GROFF linux command manual

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 character).  A file-
       name of - (minus character) denotes the standard input.

       This document describes the groff program, the main front-end for  the
       groff  document  formatting system.  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 fea-
       tures 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 Add search directory for soelim(1).  This option implies the -s

       -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 necessary  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     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  follow-
              ing troff requests: .open, .opena, .pso, .sy, and .pi.  For se-
              curity reasons, safer mode is enabled by default.

       -t     Preprocess with tbl.

       -T dev Set output device to dev.  The possible  values  in  groff  are
              ascii,  cp1047, dvi, html, latin1, lbp, lj4, ps, utf8, X75, and
              X100.  Additionally, X75-12 and X100-12 are available for docu-
              ments  which  use  12pt as the base document size.  The default
              device is ps.

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

       -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), but do not execute it.

       -X     Use gxditview instead  of  using  the  usual  postprocessor  to
              (pre)view  a  document.   The printing spooler behavior as out-
              lined with options -l and -L is carried over to gxditview(1) by
              determining   an  argument  for  the  -printCommand  option  of
              gxditview(1).  This sets the default Print action and the  cor-
              responding menu entry to that value.  -X only produces good re-
              sults with -Tps, -TX75, -TX75-12, -TX100, and  -TX100-12.   The
              default  resolution  for  previewing -Tps output 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     Do not postprocess the output of troff that is normally  called
              automatically  by groff.  This will print the intermediate out-
              put to standard output; see groff_out(5).

   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.

       -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

       -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  constitute the groff system.  It complements roff(7)
       with groff-specific features.  This section can be regarded as a guide
       to the documentation around the groff system.

       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

       The groff preprocessors are reimplementations of the classical prepro-
       cessors with moderate extensions.  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 automat-
       ically run with some devices.  These aren't visible to the user.

   Macro Packages
       Macro packages can be included by option -m.  The groff system  imple-
       ments 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  speci-
              fied 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).

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

       The groff extensions to the classical troff language are documented in

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

       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 classi-
       cal nroff.  It tries to automatically select the proper output  encod-
       ing, 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 de-
       vice is specified by the option -T.  The groff devices are as follows.

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

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

       nippon Text output using the Japanese-EUC character set.

       dvi    TeX DVI format.

       html   HTML output.

       ascii8 For typewriter-like devices.  Unlike ascii, this  device  is  8
              bit  clean.   This  device  is intended to be used for codesets
              other than ASCII and ISO-8859-1.

       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

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

       ps     PostScript output; suitable for printers  and  previewers  like

       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 description 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  accept-
       ing  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 da-
       ta format.

       The following utility programs around groff are available.

              Add  information  to  troff font description files for use with

              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 depending on the operating system.  For exam-
       ple, 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 directo-
              ry where the groff binaries  were  installed  is  prepended  to

              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 addressed.   More  exactly,
              if it is set to prefix xxx then groff as a wrapper program will
              internally 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 direc-
              tory  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 ad-
              dition   to   the   default   directories.   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 environment variable TMPDIR instead,
              temporary files will be created in the directory $TMPDIR.  Oth-
              erwise  temporary files will be created in /tmp.  The refer(1),
              groffer(1), grohtml(1), and  grops(1)  commands  use  temporary

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

       There  are  some  directories  in which groff installs all of its data
       files.  Due to different installation habits  on  different  operating
       systems,  their locations are not absolutely fixed, but their function
       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/1.18.1/tmac.  The follow-
       ing files contained in the groff macro directory have a special  mean-

              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/1.18.1/font.   The  following  files
       contained in the groff font directory 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 prepro-
       cessor and macro options and execute the generated command (by  speci-
       fying shell left quotes)

       sh# 'grog -Tlatin1'

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

       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 ver-
       sion of groff you are using.

       Information on how to get groff and related information  is  available
       at  the GNU website ?  The most re-
       cent 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 reposi-

       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   ?
       grap/?.  This is the only grap version supported by groff.

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

       This document is distributed under the terms of the FDL (GNU Free Doc-
       umentation 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  dis-
       tributed  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 with-
       in a single document.  Beneath the detailed documentation of  all  as-
       pects,  it  provides examples and background information.  See info(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 groffer(1).

       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:

       Postprocessors for the output devices:
              grodvi(1),    grohtml(1),   grolbp(1),   grolj4(1),   grops(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), mmroff(7).

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

Groff Version 1.18.1            08 March 2004                        GROFF(1)