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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     mdoc.samples - tutorial sampler for writing BSD manuals with -mdoc

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     man mdoc.samples

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     A tutorial sampler for writing BSD manual pages with the -mdoc macro
     package, a content-based and domain-based formatting package for
     troff(1).  Its predecessor, the -man package (see groff_man(7)),
     addressed page layout leaving the manipulation of fonts and other typesetting
 details to the individual author.  In -mdoc, page layout macros
     make up the PAGE STRUCTURE DOMAIN which consists of macros for titles,
     section headers, displays and lists. Essentially items which affect the
     physical position of text on a formatted page.  In addition to the page
     structure domain, there are two more domains, the manual domain and the
     general text domain.  The general text domain is defined as macros which
     perform tasks such as quoting or emphasizing pieces of text.  The manual
     domain is defined as macros that are a subset of the day to day informal
     language used to describe commands, routines and related BSD files.
     Macros in the manual domain handle command names, command line arguments
     and options, function names, function parameters, pathnames, variables,
     cross references to other manual pages, and so on.  These domain items
     have value for both the author and the future user of the manual page.
     It is hoped the consistency gained across the manual set will provide
     easier translation to future documentation tools.

     Throughout the UNIX manual pages, a manual entry is simply referred to as
     a man page, regardless of actual length and without sexist intention.

GETTING STARTED    [Toc]    [Back]

     Since a tutorial document is normally read when a person desires to use
     the material immediately, the assumption has been made that the user of
     this document may be impatient.  The material presented in the remainder
     of this document is outlined as follows:

                      Macro Usage.
                      Passing Space Characters in an Argument.
                      Trailing Blank Space Characters (a warning).
                      Escaping Special Characters.

           2.   THE ANATOMY OF A MAN PAGE
                      A manual page template.


                      What's in a name....
                      General Syntax.

           5.   MANUAL DOMAIN
                      Configuration Declarations (section four only).
                      Command Modifier.
                      Defined Variables.
                      Errno's (Section two only).
                      Environment Variables.
                      Function Argument.
                      Function Declaration.
                      Functions (library routines).
                      Function Types.
                      Interactive Commands.
                      Cross References.

           6.   GENERAL TEXT DOMAIN
                      ATT Macro.
                      BSD Macro.
                      BSD/OS Macro.
                      FreeBSD Macro.
                      NetBSD Macro.
                      OpenBSD Macro.
                      UNIX Macro.
                      Emphasis Macro.
                      Enclosure/Quoting Macros
                                  Angle Bracket Quote/Enclosure.
                                  Bracket Quotes/Enclosure.
                                  Double Quote macro/Enclosure.
                                  Parenthesis Quote/Enclosure.
                                  Single Quotes/Enclosure.
                                  Prefix Macro.
                      Extended  Arguments.
                      No-Op or Normal Text Macro.
                      No Space Macro.
                      Section Cross References.
                      Symbolic Macro.
                      References and Citations.
                      Trade Names (Acronyms and Type Names).

                      Section Headers.
                      Paragraphs and Line Spacing.
                      Lists and Columns.

           8.   PREDEFINED STRINGS

           9.   DIAGNOSTICS


           11.  BUGS


     The -mdoc package attempts to simplify the process of writing a man page.
     Theoretically, one should not have to learn the dirty details of troff(1)
     to use -mdoc; however, there are a few limitations which are unavoidable
     and best gotten out of the way.  And, too, be forewarned, this package is
     not fast.

   Macro Usage    [Toc]    [Back]
     As in troff(1), a macro is called by placing a `.' (dot character) at the
     beginning of a line followed by the two character name for the macro.
     Arguments may follow the macro separated by spaces.  It is the dot character
 at the beginning of the line which causes troff(1) to interpret the
     next two characters as a macro name.  To place a `.' (dot character) at
     the beginning of a line in some context other than a macro invocation,
     precede the `.' (dot) with the `\' escape sequence.  The `\' translates
     literally to a zero width space, and is never displayed in the output.

     In general, troff(1) macros accept up to nine arguments, any extra arguments
 are ignored.  Most macros in -mdoc accept nine arguments and, in
     limited cases, arguments may be continued or extended on the next line
     (See Extended Arguments).  A few macros handle quoted arguments (see
     Passing Space Characters in an Argument below).

     Most of the -mdoc general text domain and manual domain macros are special
 in that their argument lists are parsed for callable macro names.
     This means an argument on the argument list which matches a general text
     or manual domain macro name and is determined to be callable will be executed
 or called when it is processed.  In this case the argument,
     although the name of a macro, is not preceded by a `.' (dot).  It is in
     this manner that many macros are nested; for example the option macro,
     `.Op', may call the flag and argument macros, `Fl' and `Ar', to specify
     an optional flag with an argument:

           [-s bytes]         is produced by .Op Fl s Ar bytes

     To prevent a two character string from being interpreted as a macro name,
     precede the string with the escape sequence `\':

           [Fl s Ar bytes]    is produced by .Op \Fl s \Ar bytes

     Here the strings `Fl' and `Ar' are not interpreted as macros.  Macros
     whose argument lists are parsed for callable arguments are referred to as
     parsed and macros which may be called from an argument list are referred
     to as callable throughout this document and in the companion quick reference
 manual mdoc(7).  This is a technical faux pas as almost all of the
     macros in -mdoc are parsed, but as it was cumbersome to constantly refer
     to macros as being callable and being able to call other macros, the term
     parsed has been used.

