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GROFFER(1)                                                          GROFFER(1)

       groffer - display groff files and man pages on X and tty

       groffer [option...]  [--] [filespec...]
       groffer -h|--help
       groffer -v|--version

       The  groffer  program  is  the  easiest way to use groff(1).  It can display arbitrary documents written in the
       groff language, see groff(7), or other roff languages, see roff(7), that are compatible to the  original  troff
       language.   The  groffer  program also includes many of the features for finding and displaying the Unix manual
       pages (man pages), such that it can be used as a replacement for a man(1) program.  Moreover, compressed  files
       that can be handled by gzip(1) or bzip2(1) are decompressed on-the-fly.

       The  normal  usage is quite simple by supplying a file name or name of a man page without further options.  But
       the option handling has many possibilities for creating special behaviors.  This can be done either in configu-
       ration files, with the shell environment variable $GROFFER_OPT, or on the command line.

       The  output can be generated and viewed in several different ways available for groff.  This includes the groff
       native X Window viewer gxditview(1), each Postcript, pdf, or dvi display program, a web browser  by  generating
       html in www mode, or several text modes in text terminals.

       Most  of  the  options that must be named when running groff directly are determined automatically for groffer,
       due to the internal usage of the grog(1) program.  But all parts can also be controlled manually by  arguments.

       Several file names can be specified on the command line arguments.  They are transformed into a single document
       in the normal way of groff.

       Option handling is done in GNU style.  Options and file names can be mixed freely.  The option '--' closes  the
       option handling, all following arguments are treated as file names.  Long options can be abbreviated in several

       breaking options

              [-h|--help] [-v|--version]

       groffer mode options

              [--auto] [--default] [--default-modes mode1,mode2,...]  [--dvi] [--dvi-viewer prog]  [--groff]  [--html]
              [--html-viewer  prog]  [--mode  display_mode]  [--pdf]  [--pdf-viewer  prog]  [--ps]  [--ps-viewer prog]
              [--source] [--text] [--to-stdout] [--tty] [--tty-viewer  prog]  [--www]  [--www-viewer  prog]  [--x|--X]
              [--x-viewer|--X-viewer prog]

       options related to groff

              [-T|--device device] [-Z|--intermediate-output|--ditroff]

              All further groff short options are accepted.

       options for man pages
              [--apropos]  [--apropos-data]  [--apropos-devel]  [--apropos-progs]  [--man]  [--no-man]  [--no-special]

       long options taken over from GNU man

              [--all] [--ascii] [--ditroff]  [--extension  suffix]  [--locale  language]  [--local-file]  [--location|
              --where]   [--manpath  dir1:dir2:...]   [--no-location]  [--pager  program]  [--sections  sec1:sec2:...]
              [--systems sys1,sys2,...]  [--troff-device device]

              Further long options of GNU man are accepted as well.

       X Window Toolkit options

              [--bd|--bordercolor pixels] [--bg|--background color] [--bw|--borderwidth pixels] [--display  X-display]
              [--fg|--foreground color] [--fn|--ft|--font font_name] [--geometry size_pos] [--resolution value] [--rv]
              [--title string] [--xrm X-resource]

       options for development

              [--debug] [--debug-all] [--debug-filenames] [--debug-func] [--debug-keep] [--debug-lm]  [--debug-params]
              [--debug-shell]  [--debug-stacks] [--debug-tmpdir] [--debug-user] [--do-nothing] [--print text] [--shell
              prog] [-V]

       filespec arguments

              The filespec parameters are all arguments that are neither an option nor an option argument.  They  usu-
              ally mean a file name or a man page searching scheme.

              In  the  following,  the term section_extension is used.  It means a word that consists of a man section
              that is optionally followed by an extension.  The name of a man  section  is  a  single  character  from
              [1-9on], the extension is some word.  The extension is mostly lacking.

              No filespec parameters means standard input.

              -         stands for standard input (can occur several times).

              filename  the path name of an existing file.

              section_extension name
                        search the man page name in the section with optional extension section_extension.

              man:name  man page in the lowest man section that has name.

              name      if name is not an existing file search for the man page name in the lowest man section.

       The  groffer  program can usually be run with very few options.  But for special purposes, it supports many op-
       tions.  These can be classified in 5 option classes.

       All short options of groffer are compatible with the short options of groff(1).  All long  options  of  groffer
       are compatible with the long options of man(1).

       Arguments  for long option names can be abbreviated in several ways.  First, the argument is checked whether it
       can be prolonged as is.  Furthermore, each minus sign - is considered as a starting point for a  new  abbrevia-
       tion.   This leads to a set of multiple abbreviations for a single argument.  For example, --de-n-f can be used
       as an abbreviation for --debug-not-func, but --de-n works as well.  If the abbreviation of the  argument  leads
       to several resulting options an error is raised.

   groffer breaking Options
       As  soon  as  one of these options is found on the command line it is executed, printed to standard output, and
       the running groffer is terminated thereafter.  All other arguments are ignored.

       -h | --help
              Print a helping information with a short explanation of option sto standard output.

       -v | --version
              Print version information to standard output.

   groffer Mode Options
       The display mode and the viewer programs are determined by these options.  If none of these mode and viewer op-
       tions  is  specified  groffer  tries to find a suitable display mode automatically.  The default modes are mode
       pdf, mode ps, mode html, mode x, and mode dvi in X Window with different  viewers  and  mode  tty  with  device
       latin1 under less on a terminal; other modes are tested if the programs for the main default mode do not exist.

       In X Window, many programs create their own window when called.  groffer can run these viewers as  an  indepen-
       dent  program in the background.  As this does not work in text mode on a terminal (tty) there must be a way to
       know which viewers are X Window graphical programs.  The groffer script has a small set of information on  some
       viewer  names.  If a viewer argument of the command-line chooses an element that is kept as X Window program in
       this list it is treated as a viewer that can run in the background.  All other, unknown viewer  calls  are  not
       run in the background.

