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 ?http://www.gnu.org?. 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.
sh# groff -X -P -title -P ‘groff it’ foo
is equivalent to
sh# groff -X -Z foo | gxditview -title ‘groff it’
sh# groff -X -P-resolution -P100 -man foo.1
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) .
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 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 can be included by option -m. The groff system implements 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:
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.
Details on the naming of macro files and their placement can be found in groff_tmac(5) .
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 select 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.
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) .
utf8 Text output using the Unicode (ISO 10646) character set with UTF-8 encoding; see unicode(7) .
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 formats are
for the DVI format,
for HTML format,
Combined with the many existing free conversion tools this should be sufficient to convert a troff document into 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.
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/22.214.171.124/tmac. 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 input.
Final startup file for troff, it is parsed after all macro sets have been read.
Macro file for macro package name.
groff Font Directory
This contains all information related to output devices. Note that more than a single directory is searched for those files; see troff(1) . For the groff installation corresponding to this document, it is located at /usr/share/groff/126.96.36.199/font. The following files contained in the groff font directory have a special meaning:
Device description file for device name, see groff_font(5) .
Font file for font F of device name.
The following example illustrates the power of the groff program as a wrapper around troff.
To process a roff file using the preprocessors tbl and pic and the me macro set, classical troff had to be called by
sh# pic foo.me | tbl | troff -me -Tlatin1 | grotty
Using groff, this pipe can be shortened to the equivalent command
sh# groff -p -t -me -T latin1 foo.me
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 foo.me’
The simplest way is to view the contents in an automated way by calling
sh# groffer foo.me
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 email@example.com. 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 ?http://www.gnu.org/software/groff?. The most recent released version of groff is available for anonymous ftp at the groff development site ?ftp://ftp.ffii.org/pub/groff/devel/ groff-current.tar.gz?.
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 package.
There is a free implementation of the grap preprocessor, written by Ted Faber ?firstname.lastname@example.org?. The actual version can be found at the grap website ?http://www.lunabase.org/~faber/Vault/software/grap/?. This is the only grap version supported by groff.
Copyright (C) 1989, 2002 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This document is distributed under the terms of the FDL (GNU Free 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 ?http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html?.
This document is based on the original groff man page written by James Clark ?email@example.com?. It was rewritten, enhanced, and put under the FDL license by Bernd Warken ?firstname.lastname@example.org?. It is maintained by Werner Lemberg ?email@example.com?.
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 documentation 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 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: roff(7) .
Viewer for groff files:
groffer(1) , gxditview(1) , xditview(1x) .
Wrapper programs for formatters:
groff(1) , grog(1) .
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) .
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