   Passing Space Characters in an Argument    [Toc]    [Back]
     Sometimes it is desirable to give as one argument a string containing one
     or more blank space characters.  This may be necessary to defeat the nine
     argument limit or to specify arguments to macros which expect particular
     arrangement of items in the argument list.  For example, the function
     macro `.Fn' expects the first argument to be the name of a function and
     any remaining arguments to be function parameters.  As ANSI C stipulates
     the declaration of function parameters in the parenthesized parameter
     list, each parameter is guaranteed to be at minimum a two word string.
     For example, int foo.

     There are two possible ways to pass an argument which contains an embedded
 space.  Implementation note: Unfortunately, the most convenient way
     of passing spaces in between quotes by reassigning individual arguments
     before parsing was fairly expensive speed wise and space wise to implement
 in all the macros for ATT troff(1).  It is not expensive for
     groff(1) but for the sake of portability, has been limited to the following
 macros which need it the most:

           Cd    Configuration declaration (section 4 SYNOPSIS)
           Bl    Begin list (for the width specifier).
           Em    Emphasized text.
           Fn    Functions (sections two and four).
           It    List items.
           Li    Literal text.
           Sy    Symbolic text.
           %B    Book titles.
           %J    Journal names.
           %O    Optional notes for a reference.
           %R    Report title (in a reference).
           %T    Title of article in a book or journal.

     One way of passing a string containing blank spaces is to use the hard or
     unpaddable space character `\ ', that is, a blank space preceded by the
     escape character `\'.  This method may be used with any macro but has the
     side effect of interfering with the adjustment of text over the length of
     a line.  troff(1) sees the hard space as if it were any other printable
     character and cannot split the string into blank or newline separated
     pieces as one would expect.  The method is useful for strings which are
     not expected to overlap a line boundary.  For example:

           fetch(char *str)  is created by `.Fn fetch char\ *str'

           fetch(char *str)  can also be created by `.Fn fetch "*char *str"'

     If the `\' or quotes were omitted, `.Fn' would see three arguments and
     the result would be:

           fetch(char, *str)

     For an example of what happens when the parameter list overlaps a newline
     boundary, see the BUGS section.

   Trailing Blank Space Characters    [Toc]    [Back]
     troff(1) can be confused by blank space characters at the end of a line.
     It is a wise preventive measure to globally remove all blank spaces from
     <blank-space><end-of-line> character sequences.  Should the need arise to
     force a blank character at the end of a line, it may be forced with an
     unpaddable space and the `\' escape character.  For example, `string\ \'.

   Escaping Special Characters    [Toc]    [Back]
     Special characters like the newline character `\n', are handled by
     replacing the `\' with `\e' (e.g.  `\en') to preserve the backslash.

THE ANATOMY OF A MAN PAGE    [Toc]    [Back]

     The body of a man page is easily constructed from a basic template found
     in the file:

           .\" /usr/share/misc/mdoc.template:
           .\" The following six lines are required.
           .Dd Month day, year
           .Sh NAME
           .\" This next request is for sections 2 and 3 only; see next comment.
           .Sh LIBRARY
           .Sh SYNOPSIS
           .Sh DESCRIPTION
           .\" The following requests should be uncommented and
           .\" used where appropriate.  This next request is for
           .\" sections 1 and 8 exit statuses only.
           .\" .Sh EXIT STATUS
           .\" This next request is for sections 2 and 3 function return
           .\"     values only.
           .\" .Sh RETURN VALUES
           .\" This next request is for sections 1, 6, 7  8 only
           .\" .Sh ENVIRONMENT
           .\" .Sh FILES
           .\" .Sh EXAMPLES
           .\" This next request is for sections 1, 6, 7  8 only
           .\"     (command return values (to shell) and
           .\"        fprintf/stderr type diagnostics)
           .\" .Sh DIAGNOSTICS
           .\" The next request is for sections 2 and 3 error
           .\" and signal handling only.
           .\" .Sh ERRORS
           .\" .Sh SEE ALSO
           .\" .Sh STANDARDS
           .\" .Sh HISTORY
           .\" .Sh AUTHORS
           .\" .Sh BUGS

     The first items in the template are the macros (.Dd, .Os, .Dt); the document
 date, the operating system the man page or subject source is developed
 or modified for (should have no argument by default), and the man
     page title (in upper case) along with the section of the manual the page
     belongs in, and optionally the machine if it is machine specific.  These
     macros identify the page, and are discussed below in TITLE MACROS.

     The remaining items in the template are section headers (.Sh); of which
     NAME, SYNOPSIS and DESCRIPTION are mandatory.  The headers are discussed
     in PAGE STRUCTURE DOMAIN, after presentation of MANUAL DOMAIN.  Several
     content macros are used to demonstrate page layout macros; reading about
     content macros before page layout macros is recommended.