       For  each  mode, you are free to choose whatever viewer you want.  That need not be some graphical viewer suit-
       able for this mode.  There is a chance to view the output source; for example, the combination of  the  options
       --mode=ps  and  --ps-viewer=less  shows  the  content of the Postscript output, the source code, with the pager

       --auto Equivalent to --mode=auto.

              Reset all configuration from previously processed command line options to the default values.   This  is
              useful to wipe out all former options of the configuration, in $GROFFER_OPT, and restart option process-
              ing using only the rest of the command line.

       --default-modes mode1,mode2,...
              Set the sequence of modes for auto mode to the comma separated list given in the argument.   See  --mode
              for  details  on modes.  Display in the default manner; actually, this means to try the modes x, ps, and
              tty in this sequence.

       --dvi  Equivalent to --mode=dvi.

       --dvi-viewer prog
              Choose a viewer program for dvi mode.  This can be a file name or a program to  be  searched  in  $PATH.
              Known  X  Window  dvi viewers include xdvi(1) and dvilx(1) In each case, arguments can be provided addi-

              Equivalent to --mode=groff.

       --html Equivalent to --mode=html.

              Choose a web browser program for viewing in html mode.  It can be the path name of an executable file or
              a program in $PATH.  In each case, arguments can be provided additionally.

       --mode value
              Set the display mode.  The following mode values are recognized:

              auto   Select the automatic determination of the display mode.  The sequence of modes that are tried can
                     be set with the --default-modes option.  Useful for restoring the default mode when  a  different
                     mode was specified before.

              dvi    Display  formatted  input  in a dvi viewer program.  By default, the formatted input is displayed
                     with the xdvi(1) program.  --dvi.

              groff  After the file determination, switch groffer to process the input like groff(1) would  do.   This
                     disables the groffer viewing features.

              html   Translate  the  input  into  html format and display the result in a web browser program.  By de-
                     fault, the existence of a sequence of standard web browsers is tested, starting with konqueror(1)
                     and mozilla(1).  The text html viewer is lynx(1).

              pdf    Display  formatted input in a PDF (Portable Document Format) viewer program.  By default, the in-
                     put is formatted by groff using the Postscript device, then it is transformed into the  PDF  file
                     format  using  gs(1), or ps2pdf(1).  If that's not possible, the Postscript mode (ps) is used in-
                     stead.  Finally it is displayed using different viewer programs.  pdf has a big advantage because
                     the text is displayed graphically and is searchable as well.

              ps     Display  formatted input in a Postscript viewer program.  By default, the formatted input is dis-
                     played in one of many viewer programs.

              text   Format in a groff text mode and write the result to standard output without  a  pager  or  viewer
                     program.  The text device, latin1 by default, can be chosen with option -T.

              tty    Format  in  a groff text mode and write the result to standard output using a text pager program,
                     even when in X Window.

              www    Equivalent to --mode=html.

              x      Display the formatted input in a native roff viewer.  By default, the  formatted  input  is  dis-
                     played  with  the  gxditview(1)  program being distributed together with groff.  But the standard
                     X Window tool xditview(1) can also be chosen with the option --x-viewer.  The default  resolution
                     is  75 dpi, but 100 dpi are also possible.  The default groff device for the resolution of 75 dpi
                     is X75-12, for 100 dpi it is X100.  The corresponding groff intermediate output  for  the  actual
                     device  is generated and the result is displayed.  For a resolution of 100 dpi, the default width
                     of the geometry of the display program is chosen to 850 dpi.

              X      Equivalent to --mode=x.

              The following modes do not use the groffer viewing features.  They are only interesting for advanced ap-

              groff  Generate  device  output  with plain groff without using the special viewing features of groffer.
                     If no device was specified by option -T the groff default ps is assumed.

              source Output the roff source code of the input files without further processing.

       --pdf  Equivalent to --mode=pdf.

       --pdf-viewer prog
              Choose a viewer program for pdf mode.  This can be a file name or a program to be searched in $PATH; ar-
              guments can be provided additionally.

       --ps   Equivalent to --mode=ps.

       --ps-viewer prog
              Choose  a  viewer  program  for  ps mode.  This can be a file name or a program to be searched in $PATH.
              Common Postscript viewers inlude gv(1), ghostview(1), and gs(1), In each case, arguments can be provided

              Equivalent --mode=source.

       --text Equivalent to --mode=text.

              The file for the chosen mode is generated and its content is printed to standard output.  It will not be
              displayed in graphical mode.

       --tty  Equivalent to --mode=tty.

       --tty-viewer prog
              Choose a text pager for mode tty.  The standard pager is less(1).  This option is eqivalent to  man  op-
              tion  --pager=prog.   The option argument can be a file name or a program to be searched in $PATH; argu-
              ments can be provided additionally.

       --www  Equivalent to --mode=html.

       --www-viewer prog
              Equivalent to --html-viewer.

       --X | --x
              Equivalent to --mode=x.

       --X-viewer | --x-viewer prog
              Choose a viewer program for x mode.  Suitable viewer programs are gxditview(1) which is the default  and
              xditview(1).   The  argument can be any executable file or a program in $PATH; arguments can be provided

       --     Signals the end of option processing; all remaining arguments are interpreted as filespec parameters.

       Besides these, groffer accepts all short options that are valid for the groff(1) program.  All non-groffer  op-
       tions  are  sent unmodified via grog to groff.  So postprocessors, macro packages, compatibility with classical
       troff, and much more can be manually specified.

   Options related to groff
       All short options of groffer are compatible with the short options of groff(1).  The following of groff options
       have either an additional special meaning within groffer or make sense for normal usage.

       Because  of  the  special  outputting  behavior of the groff option -Z groffer was designed to be switched into
       groff mode ; the groffer viewing features are disabled there.  The other groff options do not switch the  mode,
       but allow to customize the formatting process.

       -a     This  generates  an  ascii  approximation of output in the text modes.  That could be important when the
              text pager has problems with control sequences in tty mode.

       -m file
              Add file as a groff macro file.  This is useful in case it cannot be recognized automatically.

