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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

       pod2man - Convert POD data to formatted *roff input

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

       pod2man [--section=manext] [--release=version] [--center=string]
       [--date=string] [--fixed=font] [--fixedbold=font] [--fixeditalic=font]
       [--fixedbolditalic=font] [--official] [--lax] [--quotes=quotes] [input
       [output] ...]

       pod2man --help

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

       pod2man is a front-end for Pod::Man, using it to generate *roff input
       from POD source.  The resulting *roff code is suitable for display on a
       terminal using nroff(1), normally via man(1), or printing using

       input is the file to read for POD source (the POD can be embedded in
       code).  If input isn't given, it defaults to STDIN.  output, if given,
       is the file to which to write the formatted output.  If output isn't
       given, the formatted output is written to STDOUT.  Several POD files
       can be processed in the same pod2man invocation (saving module load and
       compile times) by providing multiple pairs of input and output files on
       the command line.

       --section, --release, --center, --date, and --official can be used to
       set the headers and footers to use; if not given, Pod::Man will assume
       various defaults.  See below or Pod::Man for details.

       pod2man assumes that your *roff formatters have a fixed-width font
       named CW.  If yours is called something else (like CR), use --fixed to
       specify it.  This generally only matters for troff output for printing.
       Similarly, you can set the fonts used for bold, italic, and bold italic
       fixed-width output.

       Besides the obvious pod conversions, Pod::Man, and therefore pod2man
       also takes care of formatting func(), func(n), and simple variable references
 like $foo or @bar so you don't have to use code escapes for
       them; complex expressions like $fred{'stuff'} will still need to be
       escaped, though.  It also translates dashes that aren't used as hyphens
       into en dashes, makes long dashes--like this--into proper em dashes,
       fixes "paired quotes," and takes care of several other troff-specific
       tweaks.	See Pod::Man for complete information.

OPTIONS    [Toc]    [Back]

       -c string, --center=string
	   Sets the centered page header to string.  The default is "User Contributed
 Perl Documentation", but also see --official below.

       -d string, --date=string
	   Set the left-hand footer string to this value.  By default, the
	   modification date of the input file will be used, or the current
	   date if input comes from STDIN.

	   The fixed-width font to use for vertabim text and code.  Defaults
	   to CW.  Some systems may want CR instead.  Only matters for
	   troff(1) output.

	   Bold version of the fixed-width font.  Defaults to CB.  Only matters
 for troff(1) output.

	   Italic version of the fixed-width font (actually, something of a
	   misnomer, since most fixed-width fonts only have an oblique version,
 not an italic version).  Defaults to CI.  Only matters for
	   troff(1) output.

	   Bold italic (probably actually oblique) version of the fixed-width
	   font.  Pod::Man doesn't assume you have this, and defaults to CB.
	   Some systems (such as Solaris) have this font available as CX.
	   Only matters for troff(1) output.

       -h, --help
	   Print out usage information.

       -l, --lax
	   Don't complain when required sections are missing.  Not currently
	   used, as POD checking functionality is not yet implemented in

       -o, --official
	   Set the default header to indicate that this page is part of the
	   standard Perl release, if --center is not also given.

       -q quotes, --quotes=quotes
	   Sets the quote marks used to surround C<> text to quotes.  If
	   quotes is a single character, it is used as both the left and right
	   quote; if quotes is two characters, the first character is used as
	   the left quote and the second as the right quoted; and if quotes is
	   four characters, the first two are used as the left quote and the
	   second two as the right quote.

	   quotes may also be set to the special value "none", in which case
	   no quote marks are added around C<> text (but the font is still
	   changed for troff output).

       -r, --release
	   Set the centered footer.  By default, this is the version of Perl
	   you run pod2man under.  Note that some system an macro sets assume
	   that the centered footer will be a modification date and will
	   prepend something like "Last modified: "; if this is the case, you
	   may want to set --release to the last modified date and --date to
	   the version number.

       -s, --section
	   Set the section for the ".TH" macro.  The standard section numbering
 convention is to use 1 for user commands, 2 for system calls, 3
	   for functions, 4 for devices, 5 for file formats, 6 for games, 7
	   for miscellaneous information, and 8 for administrator commands.
	   There is a lot of variation here, however; some systems (like
	   Solaris) use 4 for file formats, 5 for miscellaneous information,
	   and 7 for devices.  Still others use 1m instead of 8, or some mix
	   of both.  About the only section numbers that are reliably consistent
 are 1, 2, and 3.

	   By default, section 1 will be used unless the file ends in .pm in
	   which case section 3 will be selected.