TITLE MACROS    [Toc]    [Back]

     The title macros are the first portion of the page structure domain, but
     are presented first and separate for someone who wishes to start writing
     a man page yesterday.  Three header macros designate the document title
     or manual page title, the operating system, and the date of authorship.
     These macros are one called once at the very beginning of the document
     and are used to construct the headers and footers only.

             The document title is the subject of the man page and must be in
             CAPITALS due to troff limitations.  The section number may be
             1, ..., 9, and the machine should be the machine the man page is
             for (that is, the NetBSD port to which it applies).

     .Os operating_system release#
             This should have no argument on NetBSD man pages by default.
             Otherwise, the name of the operating system should be the common
             acronym, e.g.  BSD or ATT.  The release should be the standard
             release nomenclature for the system specified, e.g. 4.3,
             4.3+Tahoe, V.3, V.4.  Unrecognized arguments are displayed as
             given in the page footer.  For instance, a typical footer might

                   .Os BSD 4.3

             or for a locally produced set

                   .Os CS Department

             The Berkeley default, `.Os' without an argument, has been defined
             as the current NetBSD version, see
             /usr/share/tmac/tmac.doc-common.  Note, if the `.Os' macro is not
             present, the bottom left corner of the page will be ugly.

     .Dd month day, year
             The date should be written formally:

                   January 25, 1989

             Note that the date must not be placed in quotes!

MANUAL DOMAIN    [Toc]    [Back]

   What's in a name...
     The manual domain macro names are derived from the day to day informal
     language used to describe commands, subroutines and related files.
     Slightly different variations of this language are used to describe the
     three different aspects of writing a man page.  First, there is the
     description of -mdoc macro request usage.  Second is the description of a
     UNIX command with -mdoc macros and third, the description of a command to
     a user in the verbal sense; that is, discussion of a command in the text
     of a man page.

     In the first case, troff(1) macros are themselves a type of command; the
     general syntax for a troff command is:

           .Va argument1 argument2 ... argument9

     The `.Va' is a macro command or request, and anything following it is an
     argument to be processed.  In the second case, the description of a UNIX
     command using the content macros is a bit more involved; a typical
     SYNOPSIS command line might be displayed as:

           filter [-flag] infile outfile

     Here, filter is the command name and the bracketed string -flag is a flag
     argument designated as optional by the option brackets.  In -mdoc terms,
     infile and outfile are called arguments.  The macros which formatted the
     above example:

           .Nm filter
           .Op Fl flag
           .Ar infile outfile

     In the third case, discussion of commands and command syntax includes
     both examples above, but may add more detail.  The arguments infile and
     outfile from the example above might be referred to as operands or file
     arguments.  Some command line argument lists are quite long:

           make  [-eiknqrstv] [-D variable] [-d flags] [-f makefile]
                 [-I directory] [-j max_jobs] [variable=value] [target ...]

     Here one might talk about the command make and qualify the argument
     makefile, as an argument to the flag, -f, or discuss the optional file
     operand target.  In the verbal context, such detail can prevent confusion,
 however the -mdoc package does not have a macro for an argument to
     a flag.  Instead the `Ar' argument macro is used for an operand or file
     argument like target as well as an argument to a flag like variable.  The
     make command line was produced from:

           .Nm make
           .Op Fl eiknqrstv
           .Op Fl D Ar variable
           .Op Fl d Ar flags
           .Op Fl f Ar makefile
           .Op Fl I Ar directory
           .Op Fl j Ar max_jobs
           .Op Ar variable=value
           .Bk -words
           .Op Ar target ...

     The `.Bk' and `.Ek' macros are explained in Keeps.

   General Syntax    [Toc]    [Back]
     The manual domain and general text domain macros share a similar syntax
     with a few minor deviations: `.Ar', `.Fl', `.Nm', and `.Pa' differ only
     when called without arguments; `.Fn' and `.Xr' impose an order on their
     argument lists and the `.Op' and `.Fn' macros have nesting limitations.
     All content macros are capable of recognizing and properly handling punctuation,
 provided each punctuation character is separated by a leading
     space.  If a request is given:

           .Li sptr, ptr),

     The result is:

           sptr, ptr),

     The punctuation is not recognized and all is output in the literal font.
     If the punctuation is separated by a leading white space:

           .Li sptr , ptr ) ,

     The result is:

           sptr, ptr),

     The punctuation is now recognized and is output in the default font distinguishing
 it from the strings in literal font.

     To remove the special meaning from a punctuation character escape it with
     `\'.  troff(1) is limited as a macro language, and has difficulty when
     presented with a string containing a member of the mathematical, logical
     or quotation set:


     The problem is that troff(1) may assume it is supposed to actually perform
 the operation or evaluation suggested by the characters.  To prevent
     the accidental evaluation of these characters, escape them with `\'.
     Typical syntax is shown in the first content macro displayed below,

   Address Macro    [Toc]    [Back]
     The address macro identifies an address construct of the form

           Usage: .Ad address ...
                   .Ad addr1           addr1
                   .Ad addr1 .         addr1.
                   .Ad addr1 , file2   addr1, file2
                   .Ad f1 , f2 , f3 :  f1, f2, f3:
                   .Ad addr ) ) ,      addr)),

     It is an error to call .Ad without arguments.  .Ad is callable by other
     macros and is parsed.

