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 filename
       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 collec-
       tion  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 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 com-
              mand 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

       -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 ar-
              guments to refer because most refer options have equivalent lan-
              guage  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, .opena, .pso, .sy, and .pi.  For security
              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 de-
              vice 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 usu-
              al 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 outlined
              with options -l and -L is carried over to gxditview(1) by deter-
              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  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

       -Z     Do  not  postprocess the output of troff that is normally called
              automatically by groff.  This will print the intermediate output
              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 formulæ,

       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 automati-
       cally 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

       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 described
       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

       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 device
       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 accepting
       PostScript.  Consequently, there isn’t an urgent need for more hardware
       device postprocessors.

       The groff software devices for conversion into other document file for-
       mats 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

       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 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 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 pre-
              processors eqn, grn, pic, refer, tbl, soelim, and to the  utili-
              ties  indxbib  and  lookbib.  This feature does not apply to any
              programs different from the ones above (most notably  groff  it-
              self) 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,  tempo-
              rary  files will be created in the directory $TMPDIR.  Otherwise
              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/  The follow-
       ing  files  contained in the groff macro directory have a special mean-

              Initialization file for troff.  This is interpreted by troff be-
              fore 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 locat-
       ed at /usr/share/groff/  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 specify-
       ing shell left quotes)

       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 〈〉.  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 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   〈〉.
       This is the only grap version supported by groff.


       Copyright © 1989, 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This document is distributed under the terms of the FDL (GNU Free Docu-
       mentation  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


       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 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         24 November 2004                       GROFF(1)

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