Provided by: groff_1.22.3-7_amd64 bug


       groffer - display groff files and man pages on X and tty


       groffer [--] [filespec ....]

       groffer [mode-option ....]  [groff-options ....]  [man-options ....]  [X-options ....]
               [--] [filespec ....]

       groffer -h | --help

       groffer -v | --version


       The groffer program is the  easiest  way  to  use  groff(1).   It  can  display  arbitrary
       documents  written  in  the  groff  language,  see  groff(7), or other roff languages, see
       roff(7), that are compatible to the original  troff  language.   It  finds  and  runs  all
       necessary groff preprocessors, such as chem.

       The groffer program also includes many of the features for finding and displaying the Unix
       manual pages (man pages), such that it can be used as a replacement for a man(1)  program.
       Moreover, compressed files that can be handled by gzip(1) or bzip2(1) are decompressed on-

       The normal usage is quite simple by supplying a file name or name of a  man  page  without
       further  options.   But  the  option  handling has many possibilities for creating special
       behaviors.  This can be done either in configuration files,  with  the  shell  environment
       variable $GROFFER_OPT, or on the command line.

       The  output  can  be  generated  and viewed in several different ways available for groff.
       This includes the groff native X Window viewer gxditview(1), each Postcript, pdf,  or  dvi
       display  program,  a  web browser by generating html in www mode, or several text modes in
       text terminals.

       Most of the options that  must  be  named  when  running  groff  directly  are  determined
       automatically  for  groffer,  due  to  the internal usage of the grog(1) program.  But all
       parts can also be controlled manually by arguments.

       Several file names can be specified on the command line arguments.  They  are  transformed
       into a single document in the normal way of groff.

       Option  handling  is  done in GNU style.  Options and file names can be mixed freely.  The
       option `--' closes the option handling, all following arguments are treated as file names.
       Long options can be abbreviated in several ways.


       breaking options

               [-h | --help] [-v | --version]

       groffer mode options

               [--auto] [--default] [--default-modes mode1,mode2,....]  [--dvi] [--groff]
               [--html] [--latin1] [--mode display_mode] [--pdf] [--pdf2] [--ps] [--source]
               [--text] [--to-stdout] [--tty] [--utf8] [--viewer prog] [--www] [--x | --X]

       options related to groff

               [-T | --device device] [-Z | --intermediate-output | --ditroff]

              All further groff short options are accepted.

       options for man pages

               [--apropos] [--apropos-data] [--apropos-devel] [--apropos-progs] [--man]
               [--no-man] [--no-special] [--whatis]

       long options taken over from GNU man

               [--all] [--ascii] [--ditroff] [--extension suffix] [--locale language]
               [--local-file] [--location | --where] [--manpath dir1:dir2:....]  [--no-location]
               [--pager program] [--sections sec1:sec2:....]  [--systems sys1,sys2,....]
               [--troff-device device]

              Further long options of GNU man are accepted as well.

       X Window Toolkit options

               [--bd | --bordercolor pixels] [--bg | --background color]
               [--bw | --borderwidth pixels] [--display X-display] [--fg | --foreground color]
               [--fn | --ft | --font font_name] [--geometry size_pos] [--resolution value] [--rv]
               [--title string] [--xrm X-resource]

       options for development

               [--debug] [--debug-filenames] [--debug-grog] [--debug-keep] [--debug-params]
               [--debug-tmpdir] [--do-nothing] [--print text] [-V]

       filespec arguments

              The  filespec parameters are all arguments that are neither an option nor an option
              argument.  They usually mean a file name or a man page searching scheme.

              In the following, the term  section_extension  is  used.   It  means  a  word  that
              consists of a man section that is optionally followed by an extension.  The name of
              a man section is a single character from [1–9on], the extension is some word.   The
              extension is mostly lacking.

              No filespec parameters means standard input.

              -         stands for standard input (can occur several times).

              filename  the path name of an existing file.

              section_extension name
                        search  the  man  page  name  in  the  section  with  optional  extension

              man:name  man page in the lowest man section that has name.

              name      if name is not an existing file search for  the  man  page  name  in  the
                        lowest man section.


       The  groffer  program can usually be run with very few options.  But for special purposes,
       it supports many options.  These can be classified in 5 option classes.

       All short options of groffer are compatible with the short options of groff(1).  All  long
       options of groffer are compatible with the long options of man(1).

       Arguments  for  long option names can be abbreviated in several ways.  First, the argument
       is checked whether it can  be  prolonged  as  is.   Furthermore,  each  minus  sign  -  is
       considered  as  a  starting point for a new abbreviation.  This leads to a set of multiple
       abbreviations for a single argument.  For example, --de-n-f can be used as an abbreviation
       for --debug-not-func, but --de-n works as well.  If the abbreviation of the argument leads
       to several resulting options an error is raised.

       These abbreviations are only allowed in the environment variable $GROFFER_OPT, but not  in
       the configuration files.  In configuration, all long options must be exact.

   groffer breaking Options
       As  soon  as  one of these options is found on the command line it is executed, printed to
       standard output, and the running groffer is terminated thereafter.   All  other  arguments
       are ignored.

       -h | --help
              Print help information with a short explanation of options to standard output.

       -v | --version
              Print version information to standard output.

   groffer Mode Options
       The  display  mode  and  the  viewer programs are determined by these options.  If none of
       these mode and viewer options is specified groffer tries to find a suitable  display  mode
       automatically.   The  default modes are mode pdf, mode ps, mode html, mode x, and mode dvi
       in X Window with different viewers and mode tty with device utf8 under less on a terminal;
       other modes are tested if the programs for the main default mode do not exist.