DIAGNOSTICS    [Toc]    [Back]

       If pod2man fails with errors, see Pod::Man and Pod::Parser for information
 about what those errors might mean.

EXAMPLES    [Toc]    [Back]

	   pod2man program > program.1
	   pod2man SomeModule.pm /usr/perl/man/man3/SomeModule.3
	   pod2man --section=7 note.pod > note.7

       If you would like to print out a lot of man page continuously, you
       probably want to set the C and D registers to set contiguous page numbering
 and even/odd paging, at least on some versions of man(7).

	   troff -man -rC1 -rD1 perl.1 perldata.1 perlsyn.1 ...

       To get index entries on stderr, turn on the F register, as in:

	   troff -man -rF1 perl.1

       The indexing merely outputs messages via ".tm" for each major page,
       section, subsection, item, and any "X<>" directives.  See Pod::Man for
       more details.

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

       Lots of this documentation is duplicated from Pod::Man.

       POD checking and the corresponding --lax option don't work yet.

NOTES    [Toc]    [Back]

       For those not sure of the proper layout of a man page, here are some
       notes on writing a proper man page.

       The name of the program being documented is conventionally written in
       bold (using B<>) wherever it occurs, as are all program options.  Arguments
 should be written in italics (I<>).  Functions are traditionally
       written in italics; if you write a function as function(), Pod::Man
       will take care of this for you.	Literal code or commands should be in
       C<>.  References to other man pages should be in the form "manpage(section)",
 and Pod::Man will automatically format those appropriately.  As
       an exception, it's traditional not to use this form when referring to
       module documentation; use "L<Module::Name>" instead.

       References to other programs or functions are normally in the form of
       man page references so that cross-referencing tools can provide the
       user with links and the like.  It's possible to overdo this, though, so
       be careful not to clutter your documentation with too much markup.

       The major headers should be set out using a "=head1" directive, and are
       historically written in the rather startling ALL UPPER CASE format,
       although this is not mandatory.	Minor headers may be included using
       "=head2", and are typically in mixed case.

       The standard sections of a manual page are:

	   Mandatory section; should be a comma-separated list of programs or
	   functions documented by this podpage, such as:

	       foo, bar - programs to do something

	   Manual page indexers are often extremely picky about the format of
	   this section, so don't put anything in it except this line.	A single
 dash, and only a single dash, should separate the list of programs
 or functions from the description.  Functions should not be
	   qualified with "()" or the like.  The description should ideally
	   fit on a single line, even if a man program replaces the dash with
	   a few tabs.

	   A short usage summary for programs and functions.  This section is
	   mandatory for section 3 pages.

	   Extended description and discussion of the program or functions, or
	   the body of the documentation for man pages that document something
	   else.  If particularly long, it's a good idea to break this up into
	   subsections "=head2" directives like:

	       =head2 Normal Usage

	       =head2 Advanced Features

	       =head2 Writing Configuration Files

	   or whatever is appropriate for your documentation.

	   Detailed description of each of the command-line options taken by
	   the program.  This should be separate from the description for the
	   use of things like Pod::Usage.  This is normally presented as a
	   list, with each option as a separate "=item".  The specific option
	   string should be enclosed in B<>.  Any values that the option takes
	   should be enclosed in I<>.  For example, the section for the option
	   --section=manext would be introduced with:

	       =item B<--section>=I<manext>

	   Synonymous options (like both the short and long forms) are separated
 by a comma and a space on the same "=item" line, or optionally
 listed as their own item with a reference to the canonical
	   name.  For example, since --section can also be written as -s, the
	   above would be:

	       =item B<-s> I<manext>, B<--section>=I<manext>

	   (Writing the short option first is arguably easier to read, since
	   the long option is long enough to draw the eye to it anyway and the
	   short option can otherwise get lost in visual noise.)

	   What the program or function returns, if successful.  This section
	   can be omitted for programs whose precise exit codes aren't important,
 provided they return 0 on success as is standard.  It should
	   always be present for functions.

	   Exceptions, error return codes, exit statuses, and errno settings.
	   Typically used for function documentation; program documentation
	   uses DIAGNOSTICS instead.  The general rule of thumb is that errors
	   printed to STDOUT or STDERR and intended for the end user are documented
 in DIAGNOSTICS while errors passed internal to the calling
	   program and intended for other programmers are documented in
	   ERRORS.  When documenting a function that sets errno, a full list
	   of the possible errno values should be given here.