       -P opt_or_arg
              Send the argument opt_or_arg as an option or option argument to the actual groff postprocessor.

       -T | --device devname
              This option determines groff's output device.  The most important devices are the  text  output  devices
              for  referring  to the different character sets, such as ascii, utf8, latin1, and others.  Each of these
              arguments switches groffer into a text mode using this device, to mode tty if the actual mode is  not  a
              text  mode.   The following devname arguments are mapped to the corresponding groffer --mode=devname op-
              tion: dvi, html, and ps.  All X* arguments are mapped to mode x.  Each other devname  argument  switches
              to mode groff using this device.

       -X     is equivalent to groff -X.  It displays the groff intermediate output with gxditview.  As the quality is
              relatively bad this option is deprecated; use --X instead because the x mode uses an  X*  device  for  a
              better display.

       -Z | --intermediate-output | --ditroff
              Switch  into  groff mode and format the input with the groff intermediate output without postprocessing;
              see groff_out(5).  This is equivalent to option --ditroff of man, which can be used as well.

       All other groff options are supported by groffer, but they are just transparently transferred to groff  without
       any  intervention.   The  options that are not explicitly handled by groffer are transparently passed to groff.
       Therefore these transparent options are not documented here,  but  in  groff(1).   Due  to  the  automatism  in
       groffer, none of these groff options should be needed, except for advanced usage.

   Options for man pages
              Start  the  apropos(1)  command  or  facility  of man(1) for searching the filespec arguments within all
              man page descriptions.  Each filespec argument is taken for search as it is; section specific parts  are
              not  handled, such that 7 groff searches for the two arguments 7 and groff, with a large result; for the
              filespec groff.7 nothing will be found.  The language locale is handled only when the called programs do
              support  this;  the  GNU apropos and man -k do not.  The display differs from the apropos program by the
              following concepts:

              ? Construct a groff frame similar to a man page to the output of apropos,

              ? each filespec argument is searched on its own.

              ? The restriction by --sections is handled as well,

              ? wildcard characters are allowed and handled without a further option.

              Show only the apropos descriptions for data documents, these are the man(7) sections 4, 5, and  7.   Di-
              rect section declarations are ignored, wildcards are accepted.

              Show only the apropos descriptions for development documents, these are the man(7) sections 2, 3, and 9.
              Direct section declarations are ignored, wildcards are accepted.

              Show only the apropos descriptions for documents on programs, these are the man(7) sections 1, 6, and 8.
              Direct section declarations are ignored, wildcards are accepted.

              For  each filespec argument search all man pages and display their description -- or say that it is not a
              man page.  This is written from anew, so it differs from man's whatis output by the following concepts

              ? each retrieved file name is added,

              ? local files are handled as well,

              ? the language and system locale is supported,

              ? the display is framed by a groff output format similar to a man page,

              ? wildcard characters are allowed without a further option.

       The following options were added to groffer for choosing whether the file name  arguments  are  interpreted  as
       names for local files or as a search pattern for man pages.  The default is looking up for local files.

       --man  Check the non-option command line arguments (filespecs) first on being man pages, then whether they rep-
              resent an existing file.  By default, a filespec is first tested whether it is an existing file.

       --no-man | --local-file
              Do not check for man pages.  --local-file is the corresponding man option.

              Disable former calls of --all, --apropos*, and --whatis.

   Long options taken over from GNU man
       The long options of groffer were synchronized with the long options of GNU man.  All long options  of  GNU  man
       are recognized, but not all of these options are important to groffer, so most of them are just ignored.  These
       ignored man options are --catman, --troff, and --update.

       In the following, the man options that have a special meaning for groffer are documented.

       If your system has GNU man installed the full set of long and short options of  the  GNU  man  program  can  be
       passed via the environment variable $MANOPT; see man(1).

       --all  In searching man pages, retrieve all suitable documents instead of only one.

       -7 | --ascii
              In text modes, display ASCII translation of special characters for critical environment.  This is equiv-
              alent to groff -mtty_char; see groff_tmac(5).

              Produce groff intermediate output.  This is equivalent to groffer -Z.

       --extension suffix
              Restrict man page search to file names that have suffix appended to their section element.  For example,
              in the file name /usr/share/man/man3/terminfo.3ncurses.gz the man page extension is ncurses.

       --locale language
              Set the language for man pages.  This has the same effect, but overwrites $LANG

              Print the location of the retrieved files to standard error.

              Do not display the location of retrieved files; this resets a former call to --location.  This was added
              by groffer.

       --manpath 'dir1:dir2:...'
              Use the specified search path for retrieving man pages instead of the program defaults.  If the argument
              is set to the empty string "" the search for man page is disabled.

              Set the pager program in tty mode; default is less.  This is equivalent to --tty-viewer.

       --sections 'sec1:sec2:...'
              Restrict searching for man pages to the given sections, a colon-separated list.

       --systems 'sys1,sys2,...'
              Search for man pages for the given operating systems; the argument systems is a comma-separated list.

              Eqivalent to --location.

   X Window Toolkit Options
       The  following  long  options  were adapted from the corresponding X Window Toolkit options.  groffer will pass
       them to the actual viewer program if it is an X Window program.  Otherwise these options are ignored.

       Unfortunately these options use the old style of a single minus for long options.  For groffer that was changed
       to the standard with using a double minus for long options, for example, groffer uses the option --font for the
       X Window option -font.

       See X(1), X(7), and the documentation on the X Window Toolkit options for more details  on  these  options  and
       their arguments.

       --background color
              Set the background color of the viewer window.

       --bd pixels
              This is equivalent to --bordercolor.

       --bg color
              This is equivalent to --background.

       --bw pixels
              This is equivalent to --borderwidth.

       --bordercolor pixels
              Specifies the color of the border surrounding the viewer window.

       --borderwidth pixels
              Specifies the width in pixels of the border surrounding the viewer window.

       --display X-display
              Set  the  X  Window display on which the viewer program shall be started, see the X Window documentation
              for the syntax of the argument.