       In  X  Window,  many  programs create their own window when called.  groffer can run these
       viewers as an independent program in the background.  As this does not work in  text  mode
       on  a  terminal  (tty)  there  must  be a way to know which viewers are X Window graphical
       programs.  The groffer script has a small set of information on some viewer names.   If  a
       viewer argument of the command-line chooses an element that is kept as X Window program in
       this list it is treated as a viewer that can run in the background.   All  other,  unknown
       viewer calls are not run in the background.

       For  each  mode,  you  are free to choose whatever viewer you want.  That need not be some
       graphical viewer suitable for this mode.  There is a chance to view the output source; for
       example,  the  combination of the options --mode=ps and --viewer=less shows the content of
       the Postscript output, the source code, with the pager less.

       --auto Equivalent to --mode=auto.

              Reset all configuration from previously  processed  command  line  options  to  the
              default   values.    This  is  useful  to  wipe  out  all  former  options  of  the
              configuration, in $GROFFER_OPT, and restart option processing using only  the  rest
              of the command line.

       --default-modes mode1,mode2,....
              Set  the  sequence  of modes for auto mode to the comma separated list given in the
              argument.  See --mode for  details  on  modes.   Display  in  the  default  manner;
              actually, this means to try the modes x, ps, and tty in this sequence.

       --dvi  Equivalent to --mode=dvi.
       --viewer prog
              Choose  a  viewer program for dvi mode.  This can be a file name or a program to be
              searched in $PATH.  Known X Window dvi viewers include xdvi(1)  and  dvilx(1).   In
              each case, arguments can be provided additionally.

              Equivalent to --mode=groff.

       --html Equivalent to --mode=html.
              Choose  a web browser program for viewing in html mode.  It can be the path name of
              an executable file or a program in $PATH.  In each case, arguments can be  provided

       --mode value
              Set the display mode.  The following mode values are recognized:

              auto   Select  the  automatic  determination  of the display mode.  The sequence of
                     modes that are tried can be set with the --default-modes option.  Useful for
                     restoring the default mode when a different mode was specified before.

              dvi    Display  formatted input in a dvi viewer program.  By default, the formatted
                     input is displayed with the xdvi(1) program.

              groff  After the file determination, switch  groffer  to  process  the  input  like
                     groff(1) would do.  This disables the groffer viewing features.

              html   Translate the input into html format and display the result in a web browser
                     program.  By default, the existence of a sequence of standard  web  browsers
                     is  tested, starting with konqueror(1) and mozilla(1).  The text html viewer
                     is lynx(1).

              pdf    Transform roff input files into a PDF file by using  the  groff  (1)  device
                     -Tpdf.   This  is  the  default  PDF  generator.   The generated PDF file is
                     displayed with suitable viewer programs, such as okular(1).

              pdf2   This is the traditional pdf mode.  Sometimes this mode produces more correct
                     output  than  the  default  PDF mode.  By default, the input is formatted by
                     groff using the Postscript device, then it is transformed into the PDF  file
                     format  using  gs(1),  or ps2pdf(1).  If that's not possible, the Postscript
                     mode (ps) is used instead.  Finally it is displayed using  different  viewer

              ps     Display  formatted  input  in  a Postscript viewer program.  By default, the
                     formatted input is displayed in one of many viewer programs.

              text   Format in a groff text mode and write the result to standard output  without
                     a  pager  or  viewer  program.   The  text device, latin1 by default, can be
                     chosen with option -T.

              tty    Format in a groff text mode and write the result to standard output using  a
                     text pager program, even when in X Window.

              www    Equivalent to --mode=html.

              x      Display  the  formatted  input  in  a  native  roff viewer.  By default, the
                     formatted input is displayed with the gxditview(1) program being distributed
                     together with groff.  But the standard X Window tool xditview(1) can also be
                     chosen with the option --viewer.   The  default  resolution  is  75dpi,  but
                     100dpi  are  also  possible.  The default groff device for the resolution of
                     75dpi  is  X75-12,  for  100dpi  it  is  X100.   The   corresponding   groff
                     intermediate  output  for  the  actual device is generated and the result is
                     displayed.  For a resolution of 100dpi, the default width of the geometry of
                     the display program is chosen to 850dpi.

              X      Equivalent to --mode=x.

              The  following  modes  do  not  use  the  groffer  viewing features.  They are only
              interesting for advanced applications.

              groff  Generate device output with plain groff without using  the  special  viewing
                     features  of  groffer.   If  no  device was specified by option -T the groff
                     default ps is assumed.

              source Output the roff source code of the input files without further processing.

       --pdf  Equivalent to --mode=pdf.
       --pdf2 Equivalent to --mode=pdf2.
       --viewer prog
              Choose a viewer program for pdf mode.  This can be a file name or a program  to  be
              searched in $PATH; arguments can be provided additionally.

       --ps   Equivalent to --mode=ps.
       --viewer prog
              Choose  a  viewer  program for ps mode.  This can be a file name or a program to be
              searched in $PATH.  Common Postscript viewers include okular(1), evince(1),  gv(1),
              ghostview(1), and gs(1), In each case, arguments can be provided additionally.

              Equivalent to --mode=source.

       --text Equivalent to --mode=text.

              The  file  for  the chosen mode is generated and its content is printed to standard
              output.  It will not be displayed in graphical mode.

       --tty  Equivalent to --mode=tty.
       --viewer prog
              Choose a text pager for mode tty.  The standard pager is less(1).  This  option  is
              equivalent to man option --pager=prog.  The option argument can be a file name or a
              program to be searched in $PATH; arguments can be provided additionally.

       --www  Equivalent to --mode=html.

       --X | --x
              Equivalent to --mode=x.
       --viewer prog
              Choose a viewer program for x mode.   Suitable  viewer  programs  are  gxditview(1)
              which is the default and xditview(1).  The argument can be any executable file or a
              program in $PATH; arguments can be provided additionally.

