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DITROFF(7)                                                          DITROFF(7)

       ditroff - classical device independent roff

       The  name  ditroff once marked a development level of the troff text processing system.  In actual roff(7) sys-
       tems, the name troff is used as a synonym for ditroff.

       The first roff system was written by Joe Osanna around 1973.  It supported only two output devices,  the  nroff
       program  produced  text oriented tty output, while the troff program generated graphical output for exactly one
       output device, the Wang Graphic Systems CAT typesetter.

       In 1979, Brian Kernighan rewrote troff to support more devices by creating an intermediate  output  format  for
       troff  that  can  be fed into postprocessor programs which actually do the printout on the device.  Kernighan's
       version marks what is known as classical troff today.  In order to distinguish it from Osanna's original  mono-
       device version, it was called ditroff (device independent troff) on some systems, though this naming isn't men-
       tioned in the classical documentation.

       Today, any existing roff system is based on Kernighan's multi-device troff.  The distinction between troff  and
       ditroff  isn't  necessary  any  longer,  for  each  modern troff provides already the complete functionality of
       ditroff.  On most systems, the name troff is used to denote ditroff.

       The easiest way to use ditroff is the GNU roff system,  groff.   The  groff(1)  program  is  a  wrapper  around
       (di)troff that automatically handles postprocessing.

       [CSTR #54]
              The 1992 revision of the Nroff/Troff User's Manual by J. F. Osanna and Brian Kernighan, see
              Bell Labs CSTR #54 <>;.

       [CSTR #97]
              A  Typesetter-independent  TROFF  by  Brian  Kernighan is the original documentation of the first multi-
              device troff (ditroff), see
              Bell Labs CSTR #97 <>;.

              This document gives details on the history and concepts of roff.

              The actual implementation of ditroff.

              The GNU roff program and pointers to all documentation around groff.

              The groff version of the intermediate output language, the basis for multi-devicing.

       Copyright (C) 2001, 2002 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 part of groff, the GNU roff distribution.  It was written by  Bernd  Warken  <>
       and is maintained by Werner Lemberg <>.

Groff Version         19 February 2002                     DITROFF(7)