       --foreground color
              Set the foreground color of the viewer window.

       --fg color
              This is equivalent to -foreground.

       --fn font_name
              This is equivalent to --font.

       --font font_name
              Set the font used by the viewer window.  The argument is an X Window font name.

       --ft font_name
              This is equivalent to --font.

       --geometry size_pos
              Set the geometry of the display window, that means its size and its starting position.  See X(7) for the
              syntax of the argument.

       --resolution value
              Set  X  Window resolution in dpi (dots per inch) in some viewer programs.  The only supported dpi values
              are 75 and 100.  Actually, the default resolution for groffer is set to 75  dpi.   The  resolution  also
              sets the default device in mode x.

       --rv   Reverse foreground and background color of the viewer window.

       --title 'some text'
              Set the title for the viewer window.

       --xrm 'resource'
              Set X Window resource.

   Options for Development
              Enable seven debugging informations.  The temporary files are kept and not deleted, the name of the tem-
              porary directory and the shell name for are printed, the displayed file names  are  printed,
              the parameters are printed at several steps of development, and a function stack is output with function
              error_user() as well.  Neither the function call stack at the opening and closing of each function  call
              nor  the landmark information to determine how far the program is running are printed.  These seem to be
              the most useful parts among all debugging options.

              Enable all nine debugging informations including the function call stack and the landmark information.

              Print the names of the files and man pages that are displayed by groffer.

              Enable the basic debugging information for checking the functions on the beginning and end of each call.
              The  options --debug-stacks and --debug-user enable this option automatically.  This option is important
              for the development, but it decreases the speed of groffer by large amounts.

              Enable two debugging informations, the printing of the name of the temporary directory and  the  keeping
              of the temporary files.

              Enable one debugging information, the landmark information.

              Enable one debugging information, the parameters at several steps.

              Enable one debugging information, the shell name for

              Enable one debugging information, the function call stack.

              Enable one debugging information, the name of the temporary directory.

              Enable one debugging information, the function stack with error_user().

              This is like --version, but without the output; no viewer is started.  This makes only sense in develop-

              Just print the argument to standard error.  This is good for parameter check.

       --shell shell_program
              Specify the shell under which the script should be run.  This option overwrites the automat-
              ic shell determination of the program.  If the argument shell_program is empty a former shell option and
              the automatic shell determination is cancelled and the default shell is restored.  Some shells run  con-
              siderably faster than the standard shell.

       -V     This  is  an  advanced  option  for debugging only.  Instead of displaying the formatted input, a lot of
              groffer specific information is printed to standard output:

              ? the output file name in the temporary directory,

              ? the display mode of the actual groffer run,

              ? the display program for viewing the output with its arguments,

              ? the active parameters from the config files, the arguments in $GROFFER_OPT, and the arguments  of  the
                command line,

              ? the pipeline that would be run by the groff program, but without executing it.

       Other useful debugging options are the groff option -Z and --mode=groff.

   Filespec Arguments
       A  filespec parameter is an argument that is not an option or option argument.  In groffer, filespec parameters
       are a file name or a template for searching man pages.  These input sources are collected and composed  into  a
       single output file such as groff does.

       The  strange  POSIX behavior to regard all arguments behind the first non-option argument as filespec arguments
       is ignored.  The GNU behavior to recognize options even when mixed with filespec arguments is  used  througout.
       But,  as usual, the double minus argument -- ends the option handling and interprets all following arguments as
       filespec arguments; so the POSIX behavior can be easily adopted.

       The options have a special handling of filespec arguments.  Each argument is taken as a search  scheme  of  its
       own.  Also a regexp (regular expression) can be used in the filespec.  For example, groffer --apropos '^gro.f$'
       searches groff in the man page name, while groffer --apropos groff searches groff somewhere in the name or  de-
       scription of the man pages.

       All  other  parts  of  groffer, such as the normal display or the output with have a different scheme for file-
       specs.  No regular expressions are used for the arguments.  The filespec arguments are handled by the following

       It  is  necessary  to know that on each system the man pages are sorted according to their content into several
       sections.  The classical man sections have a single-character name, either a digit from 1 to 9 or  one  of  the
       characters n or o.

       This  can  optionally  be followed by a string, the so-called extension.  The extension allows to store several
       man pages with the same name in the same section.  But the extension is only rarely used, usually it  is  omit-
       ted.  Then the extensions are searched automatically by alphabet.

       In the following, we use the name section_extension for a word that consists of a single character section name
       or a section character that is followed by an extension.  Each filespec parameter can have one of the following
       forms in decreasing sequence.

       ? No  filespec  parameters  means  that groffer waits for standard input.  The minus option - always stands for
         standard input; it can occur several times.  If you want to look up a man page  called  -  use  the  argument

       ? Next  a  filespec is tested whether it is the path name of an existing file.  Otherwise it is assumed to be a
         searching pattern for a man page.

       ? man:name(section_extension), man:name.section_extension, name(section_extension),  or  name.section_extension
         search the man page name in man section and possibly extension of section_extension.

       ? Now man:name searches for a man page in the lowest man section that has a document called name.

       ? section_extension name is a pattern of 2 arguments that originates from a strange argument parsing of the man
         program.  Again, this searches the man page name with section_extension, a combination of a section character
         optionally followed by an extension.

       ? We  are  left with the argument name which is not an existing file.  So this searches for the man page called
         name in the lowest man section that has a document for this name.

       Several file name arguments can be supplied.  They are mixed by groff into a single document.   Note  that  the
       set  of  option arguments must fit to all of these file arguments.  So they should have at least the same style
       of the groff language.

       By default, the groffer program collects all input into a single file, formats it with the groff program for  a
       certain device, and then chooses a suitable viewer program.  The device and viewer process in groffer is called
       a mode.  The mode and viewer of a running groffer program is selected automatically,  but  the  user  can  also
       choose  it with options.  The modes are selected by option the arguments of --mode=anymode.  Additionally, each
       of this argument can be specified as an option of its own, such as --anymode.  Most of these modes have a view-
       er program, which can be chosen by an option that is constructed like --anymode-viewer.