       --     Signals the end of option processing; all remaining arguments  are  interpreted  as
              filespec parameters.

       Besides  these, groffer accepts all short options that are valid for the groff(1) program.
       All non-groffer options are sent unmodified via grog to groff.  So  postprocessors,  macro
       packages, compatibility with classical troff, and much more can be manually specified.

   Options related to groff
       All  short  options  of  groffer  are  compatible with the short options of groff(1).  The
       following of groff options have either an additional special  meaning  within  groffer  or
       make sense for normal usage.

       Because  of the special outputting behavior of the groff option -Z groffer was designed to
       be switched into groff mode; the groffer viewing features are disabled there.   The  other
       groff options do not switch the mode, but allow to customize the formatting process.

       --a    This  generates  an ascii approximation of output in the text modes.  That could be
              important when the text pager has problems with control sequences in tty mode.

       --m file
              Add file as a groff macro file.  This is useful in case  it  cannot  be  recognized

       --P opt_or_arg
              Send  the  argument  opt_or_arg as an option or option argument to the actual groff

       --T devname | --device devname
              This option determines groff's output device.  The most important devices  are  the
              text  output  devices for referring to the different character sets, such as ascii,
              utf8, latin1, utf8, and others.  Each of these arguments switches  groffer  into  a
              text  mode  using  this  device, to mode tty if the actual mode is not a text mode.
              The  following  devname  arguments  are  mapped  to   the   corresponding   groffer
              --mode=devname  option:  dvi, html, and ps.  All X* arguments are mapped to mode x.
              Each other devname argument switches to mode groff using this device.

       --X    is equivalent to  groff  -X.   It  displays  the  groff  intermediate  output  with
              gxditview.   As  the  quality  is relatively bad this option is deprecated; use --X
              instead because the x mode uses an X* device for a better display.

       -Z | --intermediate-output | --ditroff
              Switch into groff mode and format the input  with  the  groff  intermediate  output
              without  postprocessing;  see groff_out(5).  This is equivalent to option --ditroff
              of man, which can be used as well.

       All other groff options  are  supported  by  groffer,  but  they  are  just  transparently
       transferred  to  groff  without  any  intervention.   The  options that are not explicitly
       handled by groffer are transparently passed to groff.  Therefore these transparent options
       are not documented here, but in groff(1).  Due to the automatism in groffer, none of these
       groff options should be needed, except for advanced usage.

   Options for man pages
              Start the apropos(1) command or facility  of  man(1)  for  searching  the  filespec
              arguments  within  all  man page descriptions.  Each filespec argument is taken for
              search as it is; section specific parts are not handled, such that 7 groff searches
              for  the  two  arguments 7 and groff, with a large result; for the filespec groff.7
              nothing will be found.  The  language  locale  is  handled  only  when  the  called
              programs  do  support this; the GNU apropos and man -k do not.  The display differs
              from the apropos program by the following concepts:

              * Construct a groff frame similar to a man page to the output of apropos,

              * each filespec argument is searched on its own.

              * The restriction by --sections is handled as well,

              * wildcard characters are allowed and handled without a further option.

              Show only the apropos  descriptions  for  data  documents,  these  are  the  man(7)
              sections  4,  5,  and  7.   Direct  section declarations are ignored, wildcards are

              Show only the apropos descriptions for development documents, these are the  man(7)
              sections  2,  3,  and  9.   Direct  section declarations are ignored, wildcards are

              Show only the apropos descriptions for documents on programs, these are the  man(7)
              sections  1,  6,  and  8.   Direct  section declarations are ignored, wildcards are

              For each filespec argument search all man pages and display their description —  or
              say that it is not a man page.  This is written from anew, so it differs from man's
              whatis output by the following concepts

              * each retrieved file name is added,

              * local files are handled as well,

              * the language and system locale is supported,

              * the display is framed by a groff output format similar to a man page,

              * wildcard characters are allowed without a further option.

       The following options were added to groffer for choosing whether the file  name  arguments
       are  interpreted  as  names  for  local  files  or as a search pattern for man pages.  The
       default is looking up for local files.

       --man  Check the non-option command line arguments (filespecs) first on being  man  pages,
              then  whether  they  represent  an  existing file.  By default, a filespec is first
              tested whether it is an existing file.

       --no-man | --local-file
              Do not check for man pages.  --local-file is the corresponding man option.

              Disable former calls of --all, --apropos*, and --whatis.

   Long options taken over from GNU man
       The long options of groffer were synchronized with the long options of GNU man.  All  long
       options  of GNU man are recognized, but not all of these options are important to groffer,
       so most of them are just ignored.  These ignored man options are  --catman,  --troff,  and

       In the following, the man options that have a special meaning for groffer are documented.

       If your system has GNU man installed the full set of long and short options of the GNU man
       program can be passed via the environment variable $MANOPT; see man(1).

       --all  In searching man pages, retrieve all suitable documents instead of only one.

       -7 | --ascii
              In text modes,  display  ASCII  translation  of  special  characters  for  critical
              environment.  This is equivalent to groff -mtty_char; see groff_tmac(5).

              Produce groff intermediate output.  This is equivalent to groffer -Z.

       --extension suffix
              Restrict  man  page search to file names that have suffix appended to their section
              element.  For example, in the  file  name  /usr/share/man/man3/terminfo.3ncurses.gz
              the man page extension is ncurses.

       --locale language
              Set the language for man pages.  This has the same effect, but overwrites $LANG.

              Print the location of the retrieved files to standard error.

              Do  not  display  the  location  of  retrieved  files; this resets a former call to
              --location.  This was added by groffer.

       --manpath 'dir1:dir2:....'
              Use the specified search path for retrieving  man  pages  instead  of  the  program
              defaults.  If the argument is set to the empty string "" the search for man page is

              Set the pager program in tty mode; default is less.  This can be set with --viewer.