   Argument Macro    [Toc]    [Back]
     The .Ar argument macro may be used whenever a command line argument is

           Usage: .Ar argument ...
                    .Ar              file ...
                    .Ar file1        file1
                    .Ar file1 .      file1.
                    .Ar file1 file2  file1 file2
                    .Ar f1 f2 f3 :   f1 f2 f3:
                    .Ar file ) ) ,   file)),

     If .Ar is called without arguments `file ...' is assumed.  The .Ar macro
     is parsed and is callable.

   Configuration Declaration (section four only)    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Cd' macro is used to demonstrate a config(8) declaration for a
     device interface in a section four manual.  This macro accepts quoted
     arguments (double quotes only).

           device le0 at scode?  produced by: `.Cd device le0 at scode?'.

   Command Modifier    [Toc]    [Back]
     The command modifier is identical to the `.Fl' (flag) command with the
     exception the `.Cm' macro does not assert a dash in front of every argument.
  Traditionally flags are marked by the preceding dash, some commands
 or subsets of commands do not use them.  Command modifiers may also
     be specified in conjunction with interactive commands such as editor commands.
  See Flags.

   Defined Variables    [Toc]    [Back]
     A variable which is defined in an include file is specified by the macro

           Usage: .Dv defined_variable ...
                   .Dv TIOCGPGRP )     TIOCGPGRP)

     It is an error to call `.Dv' without arguments.  `.Dv' is parsed and is

   Errno's (Section two only)
     The `.Er' errno macro specifies the error return value for section two
     library routines.  The second example below shows `.Er' used with the
     `.Bq' general text domain macro, as it would be used in a section two
     manual page.

           Usage: .Er ERRNOTYPE ...
                   .Er ENOENT      ENOENT
                   .Er ENOENT ) ;  ENOENT);
                   .Bq Er ENOTDIR  [ENOTDIR]

     It is an error to call `.Er' without arguments.  The `.Er' macro is
     parsed and is callable.

   Environment Variables    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Ev' macro specifies an environment variable.

           Usage: .Ev argument ...
                   .Ev DISPLAY        DISPLAY
                   .Ev PATH .         PATH.
                   .Ev PRINTER ) ) ,  PRINTER)),

     It is an error to call `.Ev' without arguments.  The `.Ev' macro is
     parsed and is callable.

   Function Argument    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Fa' macro is used to refer to function arguments (parameters) outside
 of the SYNOPSIS section of the manual or inside the SYNOPSIS section
     should a parameter list be too long for the `.Fn' macro and the enclosure
     macros `.Fo' and `.Fc' must be used.  `.Fa' may also be used to refer to
     structure members.

           Usage: .Fa function_argument ...
                   .Fa d_namlen ) ) ,  d_namlen)),
                   .Fa iov_len         iov_len

     It is an error to call `.Fa' without arguments.  `.Fa' is parsed and is

   Function Declaration    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Fd' macro is used in the SYNOPSIS section with section two, three
     or nine functions.  The `.Fd' macro does not call other macros and is not
     callable by other macros.

           Usage: .Fd include_file (or defined variable)

     In the SYNOPSIS section a `.Fd' request causes a line break if a function
     has already been presented and a break has not occurred.  This leaves a
     nice vertical space in between the previous function call and the declaration
 for the next function.

   Flags    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Fl' macro handles command line flags.  It prepends a dash, `-', to
     the flag.  For interactive command flags, which are not prepended with a
     dash, the `.Cm' (command modifier) macro is identical, but without the

           Usage: .Fl argument ...
                   .Fl           -
                   .Fl cfv       -cfv
                   .Fl cfv .     -cfv.
                   .Fl s v t     -s -v -t
                   .Fl - ,       --,
                   .Fl xyz ) ,   -xyz),

     The `.Fl' macro without any arguments results in a dash representing
     stdin/stdout.  Note that giving `.Fl' a single dash, will result in two
     dashes.  The `.Fl' macro is parsed and is callable.

   Functions (library routines)    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Fn' macro is modeled on ANSI C conventions.

     Usage: .Fn [type] function [[type] parameters ... ]
     .Fn getchar                             getchar()
     .Fn strlen ) ,                          strlen()),
     .Fn "int align" "const * char *sptrs",  int align(const * char *sptrs),

     It is an error to call `.Fn' without any arguments.  The `.Fn' macro is
     parsed and is callable, note that any call to another macro signals the
     end of the `.Fn' call (it will close-parenthesis at that point).

     For functions that have more than eight parameters (and this is rare),
     the macros `.Fo' (function open) and `.Fc' (function close) may be used
     with `.Fa' (function argument) to get around the limitation. For example:

           .Ft "int"
           .Fo "res_mkquery"
           .Fa "int op"
           .Fa "char *dname"
           .Fa "int class"
           .Fa "int type"
           .Fa "char *data"
           .Fa "int datalen"
           .Fa "struct rrec *newrr"
           .Fa "char *buf"
           .Fa "int buflen"


           int    res_mkquery(int op,    char *dname,   int class,   int type,
           char *data, int datalen, struct rrec *newrr, char *buf, int buflen)

     The `.Fo' and `.Fc' macros are parsed and are callable.  In the SYNOPSIS
     section, the function will always begin at the beginning of line.  If
     there is more than one function presented in the SYNOPSIS section and a
     function type has not been given, a line break will occur, leaving a nice
     vertical space between the current function name and the one prior.  At
     the moment, `.Fn' does not check its word boundaries against troff line
     lengths and may split across a newline ungracefully.  This will be fixed
     in the near future.