       Several  different modes are offered, graphical modes for X Window, text modes, and some direct groff modes for
       debugging and development.

       By default, groffer first tries whether x mode is possible, then ps mode, and  finally  tty  mode.   This  mode
       testing  sequence  for  auto  mode can be changed by specifying a comma separated list of modes with the option

       The searching for man pages and the decompression of the input are active in every mode.

   Graphical Display Modes
       The graphical display modes work mostly in the X Window environment (or similar  implementations  within  other
       windowing  environments).   The  environment variable $DISPLAY and the option --display are used for specifying
       the X Window display to be used.  If this environment variable is empty groffer assumes that  no  X  Window  is
       running and changes to a text mode.  You can change this automatic behavior by the option --default-modes.

       Known viewers for the graphical display modes and their standard X Window viewer progams are

       ? in a PDF viewer (pdf mode),

       ? in a web browser (html or www mode).

       ? in a Postscript viewer (ps mode),

       ? X Window roff viewers such as gxditview(1) or xditview(1) (in x mode),

       ? in a dvi viewer program (dvi mode),

       The pdf mode has a major advantage -- it is the only graphical diplay mode that allows to search for text within
       the viewer; this can be a really important feature.  Unfortunately, it takes some time to transform  the  input
       into the PDF format, so it was not chosen as the major mode.

       These  graphical  viewers  can be customized by options of the X Window Toolkit.  But the groffer options use a
       leading double minus instead of the single minus used by the X Window Toolkit.

   Text modes
       There are two modes for text output, mode text for plain output without a pager and mode tty for a text  output
       on a text terminal using some pager program.

       If the variable $DISPLAY is not set or empty, groffer assumes that it should use tty mode.

       In  the actual implementation, the groff output device latin1 is chosen for text modes.  This can be changed by
       specifying option -T or --device.

       The pager to be used can be specified by one of the options --pager and --tty-viewer,  or  by  the  environment
       variable  $PAGER.   If  all of this is not used the less(1) program with the option -r for correctly displaying
       control sequences is used as the default pager.

   Special Modes for Debugging and Development
       These modes use the groffer file determination and decompression.  This is combined into a  single  input  file
       that  is  fed  directly into groff with different strategy without the groffer viewing facilities.  These modes
       are regarded as advanced, they are useful for debugging and development purposes.

       The source mode with option --source just displays the decompressed input.

       Otion --to-stdout does not display in a graphical mode.  It just generates the file for  the  chosen  mode  and
       then prints its content to standard output.

       The  groff  mode  passes the input to groff using only some suitable options provided to groffer.  This enables
       the user to save the generated output into a file or pipe it into another program.

       In groff mode, the option -Z disables post-processing, thus producing the groff intermediate output.   In  this
       mode, the input is formatted, but not postprocessed; see groff_out(5) for details.

       All groff short options are supported by groffer.

       The default behavior of groffer is to first test whether a file parameter represents a local file; if it is not
       an existing file name, it is assumed to represent the name of a man page.  The following options can be used to
       determine whether the arguments should be handled as file name or man page arguments.

       --man  forces to interpret all file parameters as filespecs for searching man pages.

              disable the man searching; so only local files are displayed.

       If  neither  a  local file nor a man page was retrieved for some file parameter a warning is issued on standard
       error, but processing is continued.

   Search Algoritm
       Let us now assume that a man page should be searched.  The groffer  program  provides  a  search  facility  for
       man  pages.   All long options, all environment variables, and most of the functionality of the GNU man(1) pro-
       gram were implemented.  The search algorithm shall determine which file is displayed for a given man page.  The
       process can be modified by options and environment variables.

       The only man action that is omitted in groffer are the preformatted man pages, also called cat pages.  With the
       excellent performance of the actual computers, the preformatted man pages aren't necessary any  longer.   Addi-
       tionally, groffer is a roff program; it wants to read roff source files and format them itself.

       The  algorithm  for  retrieving the file for a man page needs first a set of directories.  This set starts with
       the so-called man path that is modified later on by adding names of operating system and language.  This  aris-
       ing set is used for adding the section directories which contain the man page files.

       The man path is a list of directories that are separated by colon.  It is generated by the following methods.

       ? The environment variable $MANPATH can be set.

       ? It can be read from the arguments of the environment variable $MANOPT.

       ? The  man  path  can  be  manually  specified  by  using the option --manpath.  An empty argument disables the
         man page searching.

       ? When no man path was set the manpath(1) program is tried to determine one.

       ? If this does not work a reasonable default path from $PATH is determined.

       We now have a starting set of directories.  The first way to change this set is by adding  names  of  operating
       systems.   This  assumes  that man pages for several operating systems are installed.  This is not always true.
       The names of such operating systems can be provided by 3 methods.

       ? The environment variable $SYSTEM has the lowest precedence.

       ? This can be overridden by an option in $MANOPT.

       ? This again is overridden by the command line option --systems.

       Several names of operating systems can be given by appending their names, separated by a comma.

       The man path is changed by appending each system name as subdirectory at the end of each directory of the  set.
       No directory of the man path set is kept.  But if no system name is specified the man path is left unchanged.

       After  this, the actual set of directories can be changed by language information.  This assumes that there ex-
       ist man pages in different languages.  The wanted language can be chosen by several methods.

       ? Enviroment variable $LANG.

       ? This is overridden by $LC_MESSAGES.

       ? This is overridden by $LC_ALL.

       ? This can be overridden by providing an option in $MANOPT.

       ? All these environment variables are overridden by the command line option --locale.

       The default language can be specified by specifying one of the pseudo-language parameters C or POSIX.  This  is
       like  deleting a formerly given language information.  The man pages in the default language are usually in En-

       Of course, the language name is determined by man.  In GNU man, it is specified in the POSIX 1003.1 based  for-


       but  the two-letter code in <language> is sufficient for most purposes.  If for a complicated language formula-
       tion no man pages are found groffer searches the country part consisting of these first two characters as well.