       --sections sec1:sec2:....
              Restrict searching for man pages to the given sections, a colon-separated list.

       --systems sys1,sys2,....
              Search for man pages for the given operating systems; the  argument  systems  is  a
              comma-separated list.

              Equivalent to --location.

   X Window Toolkit Options
       The  following  long options were adapted from the corresponding X Window Toolkit options.
       groffer will pass them to the actual  viewer  program  if  it  is  an  X  Window  program.
       Otherwise these options are ignored.

       Unfortunately  these  options  use  the old style of a single minus for long options.  For
       groffer that was changed to the standard with using a double minus for long  options,  for
       example, groffer uses the option --font for the X Window option -font.

       See  X(7)  and the documentation on the X Window Toolkit options for more details on these
       options and their arguments.

       --background color
              Set the background color of the viewer window.

       --bd pixels
              This is equivalent to --bordercolor.

       --bg color
              This is equivalent to --background.

       --bw pixels
              This is equivalent to --borderwidth.

       --bordercolor pixels
              Specifies the color of the border surrounding the viewer window.

       --borderwidth pixels
              Specifies the width in pixels of the border surrounding the viewer window.

       --display X-display
              Set the X Window display on which the viewer program  shall  be  started,  see  the
              X Window documentation for the syntax of the argument.

       --foreground color
              Set the foreground color of the viewer window.

       --fg color
              This is equivalent to --foreground.

       --fn font_name
              This is equivalent to --font.

       --font font_name
              Set the font used by the viewer window.  The argument is an X Window font name.

       --ft font_name
              This is equivalent to --font.

       --geometry size_pos
              Set  the  geometry  of  the  display  window,  that means its size and its starting
              position.  See X(7) for the syntax of the argument.

       --resolution value
              Set X Window resolution in dpi (dots per inch) in some viewer programs.   The  only
              supported  dpi values are 75 and 100.  Actually, the default resolution for groffer
              is set to 75dpi.  The resolution also sets the default device in mode x.

       --rv   Reverse foreground and background color of the viewer window.

       --title 'some text'
              Set the title for the viewer window.

       --xrm 'resource'
              Set X Window resource.

   Options for Development
              Enable all debugging options --debug-type.  The temporary files are  kept  and  not
              deleted,  the  grog  output  is  printed,  the  name  of the temporary directory is
              printed, the displayed file names are printed, and the parameters are printed.

              Print the names of the files and man pages that are displayed by groffer.

              Print the output of all grog commands.

              Enable two debugging informations.  Print the name of the temporary  directory  and
              keep the temporary files, do not delete them during the run of groffer.

              Print  the  parameters, as obtained from the configuration files, from GROFFER_OPT,
              and the command line arguments.

              Print the name of the temporary directory.

              This is like --version, but without the output; no viewer is started.   This  makes
              only sense in development.

              Just print the argument to standard error.  This is good for parameter check.

       -V     This is an advanced option for debugging only.  Instead of displaying the formatted
              input, a lot of groffer specific information is printed to standard output:

              * the output file name in the temporary directory,

              * the display mode of the actual groffer run,

              * the display program for viewing the output with its arguments,

              * the active parameters from the config files, the arguments in  $GROFFER_OPT,  and
                the arguments of the command line,

              * the pipeline that would be run by the groff program, but without executing it.

       Other useful debugging options are the groff option -Z and --mode=groff.

   Filespec Arguments
       A filespec parameter is an argument that is not an option or option argument.  In groffer,
       filespec parameters are a file name or a template for searching man  pages.   These  input
       sources are collected and composed into a single output file such as groff does.

       The strange POSIX behavior to regard all arguments behind the first non-option argument as
       filespec arguments is ignored.  The GNU behavior to recognize options even when mixed with
       filespec  arguments  is used throughout.  But, as usual, the double minus argument -- ends
       the option handling and interprets all following arguments as filespec arguments;  so  the
       POSIX behavior can be easily adopted.

       The  options  --apropos*  have a special handling of filespec arguments.  Each argument is
       taken as a search scheme of its own.  Also a regexp (regular expression) can  be  used  in
       the  filespec.   For  example,  groffer --apropos '^gro.f$' searches groff in the man page
       name, while groffer --apropos groff searches groff somewhere in the name or description of
       the man pages.

       All  other parts of groffer, such as the normal display or the output with --whatis have a
       different scheme for filespecs.  No regular expressions are used for the  arguments.   The
       filespec arguments are handled by the following scheme.

       It  is  necessary  to know that on each system the man pages are sorted according to their
       content into several sections.  The classical man sections have a  single-character  name,
       either a digit from 1 to 9 or one of the characters n or o.

       This  can  optionally  be  followed  by  a string, the so-called extension.  The extension
       allows to store several man pages with the  same  name  in  the  same  section.   But  the
       extension  is  only  rarely used, usually it is omitted.  Then the extensions are searched
       automatically by alphabet.

       In the following, we use the name section_extension for a word that consists of  a  single
       character  section  name  or  a  section character that is followed by an extension.  Each
       filespec parameter can have one of the following forms in decreasing sequence.

       * No filespec parameters means that groffer waits for standard input.  The minus option  -
         always  stands for standard input; it can occur several times.  If you want to look up a
         man page called - use the argument man:-.

       * Next a filespec is tested whether it is the path name of an existing file.  Otherwise it
         is assumed to be a searching pattern for a man page.

       * man:name(section_extension),   man:name.section_extension,  name(section_extension),  or
         name.section_extension search the man page name in man section and possibly extension of

       * Now  man:name  searches  for  a  man  page in the lowest man section that has a document
         called name.

