*nix Documentation Project
·  Home
 +   man pages
·  Linux HOWTOs
·  FreeBSD Tips
·  *niX Forums

  man pages->FreeBSD man pages -> groff (1)              



NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       groff - front-end for the groff document formatting system

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

       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.

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       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).

OPTIONS    [Toc]    [Back]

       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    [Toc]    [Back]
       The  following options either do not exist for troff or are differently
       interpreted by groff.

       -e     Preprocess with eqn.

       -g     Preprocess with grn.

       -G     Preprocess with grap.

       -h --help
	      Print a help message.

       -I dir Add search directory for soelim(1).  This option implies the  -s

       -l     Send  the output to a spooler program for printing.  The command
	      that should be used for this is specified by the	print  command
	      in the device description file, see groff_font(5).  If this 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

       -N     Don't allow newlines within eqn delimiters.  This is the same as
	      the -N option in eqn.

       -p     Preprocess with pic.

       -P -option
       -P -option -P arg
	      Pass  -option  or  -option arg to the postprocessor.  The option
	      must be specified with the necessary preceding minus sign(s) `-'
	      or `--' because groff does not prepend any dashes before passing
	      it to the postprocessor.	For example, to pass a	title  to  the
	      gxditview postprocessor, the shell command

	      sh# groff -X -P -title -P 'groff it' foo

	      is equivalent to

	      sh# groff -X -Z foo | gxditview -title 'groff it' -

       -R     Preprocess with refer.  No mechanism is provided for passing arguments
 to refer because most refer options 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.  Contrary  to  troff,  groff  calls  a
	      postprocessor  to convert troff's intermediate output to its final
 format.  Real devices in groff are

		     dvi    TeX DVI format (postprocessor is grodvi).

		     html   HTML  output   (preprocessors   are   soelim   and
			    pre-grohtml, postprocessor is post-grohtml).

		     lbp    Canon CAPSL printers (LBP-4 and LBP-8 series laser
			    printers; postprocessor is grolbp).

		     lj4    HP LaserJet4 compatible (or other PCL5 compatible)
			    printers (postprocessor is grolj4).

		     ps     PostScript output (postprocessor is grops).

	      For  the	following  TTY output devices (postprocessor is always
	      grotty), -T selects the output encoding:

		     ascii  7bit ASCII.

		     cp1047 Latin-1 character set for EBCDIC hosts.

		     latin1 ISO 8859-1.

		     utf8   Unicode character set in UTF-8 encoding.

	      The following arguments select gxditview as the  `postprocessor'
	      (it is rather a viewing program):

		     X75    75dpi resolution, 10pt document base font.

		     X75-12 75dpi resolution, 12pt document base font.

		     X100   100dpi resolution, 10pt document base font.

			    100dpi resolution, 12pt document base font.

	      The default device is ps.

       -U     Unsafe  mode.  Reverts to the (old) unsafe behaviour; see option

       -v --version
	      Output version information of groff and of all programs that are
	      run by it; that is, the given command line is parsed in the 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

       -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    [Toc]    [Back]
       The following options are transparently handed over  to	the  formatter
       program	troff that is called by groff subsequently.  These options are
       described in more detail in troff(1).

       -a     ascii approximation of output.

       -b     backtrace on error or warning.

       -c     disable color output.

       -C     enable compatibility mode.

       -d cs
       -d name=s
	      define string.

       -E     disable troff error messages.

       -f fam set default font family.

       -F dir set path for font DESC files.

       -i     process standard input after the specified input files.

       -m name
	      include  macro  file  name.tmac	(or   tmac.name);   see   also

       -M dir path for macro files.

       -n num number the first page num.

       -o list
	      output only pages in list.

       -r cn
       -r name=n
	      set number register.

       -w name
	      enable warning name.

       -W name
	      disable warning name.

USING GROFF    [Toc]    [Back]

       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.

   Front-ends    [Toc]    [Back]
       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

   Preprocessors    [Toc]    [Back]
       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    [Toc]    [Back]
       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:

       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 me.

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

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

       www    HTML-like macros for inclusion in arbitrary groff documents; see

       Details on the naming of macro files and their placement can  be  found
       in groff_tmac(5).

   Programming Language    [Toc]    [Back]
       General concepts common to all roff programming languages are described
       in roff(7).

       The groff extensions to the classical troff language are documented  in

       The  groff  language  as a whole is described in the (still incomplete)
       groff info file; a short (but  complete)  reference  can  be  found  in

   Formatters    [Toc]    [Back]
       The  central  roff  formatter  within the groff system is troff(1).  It
       provides the features of both the classical troff and nroff, as well as
       the  groff  extensions.	The command line option -C switches troff into
       compatibility mode which tries to emulate classical  roff  as  much  as

       There  is a shell script nroff(1) that emulates the behavior of 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).

   Devices    [Toc]    [Back]
       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

       dvi    TeX DVI format.

       html   HTML output.

       latin1 Text  output  using  the ISO Latin-1 (ISO 8859-1) character set;
	      see iso_8859_1(7).

       koi8-r Text output using the Russian KOI8-R character set.

       lbp    Output for Canon CAPSL printers (LBP-4 and  LBP-8  series  laser

       lj4    HP LaserJet4-compatible (or other PCL5-compatible) printers.

       ps     PostScript  output;  suitable  for  printers and previewers like

       utf8   Text output using the Unicode (ISO  10646)  character  set  with
	      UTF-8 encoding; see unicode(7).