       The  actual directory set is copied thrice.  The language name is appended as subdirectory to each directory in
       the first copy of the actual directory set (this is only done when a language information is given).  Then  the
       2-letter  abbreviation  of  the language name is appended as subdirectories to the second copy of the directory
       set (this is only done when the given language name has more than 2 letters).  The third copy of the  directory
       set  is kept unchanged (if no language information is given this is the kept directory set).  These maximally 3
       copies are appended to get the new directory set.

       We now have a complete set of directories to work with.  In each of these directories, the man files are  sepa-
       rated in sections.  The name of a section is represented by a single character, a digit between 1 and 9, or the
       character o or n, in this order.

       For each available section, a subdirectory man<section> exists containing all man files for this section, where
       <section>  is  a  single  character  as  described  before.   Each man file in a section directory has the form
       man<section>/<name>.<section>[<extension>][.<compression>], where <extension> and <compression>  are  optional.
       <name> is the name of the man page that is also specified as filespec argument on the command line.

       The extension is an addition to the section.  This postfix acts like a subsection.  An extension occurs only in
       the file name, not in name of the section subdirectory.  It can be specified on the command line.

       On the other hand, the compression is just an information on how the file is compressed.  This is not important
       for the user, such that it cannot be specified on the command line.

       There are 4 methods to specify a section on the command line:

       ? Environment variable $MANSECT

       ? Command line option --sections

       ? Appendix to the name argument in the form <name>.<section>

       ? Preargument before the name argument in the form <section> <name>

       It  is  also  possible to specify several sections by appending the single characters separated by colons.  One
       can imagine that this means to restrict the man page search to only some sections.  The multiple  sections  are
       only possible for $MANSECT and --sections.

       If no section is specified all sections are searched one after the other in the given order, starting with sec-
       tion 1, until a suitable file is found.

       There are 4 methods to specify an extension on the command line.  But it is not necessary to provide the  whole
       extension name, some abbreviation is good enough in most cases.

       ? Environment variable $EXTENSION

       ? Command line option --extension

       ? Appendix to the <name>.<section> argument in the form <name>.<section><extension>

       ? Preargument before the name argument in the form <section><extension> <name>

       For further details on man page searching, see man(1).

   Examples of man files
              This is an uncompressed file for the man page groff in section 1.  It can be called by
              sh# groffer groff
              No  section  is  specified  here, so all sections should be searched, but as section 1 is searched first
              this file will be found first.  The file name is composed of the following  components.   /usr/share/man
              must be part of the man path; the subdirectory man1/ and the part .1 stand for the section; groff is the
              name of the man page.

              The file name is composed of the  following  components.   /usr/local/share/man  must  be  part  of  the
              man  path;  the  subdirectory  man7/  and  the  part  .7 stand for the section; groff is the name of the
              man page; the final part .gz stands for a compression with gzip(1).  As the section is not the first one
              it must be specified as well.  This can be done by one of the following commands.
              sh# groffer groff.7
              sh# groffer 7 groff
              sh# groffer --sections=7 groff

              Here /usr/local/man must be in man path; the subdirectory man1/ and the file name part .1 stand for sec-
              tion 1; the name of the man page is ctags; the section has an extension emacs21; and the  file  is  com-
              pressed as .bz2 with bzip2(1).  The file can be viewed with one of the following commands
              sh# groffer ctags.1e
              sh# groffer 1e ctags
              sh# groffer --extension=e --sections=1 ctags
              where e works as an abbreviation for the extension emacs21.

              The directory /usr/man is now part of the man path; then there is a subdirectory for an operating system
              name linux/; next comes  a subdirectory de/ for the German language; the section names man7 and  .7  are
              known  so  far; man is the name of the man page; and .Z signifies the compression that can be handled by
              gzip(1).  We want now show how to provide several values for some options.  That is  possible  for  sec-
              tions and operating system names.  So we use as sections 5 and 7 and as system names linux and aix.  The
              command is then
              sh# groffer --locale=de --sections=5:7 --systems=linux,aix man
              sh# LANG=de MANSECT=5:7 SYSTEM=linux,aix groffer man

       The program has a decompression facility.  If standard input or a file that was retrieved from the command line
       parameters  is  compressed with a format that is supported by either gzip(1) or bzip2(1) it is decompressed on-
       the-fly.  This includes the GNU .gz, .bz2, and the traditional .Z compression.  The program displays  the  con-
       catenation of all decompressed input in the sequence that was specified on the command line.

       The  groffer  program supports many system variables, most of them by courtesy of other programs.  All environ-
       ment variables of groff(1) and GNU man(1) and some standard system variables are honored.

   Native groffer Variables
              Store options for a run of groffer.  The options specified in this variable are overridden  by  the  op-
              tions  given on the command line.  The content of this variable is run through the shell builtin 'eval';
              so arguments containing white-space or special shell characters should be quoted.  Do not forget to  ex-
              port this variable, otherwise it does not exist during the run of groffer.

   System Variables
       The  groffer  program is a shell script that is run through /bin/sh, which can be internally linked to programs
       like bash(1).  The corresponding system environment is automatically effective.  The following variables have a
       special meaning for groffer.

              If  this  variable is set this indicates that the X Window system is running.  Testing this variable de-
              cides on whether graphical or text output is generated.  This variable should not be changed by the user
              carelessly,  but it can be used to start the graphical groffer on a remote X Window terminal.  For exam-
              ple, depending on your system, groffer can be started on the second monitor by the command
              sh# DISPLAY=:0.1 groffer what.ever&

       $LANG  If one of these variables is set (in the above sequence), its content is interpreted as the locale,  the
              language  to  be used, especially when retrieving IR man pages .  A locale name is typically of the form
              language[_territory[.codeset[@modifier]]], where language is an ISO 639 language code, territory  is  an
              ISO  3166  country code, and codeset is a character set or encoding identifier like ISO-8859-1 or UTF-8;
              see setlocale(3).  The locale values C and POSIX stand for the default, i.e. the  man  page  directories
              without a language prefix.  This is the same behavior as when all 3 variables are unset.