   Function Type    [Toc]    [Back]
     This macro is intended for the SYNOPSIS section.  It may be used anywhere
     else in the man page without problems, but its main purpose is to present
     the function type in kernel normal form for the SYNOPSIS of sections two
     and three (it causes a page break allowing the function name to appear on
     the next line).

           Usage: .Ft type ...
                   .Ft struct stat  struct stat

     The `.Ft' request is not callable by other macros.

   Interactive Commands    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Ic' macro designates an interactive or internal command.

           Usage: .Ic command ...
                   .Ic :wq                  :wq
                   .Ic do while {...}       do while {...}
                   .Ic setenv , unsetenv    setenv, unsetenv

     It is an error to call `.Ic' without arguments.  The `.Ic' macro is
     parsed and is callable.

   Literals    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Li' literal macro may be used for special characters, variable constants,
 anything which should be displayed as it would be typed.

           Usage: .Li argument ...
                   .Li \en          \n
                   .Li M1 M2 M3 ;   M1 M2 M3;
                   .Li cntrl-D ) ,  cntrl-D),
                   .Li 1024 ...     1024 ...

     The `.Li' macro is parsed and is callable.

   Name Macro    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Nm' macro is used for the document title or subject name.  It has
     the peculiarity of remembering the first argument it was called with,
     which should always be the subject name of the page.  When called without
     arguments, `.Nm' regurgitates this initial name for the sole purpose of
     making less work for the author.  If trailing punctuation is required
     with this feature, use "" as a first argument to `.Nm'.  Note: a section
     two, three or nine document function name is addressed with the `.Nm' in
     the NAME section, and with `.Fn' in the SYNOPSIS and remaining sections.
     For interactive commands, such as the `while' command keyword in csh(1),
     the `.Ic' macro should be used.  While the `.Ic' is nearly identical to
     `.Nm', it can not recall the first argument it was invoked with.

           Usage: .Nm argument ...
                   .Nm mdoc.samples  mdoc.samples
                   .Nm \-mdoc        -mdoc
                   .Nm foo ) ) ,     foo)),
                   .Nm               mdoc.samples
                   .Nm "" :          :

     The `.Nm' macro is parsed and is callable.

   Options    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Op' macro places option brackets around the any remaining arguments
     on the command line, and places any trailing punctuation outside the
     brackets.  The macros `.Oc' and `.Oo' may be used across one or more

           Usage: .Op options ...
           .Op                                []
           .Op Fl k                           [-k]
           .Op Fl k ) .                       [-k]).
           .Op Fl k Ar kookfile               [-k kookfile]
           .Op Fl k Ar kookfile ,             [-k kookfile],
           .Op Ar objfil Op Ar corfil         [objfil [corfil]]
           .Op Fl c Ar objfil Op Ar corfil ,  [-c objfil [corfil]],
           .Op word1 word2                    [word1 word2]

     The `.Oc' and `.Oo' macros:

           .Op Fl k Ar kilobytes
           .Op Fl i Ar interval
           .Op Fl c Ar count

     Produce: [[-k kilobytes] [-i interval] [-c count]]

     The macros `.Op', `.Oc' and `.Oo' are parsed and are callable.

   Pathnames    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Pa' macro formats path or file names.

           Usage: .Pa pathname
                   .Pa /usr/share         /usr/share
                   .Pa /tmp/fooXXXXX ) .  /tmp/fooXXXXX).

     The `.Pa' macro is parsed and is callable.

   Variables    [Toc]    [Back]
     Generic variable reference:

           Usage: .Va variable ...
                   .Va count           count
                   .Va settimer,       settimer,
                   .Va int *prt ) :    int *prt):
                   .Va char s ] ) ) ,  char s])),

     It is an error to call `.Va' without any arguments.  The `.Va' macro is
     parsed and is callable.

   Manual Page Cross References    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Xr' macro expects the first argument to be a manual page name, and
     the second argument, if it exists, to be either a section page number or
     punctuation.  Any remaining arguments are assumed to be punctuation.

           Usage: .Xr man_page [1,...,9]
                   .Xr mdoc          mdoc
                   .Xr mdoc ,        mdoc,
                   .Xr mdoc 7        mdoc(7)
                   .Xr mdoc 7 ) ) ,  mdoc(7))),

     The `.Xr' macro is parsed and is callable.  It is an error to call `.Xr'
     without any arguments.

GENERAL TEXT DOMAIN    [Toc]    [Back]

   ATT Macro
           Usage: .At [v1 .. v7 | 32v | V.1 | V.4] ...
                   .At         AT&T UNIX
                   .At v6 .    Version 6 AT&T UNIX.