       X75    75dpi  X	Window	System	output	suitable  for  the  previewers
	      xditview(1x) and gxditview(1).  A variant for  a	12pt  document
	      base font is X75-12.

       X100   100dpi  X  Window  System  output  suitable  for	the previewers
	      xditview(1x) and gxditview(1).  A variant for  a	12pt  document
	      base font is X100-12.

       The  postprocessor  to be used for a device is specified by the postpro
       command in the device description file; see groff_font(5).  This can be
       overridden with the -X option.

       The default device is ps.

   Postprocessors    [Toc]    [Back]
       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

	      for the DVI format,

	      for HTML format,

	      for PostScript.

       Combined with the many existing free conversion tools  this  should  be
       sufficient to convert a troff document into virtually any existing data

   Utilities    [Toc]    [Back]
       The following utility programs around groff are available.

	      Add information to troff font description  files	for  use  with

	      Create font description files for PostScript device.

	      General viewer program for groff files and man pages.

	      The groff X viewer, the GNU version of xditview.

	      Create font description files for lj4 device.

	      Make inverted index for bibliographic databases.

	      Search bibliographic databases.

	      Interactively search bibliographic databases.

	      Translate a PostScript font in .pfb format to ASCII.

	      Create font description files for TeX DVI device.

	      roff viewer distributed with X window.

ENVIRONMENT    [Toc]    [Back]

       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.

       GROFF_BIN_PATH    [Toc]    [Back]
	      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.

       GROFF_COMMAND_PREFIX    [Toc]    [Back]
	      When  there  is  a need to run different roff implementations at
	      the same time groff provides the facility to prepend a prefix to
	      most  of	its  programs that could provoke name clashings at run
	      time (default is to have none).  Historically, this  prefix  was
	      the  character  g,  but it can be anything.  For example, gtroff
	      stood for groff's troff, gtbl for the groff version of tbl.   By
	      setting  GROFF_COMMAND_PREFIX to different values, the different
	      roff installations can be addressed.  More exactly, if it is set
	      to  prefix  xxx  then groff as a wrapper program will internally
	      call xxxtroff instead of troff.  This also applies to  the  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.

       GROFF_FONT_PATH    [Toc]    [Back]
	      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.

       GROFF_TMAC_PATH    [Toc]    [Back]
	      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.

       GROFF_TMPDIR    [Toc]    [Back]
	      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

       GROFF_TYPESETTER    [Toc]    [Back]
	      Preset  the default device.  If this is not set the ps device is
	      used as default.	This device name is overwritten by the	option

FILES    [Toc]    [Back]

       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/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_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.

EXAMPLES    [Toc]    [Back]

       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 using
       backquotes to specify shell command substitution)

       sh# `grog -Tlatin1 foo.me`

       The simplest way is to view the contents in an automated way by calling

       sh# groffer foo.me

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

       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 bug-groff@gnu.org.  Include a complete, self-contained
       example that will allow the bug to be reproduced, and say which version
       of groff you are using.

AVAILABILITY    [Toc]    [Back]

       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/

       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 <faber@lunabase.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.

AUTHORS    [Toc]    [Back]

       Copyright (C) 1989, 2002, 2003 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 <jjc@jclark.com>.	It was rewritten, enhanced, and put under  the
       FDL  license  by  Bernd	Warken <bwarken@mayn.de>.  It is maintained by
       Werner Lemberg <wl@gnu.org>.

       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

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       The groff info file contains all information on the groff system within
       a  single document.  Beneath the detailed documentation of all aspects,
       it provides examples and background information.  See info(1) on how to
       read it.

       Due  to	its  complex  structure,  the groff system has many man pages.
       They can be read with man(1) or groffer(1).

       Introduction, history and further readings:

       Viewer for groff files:
	      groffer(1), gxditview(1), xditview(1x).

       Wrapper programs for formatters:
	      groff(1), grog(1).

       Roff preprocessors:
	      eqn(1), grn(1), pic(1), refer(1), soelim(1), tbl(1), grap(1).

       Roff language with the groff extensions:
	      groff(7), groff_char(7), groff_diff(7), groff_font(5).

       Roff formatter programs:
	      nroff(1), troff(1), ditroff(7).

       The intermediate output language:

       Postprocessors for the output devices:
	      grodvi(1),   grohtml(1),	 grolbp(1),    grolj4(1),    grops(1),

       Groff macro packages and macro-specific utilities:
	      groff_tmac(5),	groff_man(7),	 groff_mdoc(7),   groff_me(7),
	      groff_mm(7),    groff_mmse(7),	groff_mom(7),	  groff_ms(7),
	      groff_www(7), groff_trace(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 1.19		  1 May 2003			      GROFF(1)
[ Back ]
 Similar pages
Name OS Title
groff OpenBSD front end for the groff document formatting system
groff NetBSD front end for the groff document formatting system
groff Linux front end for the groff document formatting system
troff FreeBSD the troff processor of the groff text formatting system
pdfinfo Linux Portable Document Format (PDF) document information extractor (version 1.00)
prompter Tru64 prompting editor front-end (only available within the message handling system, mh)
whatnow Tru64 prompting front-end for send (only available within the message handling system, mh)
sysctlrd IRIX communicates with the system controller and LCD front panel on Onyx/Challenge L/XL systems
style Tru64 Analyzes surface characteristics of a document.
psbb OpenBSD extract bounding box from PostScript document
Copyright © 2004-2005 DeniX Solutions SRL
newsletter delivery service