Provided by: groff-base_1.22.2-5_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

       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

       -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 option.

       -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

       -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

       -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.

              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 -S.

              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

       -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 example

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

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

       -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 groff_out(5).

   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 groff_tmac(5).

       -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

       The groffer(1) program is an allround-viewer for groff files and man pages.

       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 formulæ,

       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 groff_www(7).

       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

   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 groff_diff(7).

       The groff language as a whole is described in the (still incomplete) groff  info  file;  a
       short (but complete) reference can be found in groff(7).

       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 possible.

       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 follows.

       ascii  Text output using the ascii(7) character set.

       cp1047 Text output using the EBCDIC code page IBM cp1047 (e.g., OS/390 Unix).

       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 printers).

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

       ps     PostScript output; suitable for printers and previewers like gv(1).

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

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

       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-

       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 format.

       The following utility programs around groff are available.

              Add information to troff font description files for use with groff.

              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

              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 files.

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


       There  are  some  directories  in  which  groff  installs  all  of its data files.  Due to
       different installation habits on different operating  systems,  their  locations  are  not
       absolutely fixed, but their function is clearly defined and coincides on all systems.

   groff Macro Directory
       This  contains  all  information  related to macro packages.  Note that more than a single
       directory is searched for those files as  documented  in  groff_tmac(5).   For  the  groff
       installation     corresponding     to     this     document,     it    is    located    at
       /usr/share/groff/1.22.2/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/1.22.2/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.


       The  following  example  illustrates  the  power  of the groff program as a wrapper around

       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

              `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

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


       Information  on  how  to  get  groff and related information is available at the groff GNU
       website ⟨⟩.  The most recent released version of groff is
       available   at   the   groff  development  site  ⟨

       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 CVS repository.

       Details  on  CVS access and much more can be found in the file README at the top directory
       of the groff source package.

       There  is  a  free  implementation  of  the  grap  preprocessor,  written  by  Ted   Faber
       ⟨⟩.   The  actual  version  can  be  found  at the grap website ⟨http://⟩.  This is the only grap version supported by


       Copyright © 2011 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This  document  is distributed under the terms of the FDL (GNU Free Documentation License)
       version 1.3 or later.  You should have received a copy of the FDL on your  system,  it  is
       also available on-line at the GNU copyleft site ⟨⟩.

       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 ⟨⟩.

       groff is a GNU free software project.  All parts of the groff package are protected by GNU
       copyleft licenses.  The software files are distributed under the terms of the GNU  General
       Public  License (GPL), while the documentation files mostly use the GNU Free Documentation
       License (FDL).


       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).

       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),

       Groff macro packages and macro-specific utilities:
              groff_tmac(5),     groff_man(7),     groff_mdoc(7),    groff_me(7),    groff_mm(7),
              groff_mmse(7), groff_mom(7), groff_ms(7), groff_www(7), groff_trace(7), mmroff(7).

       The following utilities are available:
              addftinfo(1), afmtodit(1),  eqn2graph(1),  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).