Provided by: groff-base_1.22.3-10_amd64 bug


       groff - front-end for the groff document formatting system


       groff [-abcegijklpstzCEGNRSUVXZ] [-d cs] [-D arg] [-f fam] [-F dir]
             [-I dir] [-K arg] [-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 ...]


       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 ⟨⟩.  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).


       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.

       As groff is a wrapper program for troff both programs share  a  set  of
       options.  But the groff program has some additional, native options and
       gives a new meaning to some troff options.  On the other hand, not  all
       troff options can be fed into groff.

   Native groff Options
       The  following options either do not exist for troff or are differently
       interpreted by groff.

       -D arg Set default input encoding used by preconv to arg.  Implies -k.

       -e     Preprocess with eqn.

       -g     Preprocess with grn.

       -G     Preprocess with grap.  Implies -p.

       --help Print a help message.

       -I dir This option may be used to specify a  directory  to  search  for
              files  (both  those on the command line and those named in .psbb
              and .so requests, and \X'ps: import' and \X'ps: file'  escapes).
              The current directory is always searched first.  This option may
              be specified more than once; the directories are searched in the
              order  specified.   No  directory  search is performed for files
              specified using an absolute path.  This option  implies  the  -s

       -j     Preprocess with chem.  Implies -p.

       -k     Preprocess   with   preconv.   This  is  run  before  any  other
              preprocessor.  Please refer to preconv's  manual  page  for  its
              behaviour if no -K (or -D) option is specified.

       -K arg Set input encoding used by preconv to arg.  Implies -k.

       -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 program.

       -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

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

              is equivalent to

                     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.  For this device, troff generates  the
              intermediate  output;  see  groff_out(5).   Then  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).

                     xhtml  HTML  and  XHTML  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).

                     pdf    Portable    Document    Format    (PDF)     output
                            (postprocessor is gropdf).

              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.   This
                            mode has the most useful fonts for TTY mode, so it
                            is the best mode for TTY output.

              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

              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)  on  the  standard  output,  but do not execute it.  If
              given more than once, the  commands  are  both  printed  on  the
              standard error and run.

       -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

                     groff -X -P-resolution -P100 -man foo.1

       -z     Suppress output generated by troff.   Only  error  messages  are

       -Z     Do  not  automatically  postprocess groff intermediate output in
              the usual manner.  This will cause the troff output to appear on
              standard  output,  replacing the usual postprocessor output; see

   Transparent Options
       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.  Please consult the grotty(1) man page for
              more details.

       -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;  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.  See troff(1) for names.

       -W name
              disable warning name.  See troff(1) for names.


       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.

   Paper Size
       The virtual paper size used by troff to format the input is  controlled
       globally  with  the  requests .po, .pl, and .ll.  See groff_tmac(5) for
       the ‘papersize’ macro package which provides a convenient interface.

       The physical paper size, giving the  actual  dimensions  of  the  paper
       sheets,  is  controlled  by  output devices like grops with the command
       line options -p and -l.  See groff_font(5) and the  man  pages  of  the
       output devices for more details.  groff uses the command line option -P
       to pass options to output devices; for example, the  following  selects
       A4 paper in landscape orientation for the PS device:

              groff -Tps -P-pa4 -P-l ...

       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

       The   groff   preprocessors  are  reimplementations  of  the  classical
       preprocessors with moderate  extensions.   The  standard  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 chemical structure diagrams,

              for bibliographic references,

              for including macro files from standard locations,


       tbl(1) for tables.

       A new preprocessor not available in classical troff is preconv(1) which
       converts various input encodings to something groff can understand.  It
       is always run first before any other preprocessor.

       Besides   these,   there  are  some  internal  preprocessors  that  are
       automatically run with some devices.  These aren't visible to the user.

   Macro Packages
       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);  this  man  page  also  documents  some other, minor
       auxiliary macro packages not mentioned here.

   Programming Language
       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

       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).

       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

       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).

       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

       pdf    PDF files; suitable for viewing with tools such as evince(1) and

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

       xhtml  XHTML output.

       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.

       groff provides 3 hardware postprocessors:

              for some Canon printers,

              for printers compatible to the HP LaserJet 4 and PCL5,

              for  text output using various encodings, e.g., on text-oriented
              terminals or line-printers.

       Today, most printing or drawing hardware is handled  by  the  operating
       system, by device drivers, or by software interfaces, usually accepting
       PostScript.  Consequently, there isn't an urgent need for more hardware
       device postprocessors.

       The  groff  software  devices  for  conversion into other document file
       formats are

              for the DVI format,

              for HTML and XHTML formats,

              for PostScript.

              for PDF.

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

       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.

              Convert an eqn image into a cropped image.

              Mark differences between groff, nroff, or troff files.

              Convert a grap diagram into a cropped bitmap image.