       $PAGER This  variable  can  be  used to set the pager for the tty output.  For example, to disable the use of a
              pager completely set this variable to the cat(1) program
              sh# PAGER=cat groffer anything

       $PATH  All programs within the groffer shell script are called without a fixed  path.   Thus  this  environment
              variable determines the set of programs used within the run of groffer.

   Groff Variables
       The  groffer program internally calls groff, so all environment variables documented in groff(1) are internally
       used within groffer as well.  The following variable has a direct meaning for the groffer program.

              If the value of this variable is an existing, writable directory, groffer uses it for storing its tempo-
              rary files, just as groff does.

   Man Variables
       Parts  of  the  functionality of the man program were implemented in groffer; support for all environment vari-
       ables documented in man(1) was added to groffer, but the meaning was slightly modified due to the different ap-
       proach in groffer; but the user interface is the same.  The man environment variables can be overwritten by op-
       tions provided with $MANOPT, which in turn is overwritten by the command line.

              Restrict the search for man pages to  files  having  this  extension.   This  is  overridden  by  option
              --extension; see there for details.

              This variable contains options as a preset for man(1).  As not all of these are relevant for groffer on-
              ly the essential parts of its value are extracted.  The options specified in this variable overwrite the
              values of the other environment variables that are specific to man.  All options specified in this vari-
              able are overridden by the options given on the command line.

              If set, this variable contains the directories in which the man page trees are stored.  This is overrid-
              den by option --manpath.

              If this is a colon separated list of section names, the search for man pages is restricted to those man-
              ual sections in that order.  This is overridden by option --sections.

              If this is set to a comma separated list of names these are interpreted as man page trees for  different
              operating systems.  This variable can be overwritten by option --systems; see there for details.

       The  environment  variable $MANROFFSEQ is ignored by groffer because the necessary preprocessors are determined

       The groffer program can be preconfigured by two configuration files.

              System-wide configuration file for groffer.

              User-specific configuration file for groffer, where $HOME denotes the user's home directory.  This  file
              is called after the system-wide configuration file to enable overriding by the user.

       Both files are handled for the configuration, but the configuration file in /etc comes first; it is overwritten
       by the configuration file in the home directory; both configuration files are overwritten  by  the  environment
       variable $GROFFER_OPT; everything is overwritten by the command line arguments.

       In  the configuration files, arbitrary spaces are allowed at the beginning of each line, they are just ignored.
       Apart from that, the lines of the configuration lines either start with a minus character, all other lines  are
       interpreted as shell commands.

       The  lines  with  the  beginning  minus  are interpreted as groffer options.  This easily allows to set general
       groffer options that should be used with any call of groffer.

       If a lines starts with a double minus it represents a groffer long option; everything behind  the  first  equal
       sign  '='  or space character up to the end of the line is interpreted as its argument.  A line starting with a
       single minus represents a short options cluster with or without a final argument.  It is not necessary  to  use
       quotes in these lines; quotes are just ignored.

       The  lines starting with a minus are changed into a prepend to the existing value of $GROFFER_OPT.  So the con-
       figuration files will be transferred into a shell script that is called within groffer.

       It makes sense to use these configuration files for the following tasks:

       ? Preset command line options, such as choosing a mode or a viewer.  These are written into lines starting with
         a single or double minus sign, followed by the option name.

       ? Preset environment variables recognized by groffer; but do not forget to export them.

       ? You can also write a shell function for calling, for example a viewer program for some mode.  Such a function
         can be fed into a corresponding --mode-viewer option.

       ? Enter --shell to specify a shell for the run of  Some shells run much faster than  the  standard

       As an example, consider the following configuration file in ~/.groff/groffer.conf, say.

       # groffer configuration file
       # groffer options that are used in each call of groffer
       --x-viewer=gxditview -geometry 900x1200
       # some shell commands
       if test "$DISPLAY" = ""; then
         export DISPLAY='localhost:0.0'
       date >>~/mygroffer.log

       The  lines starting with # are command lines.  This configuration sets four groffer options (the lines starting
       with '-') and runs two shell commands (the rest of the script).  This has the following effects:

       ? Use ksh as the shell to run the groffer script; if it works it should be faster than the usual sh.

       ? Use a text color of DarkBlue in all viewers that support this, such as gxditview.

       ? Use a resolution of 100 dpi in all viewers that support this, such as gxditview.  By this, the default device
         in x mode is set to X100.

       ? Force  gxditview(1)  as  the x-mode viewer using the geometry option for setting the width to 900 dpi and the
         height to 1200 dpi.  This geometry is suitable for a resolution of 100 dpi.

       ? If the environment variable $DISPLAY is empty set it to localhost:0.0.  That allows to start groffer  in  the
         standard X Window display, even when the program is called from a text console.

       ? Just for fun, the date of each groffer start is written to the file mygroffer.log in the home directory.

       The usage of groffer is very easy.  Usually, it is just called with a file name or man page.  The following ex-
       amples, however, show that groffer has much more fancy capabilities.

       sh# groffer /usr/local/share/doc/groff/
              Decompress,   format   and   display   the   compressed   file    in    the    directory
              /usr/local/share/doc/groff, using the standard viewer gxditview as graphical viewer when in X Window, or
              the less(1) pager program when not in X Window.

       sh# groffer groff
              If the file ./groff exists use it as input.  Otherwise interpret  the  argument  as  a  search  for  the
              man page named groff in the smallest possible man section, being section 1 in this case.

       sh# groffer man:groff
              search for the man page of groff even when the file ./groff exists.

       sh# groffer groff.7
       sh# groffer 7 groff
              search  the  man page of groff in man section 7.  This section search works only for a digit or a single
              character from a small set.

       sh# groffer fb.modes
              If the file ./fb.modes does not exist interpret this as a search for the man page of fb.modes.   As  the
              extension  modes  is  not  a  single character in classical section style the argument is not split to a
              search for fb.