       * section_extension name is a pattern of  2  arguments  that  originates  from  a  strange
         argument  parsing  of  the  man  program.   Again,  this searches the man page name with
         section_extension, a combination of  a  section  character  optionally  followed  by  an

       * We  are left with the argument name which is not an existing file.  So this searches for
         the man page called name in the lowest man section that has a document for this name.

       Several file name arguments can be supplied.  They  are  mixed  by  groff  into  a  single
       document.   Note that the set of option arguments must fit to all of these file arguments.
       So they should have at least the same style of the groff language.


       By default, the groffer program collects all input into a single file, formats it with the
       groff  program  for  a  certain  device,  and then chooses a suitable viewer program.  The
       device and viewer process in groffer is called a mode.  The mode and viewer of  a  running
       groffer  program  is selected automatically, but the user can also choose it with options.
       The modes are selected by option the arguments of --mode=anymode.  Additionally,  each  of
       this  argument  can  be specified as an option of its own, such as anymode.  Most of these
       modes have a viewer program, which can be chosen by the option --viewer.

       Several different modes are offered, graphical modes for X Window, text  modes,  and  some
       direct groff modes for debugging and development.

       By  default,  groffer  first  tries  whether x mode is possible, then ps mode, and finally
       tty mode.  This mode testing sequence for auto mode can be changed by specifying  a  comma
       separated list of modes with the option --default-modes.

       The searching for man pages and the decompression of the input are active in every mode.

   Graphical Display Modes
       The  graphical  display  modes  work  mostly  in  the  X  Window  environment  (or similar
       implementations within other windowing environments).  The environment  variable  $DISPLAY
       and the option --display are used for specifying the X Window display to be used.  If this
       environment variable is empty groffer assumes that no X Window is running and changes to a
       text mode.  You can change this automatic behavior by the option --default-modes.

       Known  viewers for the graphical display modes and their standard X Window viewer programs

       * in a PDF viewer (pdf mode)

       * in a web browser (html or www mode)

       * in a Postscript viewer (ps mode)

       * X Window roff viewers such as gxditview(1) or xditview(1) (in x mode)

       * in a dvi viewer program (dvi mode)

       The pdf mode has a major advantage — it is the only graphical display mode that allows  to
       search for text within the viewer; this can be a really important feature.  Unfortunately,
       it takes some time to transform the input into the PDF format, so it was not chosen as the
       major mode.

       These  graphical  viewers  can  be customized by options of the X Window Toolkit.  But the
       groffer options use a leading double minus  instead  of  the  single  minus  used  by  the
       X Window Toolkit.

   Text modes
       There  are  two  modes  for  text  output,  mode text for plain output without a pager and
       mode tty for a text output on a text terminal using some pager program.

       If the variable $DISPLAY is not set or empty, groffer assumes that it should use tty mode.

       In the actual implementation, the groff output device latin1 is  chosen  for  text  modes.
       This can be changed by specifying option -T or --device.

       The  pager  to  be used can be specified by one of the options --pager and --viewer, or by
       the environment variable $PAGER.  If all of this is not used the less(1) program with  the
       option -r for correctly displaying control sequences is used as the default pager.

   Special Modes for Debugging and Development
       These modes use the groffer file determination and decompression.  This is combined into a
       single input file that is fed directly into groff  with  different  strategy  without  the
       groffer  viewing  facilities.   These  modes are regarded as advanced, they are useful for
       debugging and development purposes.

       The source mode with option --source just displays the decompressed input.

       Option --to-stdout does not display in a graphical mode.  It just generates the  file  for
       the chosen mode and then prints its content to standard output.

       The  groff  mode  passes  the  input to groff using only some suitable options provided to
       groffer.  This enables the user to save the generated output into a file or pipe  it  into
       another program.

       In  groff  mode,  the  option  -Z  disables  post-processing,  thus  producing  the  groff
       intermediate output.  In this mode, the input is formatted,  but  not  postprocessed;  see
       groff_out(5) for details.

       All groff short options are supported by groffer.


       The  default  behavior  of  groffer is to first test whether a file parameter represents a
       local file; if it is not an existing file name, it is assumed to represent the name  of  a
       man  page.  The following options can be used to determine whether the arguments should be
       handled as file name or man page arguments.

       --man  forces to interpret all file parameters as filespecs for searching man pages.

              disable the man searching; so only local files are displayed.

       If neither a local file nor a man page was retrieved for some file parameter a warning  is
       issued on standard error, but processing is continued.

   Search Algorithm
       Let  us  now  assume  that  a man page should be searched.  The groffer program provides a
       search facility for man pages.  All long options, all environment variables, and  most  of
       the  functionality of the GNU man(1) program were implemented.  The search algorithm shall
       determine which file is displayed for a given man page.  The process can  be  modified  by
       options and environment variables.

       The only man action that is omitted in groffer are the preformatted man pages, also called
       cat pages.  With the excellent performance  of  the  actual  computers,  the  preformatted
       man  pages aren't necessary any longer.  Additionally, groffer is a roff program; it wants
       to read roff source files and format them itself.

       The algorithm for retrieving the file for a man page needs first  a  set  of  directories.
       This  set  starts with the so-called man path that is modified later on by adding names of
       operating system  and  language.   This  arising  set  is  used  for  adding  the  section
       directories which contain the man page files.

       The man path is a list of directories that are separated by colon.  It is generated by the
       following methods.

       * The environment variable $MANPATH can be set.

       * It can be read from the arguments of the environment variable $MANOPT.

       * The man path can be manually specified by using the option --manpath.  An empty argument
         disables the man page searching.

       * When no man path was set the manpath(1) program is tried to determine one.

       * If this does not work a reasonable default path from $PATH is determined.