     The `.At' macro is not parsed and not callable. It accepts at most two

   BSD Macro    [Toc]    [Back]
           Usage: .Bx [Version/release] ...
                   .Bx          BSD
                   .Bx 4.3 .    4.3BSD.

     The `.Bx' macro is parsed and is callable.

   BSD/OS Macro
           Usage: .Bsx [Version/release] ...
                   .Bsx          BSD/OS
                   .Bsx 4.1 .    BSD/OS 4.1.

     The `.Bsx' macro is parsed and is callable.

   FreeBSD Macro    [Toc]    [Back]
           Usage: .Fx [Version/release] ...
                   .Fx          FreeBSD
                   .Fx 2.2 .    FreeBSD 2.2.

     The `.Fx' macro is parsed and is callable.

   NetBSD Macro    [Toc]    [Back]
           Usage: .Nx [Version/release] ...
                   .Nx          NetBSD
                   .Nx 1.4 .    NetBSD 1.4.

     The `.Nx' macro is parsed and is callable.

   OpenBSD Macro    [Toc]    [Back]
           Usage: .Ox [Version/release] ...
                   .Ox          OpenBSD
                   .Ox 2.7 .    OpenBSD 2.7.

     The `.Ox' macro is parsed and is callable.

   UNIX Macro    [Toc]    [Back]
           Usage: .Ux ...
                   .Ux          UNIX

     The `.Ux' macro is parsed and is callable.

   Emphasis Macro    [Toc]    [Back]
     Text may be stressed or emphasized with the `.Em' macro.  The usual font
     for emphasis is italic.

           Usage: .Em argument ...
                   .Em does not          does not
                   .Em exceed 1024 .     exceed 1024.
                   .Em vide infra ) ) ,  vide infra)),

     The `.Em' macro is parsed and is callable.  It is an error to call `.Em'
     without arguments.

   Enclosure and Quoting Macros    [Toc]    [Back]
     The concept of enclosure is similar to quoting.  The object being to
     enclose one or more strings between a pair of characters like quotes or
     parentheses.  The terms quoting and enclosure are used interchangeably
     throughout this document.  Most of the one line enclosure macros end in
     small letter `q' to give a hint of quoting, but there are a few irregularities.
  For each enclosure macro there is also a pair of open and
     close macros which end in small letters `o' and `c' respectively.  These
     can be used across one or more lines of text and while they have nesting
     limitations, the one line quote macros can be used inside of them.

            Quote    Close    Open   Function                  Result
           .Aq      .Ac      .Ao     Angle Bracket Enclosure   <string>
           .Bq      .Bc      .Bo     Bracket Enclosure         [string]
           .Dq      .Dc      .Do     Double Quote              ``string''
           .Ec      .Eo              Enclose String (in XX)    XXstringXX
           .Pq      .Pc      .Po     Parenthesis Enclosure     (string)
           .Ql                       Quoted Literal            `st' or string
           .Qq      .Qc      .Qo     Straight Double Quote     "string"
           .Sq      .Sc      .So     Single Quote              `string'

     Except for the irregular macros noted below, all of the quoting macros
     are parsed and callable.  All handle punctuation properly, as long as it
     is presented one character at a time and separated by spaces.  The quoting
 macros examine opening and closing punctuation to determine whether
     it comes before or after the enclosing string. This makes some nesting

     .Ec, .Eo  These macros expect the first argument to be the opening and
               closing strings respectively.

     .Ql       The quoted literal macro behaves differently for troff(1) than
               nroff(1).  If formatted with nroff(1), a quoted literal is
               always quoted. If formatted with troff, an item is only quoted
               if the width of the item is less than three constant width
               characters.  This is to make short strings more visible where
               the font change to literal (constant width) is less noticeable.

     .Pf       The prefix macro is not callable, but it is parsed:

                     .Pf ( Fa name2
                              becomes (name2.

     .Ns       The `.Ns' (no space) macro, which is callable, performs the
               analogous suffix function.

     .Ap       The `.Ap' macro inserts an apostrophe and exits any special
               text modes, continuing in .No mode.

     Examples of quoting:
           .Aq                         <>
           .Aq Ar ctype.h ) ,          <ctype.h>),
           .Bq                         []
           .Bq Em Greek , French .     [Greek, French].
           .Dq                         ``''
           .Dq string abc .            ``string abc''.
           .Dq '^[A-Z]'                ``'^[A-Z]'''
           .Ql man mdoc                `man mdoc'
           .Qq                         ""
           .Qq string ) ,              "string"),
           .Qq string Ns ),            "string),"
           .Sq                         `'
           .Sq string                  `string'
           .Em or Ap ing               or'ing

     For a good example of nested enclosure macros, see the `.Op' option
     macro.  It was created from the same underlying enclosure macros as those
     presented in the list above.  The `.Xo' and `.Xc' extended argument list
     macros were also built from the same underlying routines and are a good
     example of -mdoc macro usage at its worst.

   No-Op or Normal Text Macro    [Toc]    [Back]
     The macro .No is a hack for words in a macro command line which should
     not be formatted and follows the conventional syntax for content macros.