       sh# groffer groff 'troff(1)' man:roff
              The arguments that are not existing files are looked-up as the following  man  pages:  groff  (automatic
              search,  should be found in man section 1), troff (in section 1), and roff (in the section with the low-
              est number, being 7 in this case).  The quotes around 'troff(1)' are necessary because  the  paranthesis
              are special shell characters; escaping them with a backslash character \( and \) would be possible, too.
              The formatted files are concatenated and displayed in one piece.

       sh# LANG=de groffer --man --www --www-viever=galeon ls
              Retrieve the German man page (language de) for the ls program, decompress it, format it to  html  format
              (www mode) and view the result in the web browser galeon.  The option --man guarantees that the man page
              is retrieved, even when a local file ls exists in the actual directory.

       sh# groffer --source 'man:roff(7)'
              Get the man page called roff in man section 7, decompress it, and print  its  unformatted  content,  its
              source code.

       sh# groffer --de-p --in --ap
              This is a set of abbreviated arguments, it is determined as
              sh# groffer --debug-params --intermediate-output --apropos

       sh# cat file.gz | groffer -Z -mfoo
              The  file  file.gz  is sent to standard input, this is decompressed, and then this is transported to the
              groff intermediate output mode without post-processing (groff option -Z), using macro package foo (groff
              option -m)

       sh# echo '\f[CB]WOW!' |
       >   groffer --x --bg red --fg yellow --geometry 200x100 -
              Display  the  word  WOW!  in a small window in constant-width bold font, using color yellow on red back-

       The groffer program consists of two shell scripts.

       The starting script is the file groffer that is installed in a bin directory.  It is generated from the  source
       file   It  is just a short starting script without any functions such that it can run on very poor

       The main part of the groffer program is the file that is installed in the groff library  directory.
       This script can be run under a different shell by using the groffer option --shell.

       Both  scripts  are  compatible  with  both  GNU and POSIX.  POSIX compatibility refers to IEEE P1003.2/D11.2 of
       September 1991, a very early version of the POSIX standard that is still freely available in  the  internet  at
       POSIX P1003.2 draft 11.2 <>;.

       Only  a restricted set of shell language elements and shell builtins is used to achieve even compatibility with
       some Bourne shells that are not fully POSIX compatible.  The groffer shell scripts were tested on many  shells,
       including  the following Bourne shells: ash(1), bash(1), dash(1), ksh(1), pdksh(1), posh(1), and zsh(1).  So it
       should work on most actual free and commercial operating systems.

       The shell for the run of can be chosen by the option --shell on the command line or the environment
       variable  $GROFF_OPT.   If  you  want to add it to one of the groffer configuration files you must write a line
       starting with --shell.

       The groffer program provides its own parser for command  line  arguments  that  is  compatible  to  both  POSIX
       getopts(1) and GNU getopt(1).  It can handle option arguments and file names containing white space and a large
       set of special characters.  The following standard types of options are supported.

       ? The option consisiting of a single minus - refers to standard input.

       ? A single minus followed by characters refers to a single character option or a combination thereof; for exam-
         ple, the groffer short option combination -Qmfoo is equivalent to -Q -m foo.

       ? Long  options  are  options with names longer than one character; they are always preceded by a double minus.
         An option argument can either go to the next command line argument or be appended with an equal sign  to  the
         argument; for example, --long=arg is equivalent to --long arg .

       ? An argument of -- ends option parsing; all further command line arguments are interpreted as filespec parame-
         ters, i.e. file names or constructs for searching man pages).

       ? All command line arguments that are neither options nor option arguments are interpreted as filespec  parame-
         ters and stored until option parsing has finished.  For example, the command line
         sh# groffer file1 -a -o arg file2
         is equivalent to
         sh# groffer -a -o arg -- file1 file2

       The  free  mixing  of  options  and  filespec  parameters follows the GNU principle.  That does not fulfill the
       strange option behavior of POSIX that ends option processing as soon as the first non-option argument has  been
       reached.  The end of option processing can be forced by the option '--' anyway.

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

       You can also use the groff mailing list <>, but you must first subscribe to this list.  You can do
       that by visiting the groff mailing list web page <>;.

       See groff(1) for information on availability.

       groff(1), troff(1)
              Details  on  the  options  and  environment  variables  available in groff; all of them can be used with

              Documentation of the groff language.

              Internally, groffer tries to guess the groff command line options from the input using this program.

              Documentation on the groff intermediate output (ditroff output).

              Documentation on the groff macro files.

       man(1) The standard program to display man pages.  The information there is only useful if it is the  man  page
              for GNU man.  Then it documents the options and environment variables that are supported by groffer.

       ash(1), bash(1), dash(1), ksh(1), pdksh(1), posh(1), sh(1), zsh(1)
              Bourne shells that were tested with groffer.

       gxditview(1), xditview(1x)
              Viewers for groffer's x mode.

       kpdf(1), kghostview(1), evince(1), ggv(1), gv(1), ghostview(1), gs(1)
              Viewers for groffer's ps mode.

       kpdf(1), acroread(1), evince(1), xpdf(1), gpdf(1), kghostview(1), ggv(1)
              Viewers for groffer's pdf mode.

       kdvi(1), xdvi(1), dvilx(1)
              Viewers for groffer's dvi mode.

       konqueror(1), epiphany(1), firefox(1), mozilla(1), netscape(1), lynx(1)
              Web-browsers for groffer's html or www mode.

              Standard pager program for the tty mode .

       gzip(1), bzip2(1)
              The decompression programs supported by groffer.

       This file was written by Bernd Warken <>.

       Copyright (C) 2001,2002,2004,2005,2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This  file is part of groffer, which is part of groff, a free software project.  You can redistribute it and/or
       modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software  Foundation,  ei-
       ther version 2, or (at your option) any later version.

       You  should  have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with groff, see the files COPYING and
       LICENSE in the top directory of the groff source package.  Or read the man page gpl(1).  You can also write  to
       the Free Software Foundation, 51 Franklin St - Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.

Groff Version          05 October 2006                     GROFFER(1)