              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.

              Create PDF documents using groff.

              Translate a PostScript font in .pfb format to ASCII.

              Convert a pic diagram into a cropped image.

              Create font description files for TeX DVI device.

              roff viewer distributed with X window.

              Convert X font metrics into GNU troff font metrics.


       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.

              This  search  path, followed by $PATH, is 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.

              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 internally calls
              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.

              The value of this environment value is  passed  to  the  preconv
              preprocessor  to  select  the  encoding of input files.  Setting
              this option implies groff's command line  option  -k  (this  is,
              groff  actually  always calls preconv).  If set without a value,
              groff calls preconv without arguments.  An explicit  -K  command
              line   option   overrides  the  value  of  GROFF_ENCODING.   See
              preconv(1) for details.

              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.

              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.

              The directory in which temporary files are created.  If this  is
              not  set  but the environment variable TMPDIR instead, temporary
              files are created in  the  directory  $TMPDIR.   On  MS-DOS  and
              Windows 32 platforms, the environment variables TMP and TEMP (in
              that order) are searched also, after  GROFF_TMPDIR  and  TMPDIR.
              Otherwise,  temporary  files are created in /tmp.  The refer(1),
              groffer(1), grohtml(1),  and  grops(1)  commands  use  temporary

              Preset  the default device.  If this is not set the ps device is
              used as default.  This device name is overwritten by the  option


       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

              pic | tbl | troff -me -Tlatin1 | grotty

       Using groff, this pipe can be shortened to the equivalent command

              groff -p -t -me -T latin1

       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)

              `grog -Tlatin1`

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



       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 the groff mailing list ⟨⟩.  Include a
       complete, self-contained example that allows the bug to be  reproduced,
       and say which version of groff you are using.


       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.

   Collection of Installation Directories
       This section describes the position of all files of the  groff  package
       after the installation — got from Makefile.comm at the top of the groff
       source package.

              index directory and index name

              legacy font directory

              directory for binary programs

              system tmac directory

              documentation directory

              directory for examples

              documentation directory for html files

              documentation directory for pdf files

              data subdirectory

              file for common words

              directory for fonts

              directory for old fonts

              tmac directory

              mm tmac directory

              local font directory

              local tmac directory

   groff Macro Directory
       This contains all information related to  macro  packages.   Note  that
       more  than a single directory is searched for those files as documented
       in groff_tmac(5).  For the groff  installation  corresponding  to  this
       document, it is located at /usr/share/groff/1.22.3/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/1.22.3/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.


       Information on how to get groff and related information is available at
       the groff GNU website ⟨⟩.

       Three groff mailing lists are available:

              for reporting bugs ⟨⟩.

              for general discussion of groff, ⟨⟩.

              the  groff commit list ⟨⟩, a read-only list
              showing logs of commitments to the groff repository.

       Details on repository 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 ⟨⟩.  The actual version can  be  found  at  the
       grap   website   ⟨⟩.
       This is the only grap version supported by groff.


       The groff info file contains all information on the groff system within
       a single document, providing many 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).

       But there are special sections of man-pages.  groff has man-pages in
       sections 1, 5,and 7.  When there are several man-pages with the same
       name in the same man section, the one with the lowest section is should
       as first.  The other man-pages can be shown anyway by adding the
       section number as argument before the man-page name.  Reading the man-
       page about the groff language is done by one of
              man 7 groff
              groffer 7 groff

       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), chem(1), preconv(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), lj4_font(5),
              grops(1), gropdf(1), grotty(1).

       Groff macro packages and macro-specific utilities:
              groff_tmac(5), groff_man(7), groff_mdoc(7), groff_me(7),
              groff_mm(7), groff_mmse(7) (only in Swedish locales),
              groff_mom(7), groff_ms(7), groff_www(7), groff_trace(7),

       The following utilities are available:
              addftinfo(1), afmtodit(1), eqn2graph(1), gdiffmk(1),
              grap2graph(1), groffer(1), gxditview(1), hpftodit(1),
              indxbib(1), lkbib(1), lookbib(1), pdfroff(1), pfbtops(1),
              pic2graph(1), tfmtodit(1), xtotroff(1).


       Copyright © 1989-2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       Rewritten in 2002 by Bernd Warken <>

       This document is part of groff, a free GNU software project.

       Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
       under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or
       any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with the
       Invariant Sections being the macro definition or .co and .au, with no
       Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.

       A copy of the Free Documentation License is included as a file called
       FDL in the main directory of the groff source package.

       It is also available in the internet at the GNU copyleft site ⟨http://⟩.


       This document is based on the original groff man page written by James
       Clark ⟨⟩.  It was rewritten, enhanced, and put under the
       FDL license by Bernd Warken <>.  It is
       maintained by Werner Lemberg ⟨⟩.