   Space Macro
     The `.Ns' macro eliminates unwanted spaces in between macro requests.  It
     is useful for old style argument lists where there is no space between
     the flag and argument:

           .Op Fl I Ns Ar directory    produces [-Idirectory]

     Note: the `.Ns' macro always invokes the `.No' macro after eliminating
     the space unless another macro name follows it.  The macro `.Ns' is
     parsed and is callable.

   Section Cross References    [Toc]    [Back]
     The `.Sx' macro designates a reference to a section header within the
     same document.  It is parsed and is callable.

                   .Sx FILES     FILES

   Symbolic    [Toc]    [Back]
     The symbolic emphasis macro is generally a boldface macro in either the
     symbolic sense or the traditional English usage.

           Usage: .Sy symbol ...
                   .Sy Important Notice   Important Notice

     The `.Sy' macro is parsed and is callable.  Arguments to `.Sy' may be

   References and Citations    [Toc]    [Back]
     The following macros make a modest attempt to handle references.  At
     best, the macros make it convenient to manually drop in a subset of refer
     style references.

           .Rs     Reference Start.  Causes a line break and begins collection
                   of reference information until the reference end macro is
           .Re     Reference End.  The reference is printed.
           .%A     Reference author name, one name per invocation.
           .%B     Book title.
           .%C     City/place.
           .%D     Date.
           .%J     Journal name.
           .%N     Issue number.
           .%O     Optional information.
           .%P     Page number.
           .%R     Report name.
           .%T     Title of article.
           .%V     Volume(s).

     The macros beginning with `%' are not callable, and are parsed only for
     the trade name macro which returns to its caller.  (And not very predictably
 at the moment either.)  The purpose is to allow trade names to
     be pretty printed in troff(1)/ditroff output.

   Trade Names (or Acronyms and Type Names)    [Toc]    [Back]
     The trade name macro is generally a small caps macro for all upper case
     words longer than two characters.

           Usage: .Tn symbol ...
                   .Tn DEC    DEC
                   .Tn ASCII  ASCII

     The `.Tn' macro is parsed and is callable by other macros.

   Extended Arguments    [Toc]    [Back]
     The .Xo and .Xc macros allow one to extend an argument list on a macro
     boundary.  Argument lists cannot be extended within a macro which expects
     all of its arguments on one line such as `.Op'.

     Here is an example of `.Xo' using the space mode macro to turn spacing

           .Sm off
           .It Xo Sy I Ar operation
           .No \en Ar count No \en
           .Sm on



     Another one:

           .Sm off
           .It Cm S No / Ar old_pattern Xo
           .No / Ar new_pattern
           .No / Op Cm g
           .Sm on



     Another example of `.Xo' and using enclosure macros: Test the value of an

           .It Xo
           .Ic .ifndef
           .Oo \! Oc Ns Ar variable
           .Op Ar operator variable ...


           .ifndef [!]variable [operator variable ...]

     All of the above examples have used the `.Xo' macro on the argument list
     of the `.It' (list-item) macro.  The extend macros are not used very
     often, and when they are it is usually to extend the list-item argument
     list.  Unfortunately, this is also where the extend macros are the most
     finicky.  In the first two examples, spacing was turned off; in the
     third, spacing was desired in part of the output but not all of it.  To
     make these macros work in this situation make sure the `.Xo' and `.Xc'
     macros are placed as shown in the third example.  If the `.Xo' macro is
     not alone on the `.It' argument list, spacing will be unpredictable.  The
     `.Ns' (no space macro) must not occur as the first or last macro on a
     line in this situation.  Out of 900 manual pages (about 1500 actual
     pages) currently released with BSD only fifteen use the `.Xo' macro.


   Section Headers
     The first three `.Sh' section header macros list below are required in
     every man page.  The remaining section headers are recommended at the
     discretion of the author writing the manual page.  The `.Sh' macro can
     take up to nine arguments.  It is parsed and but is not callable.

     .Sh NAME      The `.Sh NAME' macro is mandatory.  If not specified, the
                   headers, footers and page layout defaults will not be set
                   and things will be rather unpleasant.  The NAME section
                   consists of at least three items.  The first is the `.Nm'
                   name macro naming the subject of the man page.  The second
                   is the Name Description macro, `.Nd', which separates the
                   subject name from the third item, which is the description.
                   The description should be the most terse and lucid possible,
 as the space available is small.

     .Sh SYNOPSIS  The SYNOPSIS section describes the typical usage of the
                   subject of a man page.  The  macros required are either
                   `.Nm', `.Cd', `.Fn', (and possibly `.Fo', `.Fc', `.Fd',
                   `.Ft' macros).  The function name macro `.Fn' is required
                   for manual page sections 2 and 3, the command and general
                   name macro `.Nm' is required for sections 1, 5, 6, 7, 8.
                   Section 4 manuals require a `.Nm, .Fd' or a `.Cd' configuration
 device usage macro.  Several other macros may be
                   necessary to produce the synopsis line as shown below:

                         cat [-benstuv] [-] file ...

                   The following macros were used:

                         .Nm cat
                         .Op Fl benstuv
                         .Op Fl

                   Note: The macros `.Op', `.Fl', and `.Ar' recognize the pipe
                   bar character `|', so a command line such as:

                         .Op Fl a | Fl b

                   will not go orbital.  troff(1) normally interprets a | as a
                   special operator.  See PREDEFINED STRINGS for a usable |
                   character in other situations.

