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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     tbl - format tables for troff

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     tbl [-Cv] [files ...]

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     tbl is a preprocessor for troff which is used to format  tables.  These
     tables  are  composed from columns that can be independently
     headings may be placed over  single  columns  or  groups  of
columns, and horizontal
 or vertical lines may be added as desired.

     tbl  preprocesses  the input files, (or standard input if no
file is specified)
 and prints its result to standard output.

     Each table is preceded by a `.TS' (table start) command, and
followed by
     a  `.TE'  (table  end)  command.  tbl does not touch the reminder of the
     text.  The actual `.TS' and `.TE' lines are copied  verbatim
as well, so
     that  further  page layout macros may use these to place the
resulting tables.

     The format of tbl input is as follows:

         table specification
         further text
         table specification
         more text

     And a table specification is as follows:

         table options ;
         table format .

     Each table is formatted independently, and thus must contain
a full separate
  specification.   The `table options' affect the entire
table.  Alternately,
 the `table format' can be changed in the middle of a
table, which
     yields the following template:

         table options ;
         table format .
         table data
         table format .
         more data

   TABLE OPTIONS    [Toc]    [Back]
     Options  affecting  the  whole  table may appear on a single
line, immediately
 following the `.TS' line.  The option names may be  separated by
     spaces, tabulations, or commas, and must end in a semicolon.
     options are:

     allbox       put a box around each item in the table.

     box          put a box around the whole table.

     center       center the table, instead of the default  leftadjust.

     delim(ab)    use a and b as eqn(1) delimiters.

     doublebox    put a double box around the whole table.

     expand        make  the  table  as  wide as the current line

     linesize(n)  set lines and rules in n point type.

     tab(n)       use n spaces instead of a tabulation  to  separate items.

   TABLE FORMAT    [Toc]    [Back]
     Each line in the format section corresponds to a single line
of the
     table, except for the last line which corresponds to all remaining lines
     up to the next `.T&', if present.  Each column is represented by one letter
 from the following list,  along  with  modifiers.   Good
style mandates
     separating  specifications  for  each  column with spaces or

     l or L
       left-adjusted column entry.

     c or C
       centered column entry.

     r or R
       right-adjusted colum entry.

     n or N
       numerical column entry, to be aligned with other numerical
entries so
       that unit digits match up.

     a or A
       alphabetic  subcolumn.   Corresponding  entries  are leftaligned, and set
       so that the widest is centered within the column.

     s or S
       spanned heading.  The entry for the previous  column  continues on this

       vertically  spanned  heading.   The entry for the previous
row continues
       on this row.

     _ or =
       horizontal rule, replacing the column entry.  `='  creates
a double
       rule.   If  an adjacent column also contains an horizontal
rule or if
       there are vertical rules adjoing the column, the  line  is
extended to
       meet  the  nearby  lines.   Any data entry for this column
will be ignored
       and a warning message be printed.

     | or ||
       single or double vertical rule.

     Some extra features are available as modifiers

     Inter-column spacing
       A number may follow a column format.   This  number  indicates the separation
  between the column and the next column.  The default
number is 3.
       The unit used is ens (one en is roughly the width  of  the
letter `n').

     Non-centered vertical spanning
       Vertically  spanned   items are normally centered over the
rows they
       span.  If the column format is followed by  t  or  T,  the
item will begin
       at the top line of the span.

     Font changes
       A string containing a font name or number preceded by f or
F may be
       used to indicate that the corresponding column  should  be
formatted in
       that  font.   In  UNIX tbl, all font names are at most two
letters long.
       The letters b, b, I, and i are synonyms  for  fB  and  fI.
Individual data
       items  within the table may override these specifications.

   TABLE DATA    [Toc]    [Back]
     Each table line is normally entered as  one  line  of  data.
Long lines may
     be broken, by using  as a continuation character.  Table entries are
     separated with tabulations (or with the character  specified
in the tabs
     option).  There a few exceptions:

     Embedded troff commands
       An  input  line  beginning with a `.' followed by anything
but a number is
       passed through to troff unchanged.  For instance, .sp  can
be used to
       produce extra space within a table.

     Horizontal rules
       A  line  containing  only  `_' or `=' produces a single or
double horizontal
 rule that extends for the full width of the table.

     Single columns horizontal rules
       A table entry containing only `_' or `=' produces a single
or double
       horizontal  rule that extends for the width of the column.
If necessary,
 the rule is extended to meet matching horizontal  or
       rules adjoining this column.

GNU DIFFERENCES    [Toc]    [Back]

     The  version  of  tbl  shipping  with  OpenBSD  is  part  of
groff(1), and features
 a few differences from classical UNIX.

     For instance, the output of GNU tbl cannot be processed with
     troff(1), but must be processed with GNU troff(1).

     Normally,  tbl makes use of diversions to attempt to prevent
bad breaks in
     the table.  This can interact with some macro packages'  use
of diversions,
  for  instance with footnotes.  The nokeep option can
be used to
     tell tbl not to try.

     The decimalpoint (c) option changes the character used as  a
decimal point
     instead of the default period.

     The  f format modifier can be used with a long font name enclosed in

     A d format modifier has been added, meaning that a vertically spanning
     entry should be aligned at the bottom.

     There  are  no arrbitrary limits on the number of columns or
the number of
     text blocks in a table.

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

     This documentation is  currently  incomplete  and  only  describes a subset of

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

     eqn(1), nroff(1)

OpenBSD      3.6                        February     25,     2003
[ Back ]
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