.

              Add information to troff font description files for use with groff.

              Create font description files for PostScript device.

              General viewer program for groff files and man pages.

              The groff X viewer, the GNU version of xditview.

              Create font description files for lj4 device.

              Make inverted index for bibliographic databases.

              Search bibliographic databases.

              Interactively search bibliographic databases.

              Translate a PostScript font in .pfb format to ASCII.

              Create font description files for TeX DVI device.

              roff viewer distributed with X window.

       Normally, the path separator in the following environment variables is the colon; this may  vary  de-pending depending
       pending on the operating system.  For example, DOS and Windows use a semicolon instead.

              This search path, followed by $PATH, will be used for commands that are executed by groff.  If
              it is not set then the directory where the groff binaries were installed is prepended to PATH.

              When there is a need to run different roff implementations at the same time groff provides the
              facility to prepend a prefix to most of its programs that could provoke name clashings at  run
              time  (default is to have none).  Historically, this prefix was the character g, but it can be
              anything.  For example, gtroff stood for groff's troff, gtbl for the groff version of tbl.  By
              setting  GROFF_COMMAND_PREFIX to different values, the different roff installations can be ad-dressed. addressed.
              dressed.  More exactly, if it is set to prefix xxx then groff as a wrapper program will inter-nally internally
              nally  call  xxxtroff instead of troff.  This also applies to the preprocessors eqn, grn, pic,
              refer, tbl, soelim, and to the utilities indxbib and lookbib.  This feature does not apply  to
              any  programs  different from the ones above (most notably groff itself) since they are unique
              to the groff package.

              A list of directories in which to search for the devname directory in addition to the  default
              ones.  See troff(1) and groff_font(5) for more details.

              A  list  of directories in which to search for macro files in addition to the default directo-ries. directories.
              ries.  See troff(1) and groff_tmac(5) for more details.

              The directory in which temporary files will be created.  If this is not set but  the  environ-ment environment
              ment  variable  TMPDIR  instead, temporary files will be created in the directory $TMPDIR.  On
              MS-DOS and Windows 32 platforms, the environment variables TMP and TEMP (in  that  order)  are
              searched  also,  after GROFF_TMPDIR and TMPDIR.  Otherwise, temporary files will be created in
              /tmp.  The refer(1), groffer(1), grohtml(1), and grops(1) commands use temporary files.

              Preset the default device.  If this is not set the ps device is used as default.  This  device
              name is overwritten by the option -T.

       There are some directories in which groff installs all of its data files.  Due to different installa-tion installation
       tion habits on different operating systems, their locations are not absolutely fixed, but their func-tion function
       tion is clearly defined and coincides on all systems.

   groff Macro Directory
       This  contains  all information related to macro packages.  Note that more than a single directory is
       searched for those files as documented in groff_tmac(5).  For the groff installation corresponding to
       this  document,  it is located at /usr/share/groff/1.19.2/tmac.  The following files contained in the
       groff macro directory have a special meaning:

              Initialization file for troff.  This is interpreted by troff before reading the macro sets and
              any input.

              Final startup file for troff, it is parsed after all macro sets have been read.

              Macro file for macro package name.

   groff Font Directory
       This  contains  all information related to output devices.  Note that more than a single directory is
       searched for those files; see troff(1).  For the groff installation corresponding to  this  document,
       it  is  located at /usr/share/groff/1.19.2/font.  The following files contained in the groff font di-rectory directory
       rectory have a special meaning:

              Device description file for device name, see groff_font(5).

              Font file for font F of device name.

       The following example illustrates the power of the groff program as a wrapper around troff.

       To process a roff file using the preprocessors tbl and pic and the me macro set, classical troff  had
       to be called by

       sh# pic | tbl | troff -me -Tlatin1 | grotty

       Using groff, this pipe can be shortened to the equivalent command

       sh# groff -p -t -me -T latin1

       An even easier way to call this is to use grog(1) to guess the preprocessor and macro options and ex-ecute execute
       ecute the generated command (by using backquotes to specify shell command substitution)

       sh# `grog -Tlatin1`

       The simplest way is to view the contents in an automated way by calling

       sh# groffer

       On EBCDIC hosts (e.g. OS/390 Unix), output devices ascii and  latin1  aren't  available.   Similarly,
       output for EBCDIC code page cp1047 is not available on ASCII based operating systems.

       Report bugs to  Include a complete, self-contained example that will allow the bug
       to be reproduced, and say which version of groff you are using.

       Information on how to get groff and related information is available at the GNU website <http://   The  most  recent released version of groff is available for anonymous
       ftp at the groff development site <

       Three groff mailing lists are available:
              for reporting bugs,
              for general discussion of groff,
              a read-only list showing logs of commitments to the CVS repository.

       Details on CVS access and much more can be found in the file README at the top directory of the groff
       source package.

       There is a free implementation of the grap preprocessor, written by

       Ted Faber <>.  The actual version can be found at the grap website <http://  This is the only grap version supported by groff.

       Copyright (C) 1989, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This document is distributed under the terms of the FDL (GNU Free Documentation License) version  1.1
       or later.  You should have received a copy of the FDL on your system, it is also available on-line at
       the GNU copyleft site <

       This document is based on the original groff man page written by

       James Clark <>.  It was rewritten, enhanced, and put under the  FDL  license  by  Bernd
       Warken.  It is maintained by

       Werner Lemberg <>.

       groff  is  a GNU free software project.  All parts of the groff package are protected by GNU copyleft
       licenses.  The software files are distributed under the terms  of  the  GNU  General  Public  License
       (GPL), while the documentation files mostly use the GNU Free Documentation License (FDL).

       The  groff  info file contains all information on the groff system within a single document.  Beneath
       the detailed documentation of all aspects, it provides examples and background information.  See  in-fo(1) info(1)
       fo(1) on how to read it.

       Due  to  its complex structure, the groff system has many man pages.  They can be read with man(1) or

       Introduction, history and further readings:

       Viewer for groff files:
              groffer(1), gxditview(1), xditview(1x).

       Wrapper programs for formatters:
              groff(1), grog(1).

       Roff preprocessors:
              eqn(1), grn(1), pic(1), refer(1), soelim(1), tbl(1), grap(1).

       Roff language with the groff extensions:
              groff(7), groff_char(7), groff_diff(7), groff_font(5).

       Roff formatter programs:
              nroff(1), troff(1), ditroff(7).

       The    intermediate output language: groff_out(7).

       Postprocessors for the output devices:
              grodvi(1), grohtml(1), grolbp(1), grolj4(1), lj4_font(5), grops(1), grotty(1).

       Groff macro packages and macro-specific utilities:
              groff_tmac(5),   groff_man(7),   groff_mdoc(7),   groff_me(7),   groff_mm(7),   groff_mmse(7),
              groff_mom(7), groff_ms(7), groff_www(7), groff_trace(7), mmroff(7).

       The following utilities are available:
              addftinfo(1), afmtodit(1), eqn2graph(1), grap2graph(1), groffer(1), gxditview(1), hpftodit(1),
              indxbib(1), lookbib(1), pfbtops(1), pic2graph(1), tfmtodit(1).

Groff Version 1.19.2                             3 July 2005                                        GROFF(1)

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