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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 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 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  simplifi-
       cation 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 option.

       -l     Send  the  output to a spooler program for printing.  The command that should be used for this is speci-
              fied 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  pre-
              ceding  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  op-
              tions  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,  .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 documents which use 12pt as
              the base document size.  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), 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 determining 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 printed.

       -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 sub-
       sequently.  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 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 constitute the groff system.  It comple-
       ments 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 pages.

       The  groff  preprocessors  are  reimplementations of the classical preprocessors 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  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 pack-
       ages in a compatible way and adds some packages of its own.  Actually, the following macro packages  come  with

       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

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

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

       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 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 automatically se-
       lect 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 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).

       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 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  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

       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 in-
       to 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  depending  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 differ-
              ent 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 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 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.  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 -T.

       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 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 in-

              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/  The following files contained in the groff font directory have a special mean-

              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  execute  the
       generated command (by specifying 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 re-
       produced, and say which version of groff you are using.

       Information  on  how  to get groff and related information is available at the GNU website <
       software/groff>.  The most recent released version of groff is available for anonymous ftp at the groff  devel-
       opment 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

       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 (C) 1989, 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 based on the original groff man page written by James Clark <>.  It was  rewrit-
       ten,  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 documen-
       tation 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  de-
       tailed  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), 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), 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         11 November 2010                       GROFF(1)