       We  now have a starting set of directories.  The first way to change this set is by adding
       names of operating systems.  This assumes that man pages for several operating systems are
       installed.   This is not always true.  The names of such operating systems can be provided
       by 3 methods.

       * The environment variable $SYSTEM has the lowest precedence.

       * This can be overridden by an option in $MANOPT.

       * This again is overridden by the command line option --systems.

       Several names of operating systems can be given by appending their names, separated  by  a

       The  man  path is changed by appending each system name as subdirectory at the end of each
       directory of the set.  No directory of the man path set is kept.  But if no system name is
       specified the man path is left unchanged.

       After  this,  the  actual set of directories can be changed by language information.  This
       assumes that there exist man pages in different languages.  The  wanted  language  can  be
       chosen by several methods.

       * Environment variable $LANG.

       * This is overridden by $LC_MESSAGES.

       * This is overridden by $LC_ALL.

       * This can be overridden by providing an option in $MANOPT.

       * All these environment variables are overridden by the command line option --locale.

       The  default language can be specified by specifying one of the pseudo-language parameters
       C or POSIX.  This is like deleting a formerly given language information.  The  man  pages
       in the default language are usually in English.

       Of  course,  the  language  name is determined by man.  In GNU man, it is specified in the
       POSIX 1003.1 based format:


       but the two-letter code  in  <language>  is  sufficient  for  most  purposes.   If  for  a
       complicated  language formulation no man pages are found groffer searches the country part
       consisting of these first two characters as well.

       The actual directory set is copied thrice.  The language name is appended as  subdirectory
       to  each directory in the first copy of the actual directory set (this is only done when a
       language information is given).  Then the 2-letter abbreviation of the  language  name  is
       appended as subdirectories to the second copy of the directory set (this is only done when
       the given language name has more than 2 letters).  The third copy of the directory set  is
       kept  unchanged  (if  no  language  information  is given this is the kept directory set).
       These maximally 3 copies are appended to get the new directory set.

       We now have a complete set of directories to work with.  In each of these directories, the
       man  files  are  separated  in sections.  The name of a section is represented by a single
       character, a digit between 1 and 9, or the character o or n, in this order.

       For each available section, a subdirectory man<section> exists containing  all  man  files
       for  this  section,  where  <section> is a single character as described before.  Each man
       file        in        a        section        directory        has        the         form
       man<section>/<name>.<section>[<extension>][.<compression>],    where    <extension>    and
       <compression> are optional.  <name> is the name of the man page that is also specified  as
       filespec argument on the command line.

       The  extension  is  an  addition to the section.  This postfix acts like a subsection.  An
       extension occurs only in the file name, not in name of the section subdirectory.   It  can
       be specified on the command line.

       On  the  other hand, the compression is just an information on how the file is compressed.
       This is not important for the user, such that it cannot be specified on the command line.

       There are 4 methods to specify a section on the command line:

       * Environment variable $MANSECT

       * Command line option --sections

       * Appendix to the name argument in the form <name>.<section>

       * Preargument before the name argument in the form <section> <name>

       It is also possible to  specify  several  sections  by  appending  the  single  characters
       separated  by  colons.  One can imagine that this means to restrict the man page search to
       only some sections.  The multiple sections are only possible for $MANSECT and --sections.

       If no section is specified all sections are searched one after  the  other  in  the  given
       order, starting with section 1, until a suitable file is found.

       There  are 4 methods to specify an extension on the command line.  But it is not necessary
       to provide the whole extension name, some abbreviation is good enough in most cases.

       * Environment variable $EXTENSION

       * Command line option --extension

       * Appendix to the <name>.<section> argument in the form <name>.<section><extension>

       * Preargument before the name argument in the form <section><extension> <name>

       For further details on man page searching, see man(1).

   Examples of man files
              This is an uncompressed file for the man page groff in section 1.  It can be called
              sh# groffer groff
              No  section is specified here, so all sections should be searched, but as section 1
              is searched first this file will be found first.  The file name is composed of  the
              following   components.   /usr/share/man/  must  be  part  of  the  man  path;  the
              subdirectory man1/ and the part .1 stand for the section; groff is the name of  the
              man page.

              The  file  name is composed of the following components.  /usr/local/share/man must
              be part of the man path; the subdirectory man7/ and  the  part  .7  stand  for  the
              section;  groff  is  the  name  of  the  man  page; the final part .gz stands for a
              compression with gzip(1).  As the section is not the first one it must be specified
              as well.  This can be done by one of the following commands.
              sh# groffer groff.7
              sh# groffer 7 groff
              sh# groffer --sections=7 groff

              Here  /usr/local/man  must be in man path; the subdirectory man1/ and the file name
              part .1 stand for section 1; the name of the man page is ctags; the section has  an
              extension  emacs21; and the file is compressed as .bz2 with bzip2(1).  The file can
              be viewed with one of the following commands
              sh# groffer ctags.1e
              sh# groffer 1e ctags
              sh# groffer --extension=e --sections=1 ctags
              where e works as an abbreviation for the extension emacs21.

              The directory /usr/man is now part of the man path; then there  is  a  subdirectory
              for  an  operating system name linux/; next comes a subdirectory de/ for the German
              language; the section names man7 and .7 are known so far; man is the  name  of  the
              man page; and .Z signifies the compression that can be handled by gzip(1).  We want
              now show how to provide several values for some  options.   That  is  possible  for
              sections  and  operating system names.  So we use as sections 5 and 7 and as system
              names linux and aix.  The command is then

              sh# groffer --locale=de --sections=5:7 --systems=linux,aix man
              sh# LANG=de MANSECT=5:7 SYSTEM=linux,aix groffer man


       The program has a decompression facility.  If standard input or a file that was  retrieved
       from  the  command line parameters is compressed with a format that is supported by either
       gzip(1) or bzip2(1) it is decompressed on-the-fly.  This includes the GNU .gz,  .bz2,  and
       the   traditional   .Z  compression.   The  program  displays  the  concatenation  of  all
       decompressed input in the sequence that was specified on the command line.