                   In most cases the first text in the DESCRIPTION section is
                   a brief paragraph on the command, function or file, followed
 by a lexical list of options and respective explanations.
  To create such a list, the `.Bl' begin-list, `.It'
                   list-item and `.El' end-list macros are used (see Lists and
                   Columns below).

     The following `.Sh' section headers are part of the preferred manual page
     layout and must be used appropriately to maintain consistency.  They are
     listed in the order in which they would be used.

               The ENVIRONMENT section should reveal any related environment
               variables and clues to their behavior and/or usage.

               There are several ways to create examples.  See the EXAMPLES
               section below for details.

     .Sh FILES
               Files which are used or created by the man page subject should
               be listed via the `.Pa' macro in the FILES section.

     .Sh SEE ALSO
               References to other material on the man page topic and cross
               references to other relevant man pages should be placed in the
               SEE ALSO section.  Cross references are specified using the
               `.Xr' macro.  At this time refer(1) style references are not

               It is recommended that the cross references are sorted on the
               section number, and then alphabetically on the names within a

               If the command, library function or file adheres to a specific
               implementation such as IEEE Std 1003.2 (``POSIX.2'') or ANSI
               X3.159-1989 (``ANSI C'') this should be noted here.  If the
               command does not adhere to any standard, its history should be
               noted in the HISTORY section.

     .Sh HISTORY
               Any command which does not adhere to any specific standards
               should be outlined historically in this section.

     .Sh AUTHORS
               Credits, if need be, should be placed here.

               Diagnostics from a command should be placed in this section.

     .Sh ERRORS
               Specific error handling, especially from library functions (man
               page sections 2 and 3) should go here.  The `.Er' macro is used
               to specify an errno.

     .Sh BUGS  Blatant problems with the topic go here...

     User specified `.Sh' sections may be added, for example, this section was
     set with:

                   .Sh PAGE STRUCTURE DOMAIN

   Paragraphs and Line Spacing.    [Toc]    [Back]

     .Pp     The `.Pp' paragraph command may be used to specify a line space
             where necessary.  The macro is not necessary after a `.Sh' or
             `.Ss' macro or before a `.Bl' macro.  (The `.Bl' macro asserts a
             vertical distance unless the -compact flag is given).

   Keeps    [Toc]    [Back]
     The only keep that is implemented at this time is for words.  The macros
     are `.Bk' (begin-keep) and `.Ek' (end-keep).  The only option that `.Bk'
     accepts is -words and is useful for preventing line breaks in the middle
     of options.  In the example for the make command line arguments (see
     What's in a name), the keep prevented nroff(1) from placing the flag and
     the argument on separate lines.  (Actually, the option macro formerly
     prevented this from occurring, but was dropped when the decision (religious)
 was made to force right justified margins in troff(1) as options
     in general look atrocious when spread across a sparse line.  More work
     needs to be done with the keep macros, a -line option needs to be added.)

   Examples and Displays    [Toc]    [Back]
     There are six types of displays: a quickie, one-line indented display
     `.D1'; a quickie, one-line literal display `.Dl'; and block-literal,
     block-filled, block-unfilled, and block-ragged which use the `.Bd' begindisplay
 and `.Ed' end-display macros.

     .D1    (D-one) Display one line of indented text.  This macro is parsed,
            but it is not callable.


            The above was produced by: .D1 Fl ldghfstru.

     .Dl    (D-ell) Display one line of indented literal text.  The `.Dl'
            example macro has been used throughout this file.  It allows the
            indent (display) of one line of text.  Its default font is set to
            constant width (literal) however it is parsed and will recognize
            other macros.  It is however not callable.

                  % ls -ldg /usr/local/bin

            The above was produced by: .Dl % ls -ldg /usr/local/bin.

     .Bd    Begin-display.  The `.Bd' display must be ended with the `.Ed'
            macro.  Displays may be nested within lists, but may not contain
            other displays; this also prohibits nesting of `.D1' and `.Dl'
            one-line displays.  `.Bd' has the following syntax:

                  .Bd display-type [-offset offset_value] [-compact]

            The display-type must be one of the four types (-ragged,
            -unfilled, -filled, -literal) and may have an offset specifier for
            indentation: `.Bd'.

            -ragged           Fill, but do not adjust the right margin.
            -unfilled         Do not fill: display a block of text as typed,
                              the right (and left) margin edges are left
            -filled           Display a filled (formatted) block.  The block
                              of text is formatted (the edges are filled - not
                              left unjustified).
            -literal          Display a literal block, useful for source code
                              or simple tabbed or spaced text.
            -file file_NAME   The file name following the -file flag is read
                              and displayed.  Literal mode is asserted and
                              tabs are set at 8 constant width character
                              intervals, however any troff(1)/-mdoc commands
                              in file will be processed.
            -offset string    If -offset is specified with one of the following
 strings, the string is interpreted to indicate
 the level of indentation for the forthcoming
 block of text:

                              left        Align block on the current left margin,
 this is the default mode of
                              center      Supposedly center the block.  At
                                          this time unfortunately, the block
                                          merely gets left alig

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