	   All possible messages the program can print out--and what they
	   mean.  You may wish to follow the same documentation style as the
	   Perl documentation; see perldiag(1) for more details (and look at
	   the POD source as well).

	   If applicable, please include details on what the user should do to
	   correct the error; documenting an error as indicating "the input
	   buffer is too small" without telling the user how to increase the
	   size of the input buffer (or at least telling them that it isn't
	   possible) aren't very useful.

	   Give some example uses of the program or function.  Don't skimp;
	   users often find this the most useful part of the documentation.
	   The examples are generally given as verbatim paragraphs.

	   Don't just present an example without explaining what it does.
	   Adding a short paragraph saying what the example will do can
	   increase the value of the example immensely.

	   Environment variables that the program cares about, normally presented
 as a list using "=over", "=item", and "=back".  For example:

	       =over 6

	       =item HOME

	       Used to determine the user's home directory.  F<.foorc> in this
	       directory is read for configuration details, if it exists.


	   Since environment variables are normally in all uppercase, no additional
 special formatting is generally needed; they're glaring
	   enough as it is.

	   All files used by the program or function, normally presented as a
	   list, and what it uses them for.  File names should be enclosed in
	   F<>.  It's particularly important to document files that will be
	   potentially modified.

	   Things to take special care with, sometimes called WARNINGS.

	   Things that are broken or just don't work quite right.

	   Bugs you don't plan to fix.	:-)

	   Miscellaneous commentary.

       SEE ALSO
	   Other man pages to check out, like man(1), man(7), makewhatis(8),
	   or catman(8).  Normally a simple list of man pages separated by
	   commas, or a paragraph giving the name of a reference work.	Man
	   page references, if they use the standard "name(section)" form,
	   don't have to be enclosed in L<>, but other things in this section
	   probably should be when appropriate.  You may need to use the
	   "L<...|...>" syntax to keep pod2man and pod2text from being too
	   verbose; see perlpod(1).

	   If the package has a web site, include a URL here.

	   Who wrote it (use AUTHORS for multiple people).  Including your
	   current e-mail address (or some e-mail address to which bug reports
	   should be sent) so that users have a way of contacting you is a
	   good idea.  Remember that program documentation tends to roam the
	   wild for far longer than you expect and pick an e-mail address
	   that's likely to last if possible.

	   Programs derived from other sources sometimes have this, or you
	   might keep a modification log here.

       In addition, some systems use CONFORMING TO to note conformance to relevant
 standards and MT-LEVEL to note safeness for use in threaded programs
 or signal handlers.  These headings are primarily useful when
       documenting parts of a C library.  Documentation of object-oriented
       libraries or modules may use CONSTRUCTORS and METHODS sections for
       detailed documentation of the parts of the library and save the
       DESCRIPTION section for an overview; other large modules may use FUNCTIONS
 for similar reasons.  Some people use OVERVIEW to summarize the
       description if it's quite long.	Sometimes there's an additional COPYRIGHT
 section at the bottom, for licensing terms.  AVAILABILITY is
       sometimes added, giving the canonical download site for the software or
       a URL for updates.

       Section ordering varies, although NAME should always be the first section
 (you'll break some man page systems otherwise), and NAME, SYNOPSIS,
 DESCRIPTION, and OPTIONS generally always occur first and in that
       order if present.  In general, SEE ALSO, AUTHOR, and similar material
       should be left for last.  Some systems also move WARNINGS and NOTES to
       last.  The order given above should be reasonable for most purposes.

       Finally, as a general note, try not to use an excessive amount of
       markup.	As documented here and in Pod::Man, you can safely leave Perl
       variables, function names, man page references, and the like unadorned
       by markup and the POD translators will figure it out for you.  This
       makes it much easier to later edit the documentation.  Note that many
       existing translators (including this one currently) will do the wrong
       thing with e-mail addresses or URLs when wrapped in L<>, so don't do

       For additional information that may be more accurate for your specific
       system, see either man(5) or man(7) depending on your system manual
       section numbering conventions.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

       Pod::Man, Pod::Parser, man(1), nroff(1), troff(1), man(7)

       The man page documenting the an macro set may be man(5) instead of
       man(7) on your system.

AUTHOR    [Toc]    [Back]

       Russ Allbery <rra@stanford.edu>, based very heavily on the original
       pod2man by Larry Wall and Tom Christiansen.  Large portions of this
       documentation, particularly the sections on the anatomy of a proper man
       page, are taken from the pod2man documentation by Tom.

3rd Berkeley Distribution	  2004-12-24			    POD2MAN(1)
[ Back ]
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