       The groffer program supports many system variables, most of  them  by  courtesy  of  other
       programs.   All  environment variables of groff(1) and GNU man(1) and some standard system
       variables are honored.

   Native groffer Variables
              Store options for a run of groffer.  The options specified  in  this  variable  are
              overridden  by the options given on the command line.  The content of this variable
              is run through the shell builtin `eval'; so  arguments  containing  white-space  or
              special  shell characters should be quoted.  Do not forget to export this variable,
              otherwise it does not exist during the run of groffer.

   System Variables
       The following variables have a special meaning for groffer.

              If this variable is set this  indicates  that  the  X  Window  system  is  running.
              Testing  this  variable  decides  on whether graphical or text output is generated.
              This variable should not be changed by the user carelessly, but it can be  used  to
              start  the graphical groffer on a remote X Window terminal.  For example, depending
              on your system, groffer can be started on the second monitor by the command

              sh# DISPLAY=:0.1 groffer what.ever &

       $LANG  If one of  these  variables  is  set  (in  the  above  sequence),  its  content  is
              interpreted  as  the  locale,  the  language to be used, especially when retrieving
              man    pages.     A    locale     name     is     typically     of     the     form
              language[_territory[.codeset[@modifier]]],  where  language  is an ISO 639 language
              code, territory is an ISO 3166 country code, and codeset  is  a  character  set  or
              encoding  identifier like ISO-8859-1 or UTF-8; see setlocale(3).  The locale values
              C and POSIX stand for the default, i.e. the man page directories without a language
              prefix.  This is the same behavior as when all 3 variables are unset.

       $PAGER This  variable  can  be  used to set the pager for the tty output.  For example, to
              disable the use of a pager completely set this variable to the cat(1) program

              sh# PAGER=cat groffer anything

       $PATH  All programs within the groffer script are called without a fixed path.  Thus  this
              environment variable determines the set of programs used within the run of groffer.

   Groff Variables
       The  groffer  program  internally  calls groff, so all environment variables documented in
       groff(1) are internally used within groffer as well.  The following variable has a  direct
       meaning for the groffer program.

              If  the  value of this variable is an existing, writable directory, groffer uses it
              for storing its temporary files, just as groff does.  See the groff(1) man page for
              more details on the location of temporary files.

   Man Variables
       Parts of the functionality of the man program were implemented in groffer; support for all
       environment variables documented in man(1) was added  to  groffer,  but  the  meaning  was
       slightly  modified due to the different approach in groffer; but the user interface is the
       same.  The man environment variables can be overwritten by options provided with  $MANOPT,
       which in turn is overwritten by the command line.

              Restrict  the  search  for  man  pages  to  files  having  this extension.  This is
              overridden by option --extension; see there for details.

              This variable contains options as a preset for man(1).  As not  all  of  these  are
              relevant  for  groffer  only  the  essential parts of its value are extracted.  The
              options specified in this variable overwrite the values of  the  other  environment
              variables  that  are  specific  to man.  All options specified in this variable are
              overridden by the options given on the command line.

              If set, this variable contains the directories in which  the  man  page  trees  are
              stored.  This is overridden by option --manpath.

              If  this  is  a  colon separated list of section names, the search for man pages is
              restricted to those manual sections in that order.  This is  overridden  by  option

              If this is set to a comma separated list of names these are interpreted as man page
              trees for different operating systems.  This variable can be overwritten by  option
              --systems; see there for details.

       The  environment  variable  $MANROFFSEQ  is  ignored  by  groffer  because  the  necessary
       preprocessors are determined automatically.


       The groffer program can be preconfigured by two configuration files.

              System-wide configuration file for groffer.

              User-specific configuration file for groffer, where $HOME denotes the  user's  home
              directory.   This file is called after the system-wide configuration file to enable
              overriding by the user.

       Both files are handled for the configuration, but the configuration  file  in  /etc  comes
       first;  it  is  overwritten  by  the  configuration  file  in  the  home  directory;  both
       configuration files are overwritten by the environment variable  $GROFFER_OPT;  everything
       is overwritten by the command line arguments.

       The configuration files contain options that should be called as default for every groffer
       run.  These options are written in lines such that each contains either a long  option,  a
       short  option,  or a short option cluster; each with or without an argument.  So each line
       with configuration information starts with a minus character  `-';  a  line  with  a  long
       option  starts  with two minus characters `--', a line with a short option or short option
       cluster starts with a single minus `-'.

       The option names in the configuration files may not be abbreviated, they must be exact.

       The argument for a long option can be separated from the option name either  by  an  equal
       sign `=' or by whitespace, i.e. one or several space or tab characters.  An argument for a
       short option or short option cluster can be  directly  appended  to  the  option  name  or
       separated  by  whitespace.   The  end  of  an  argument is the end of the line.  It is not
       allowed to use a shell environment variable in an option name or argument.

       It is not necessary to use quotes in an option or argument, except  for  empty  arguments.
       An  empty  argument  can be provided by appending a pair of quotes to the separating equal
       sign or whitespace; with a short option, the separator can be omitted as well.  For a long
       option  with  a  separating equal sign `=', the pair of quotes can be omitted, thus ending
       the line with the separating  equal  sign.   All  other  quote  characters  are  cancelled

       In the configuration files, arbitrary whitespace is allowed at the beginning of each line,
       it is just ignored.  Each whitespace within a line is replaced by a single space character
       ` ' internally.

       All lines of the configuration lines that do not start with a minus character are ignored,
       such that comments starting with `#' are possible.  So there are no shell commands in  the
       configuration files.

       As  an  example,  consider  the  following  configuration  file that can be used either in
       /etc/groff/groffer.conf or ~/.groff/groffer.conf .

       # groffer configuration file
       # groffer options that are used in each call of groffer
       --viewer=gxditview -geometry 900x1200
       --viewer xpdf -Z 150

       The lines starting with  #  are  just  ignored,  so  they  act  as  command  lines.   This
       configuration  sets  four  groffer  options  (the  lines starting with `-').  This has the
       following effects:

       * Use a text color of DarkBlue in all viewers that support this, such as gxditview.

       * Use a resolution of 100dpi in all viewers that support  this,  such  as  gxditview.   By
         this, the default device in x mode is set to X100.

       * Force  gxditview(1) as the x-mode viewer using the geometry option for setting the width
         to 900px and the height to 1200px.  This  geometry  is  suitable  for  a  resolution  of

       * Use xpdf(1) as the pdf-mode viewer with the argument -Z 150.


       The  usage  of  groffer  is  very  easy.   Usually,  it is just called with a file name or
       man page.  The following  examples,  however,  show  that  groffer  has  much  more  fancy

       sh# groffer /usr/local/share/doc/groff/

       Decompress,  format  and  display  the  compressed  file  in  the directory
       /usr/local/share/doc/groff, using the standard viewer gxditview as graphical  viewer  when
       in X Window, or the less(1) pager program when not in X Window.

       sh# groffer groff

       If  the file ./groff exists use it as input.  Otherwise interpret the argument as a search
       for the man page named groff in the smallest possible man section, being section 1 in this

       sh# groffer man:groff

       search for the man page of groff even when the file ./groff exists.

       sh# groffer groff.7
       sh# groffer 7 groff

       search the man page of groff in man section 7.  This section search works only for a digit
       or a single character from a small set.

       sh# groffer fb.modes

       If the file ./fb.modes does not exist interpret this as a  search  for  the  man  page  of
       fb.modes.  As the extension modes is not a single character in classical section style the
       argument is not split to a search for fb.

       sh# groffer groff ’troff(1)’ man:roff

       The arguments that are not existing files are looked-up as the following man pages:  groff
       (automatic  search,  should be found in man section 1), troff (in section 1), and roff (in
       the section with the lowest number, being 7 in this case).  The quotes  around  troff(1)’
       are  necessary  because the parentheses are special shell characters; escaping them with a
       backslash  character  \(  and  \)  would  be  possible,  too.   The  formatted  files  are
       concatenated and displayed in one piece.

       sh# LANG=de groffer --man --viewer=galeon ls

       Retrieve the German man page (language de) for the ls program, decompress it, format it to
       html format (www mode) and view the result in the web browser galeon.   The  option  --man
       guarantees  that the man page is retrieved, even when a local file ls exists in the actual

       sh# groffer --source 'man:roff(7)'

       Get the man page called roff in man section 7, decompress it, and  print  its  unformatted
       content, its source code.

       sh# groffer --de-p --in --ap

       This is a set of abbreviated arguments, it is determined as

       sh# groffer --debug-params --intermediate-output --apropos

       sh# cat file.gz | groffer -Z -mfoo

       The  file  file.gz  is  sent  to  standard  input,  this is decompressed, and then this is
       transported to the groff intermediate output mode without  post-processing  (groff  option
       -Z), using macro package foo (groff option -m).

       sh# echo '\f[CB]WOW!' |
       > groffer --x --bg red --fg yellow --geometry 200x100 -

       Display the word WOW! in a small window in constant-width bold font, using color yellow on
       red background.


       The groffer program is written in Perl, the Perl version during writing was v5.8.8.

       groffer provides its own parser for command line arguments  that  is  compatible  to  both
       POSIX  getopts(1)  and  GNU  getopt(1).   It  can  handle  option arguments and file names
       containing white space and a large set of  special  characters.   The  following  standard
       types of options are supported.

       * The option consisting of a single minus - refers to standard input.

       * A  single  minus  followed  by  characters  refers  to  a  single  character option or a
         combination thereof; for  example,  the  groffer  short  option  combination  -Qmfoo  is
         equivalent to -Q -m foo.

       * Long  options are options with names longer than one character; they are always preceded
         by a double minus.  An option argument can either go to the next command  line  argument
         or be appended with an equal sign to the argument; for example, --long=arg is equivalent
         to --long arg.

       * An argument  of  --  ends  option  parsing;  all  further  command  line  arguments  are
         interpreted  as  filespec  parameters,  i.e.  file  names  or  constructs  for searching
         man pages).

       * All command line arguments that are neither options nor option arguments are interpreted
         as  filespec  parameters and stored until option parsing has finished.  For example, the
         command line

         sh# groffer file1 -a -o arg file2

         is equivalent to

         sh# groffer -a -o arg -- file1 file2

       The free mixing of options and filespec parameters follows the GNU principle.   That  does
       not  fulfill  the  strange option behavior of POSIX that ends option processing as soon as
       the first non-option argument has been reached.  The  end  of  option  processing  can  be
       forced by the option `--' anyway.


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

       You  can  also use the groff mailing list ⟨⟩, but you must first subscribe to
       this list.  You can do  that  by  visiting  the  groff  mailing  list  web  page  ⟨http://⟩.

       See groff(1) for information on availability.


       groff(1), troff(1)
              Details  on  the  options and environment variables available in groff; all of them
              can be used with groffer.

              This program tries to guess the necessary groff command line options from the input
              and the groffer options.

              Documentation of the groff language.

              Documentation on the groff characters, special characters, and glyphs..

              Documentation on the groff macro files.

              Documentation  on  the groff intermediate output before the run of a postprocessor.
              (ditroff output).  This can be run by the groff or groffer option -Z.

       man(1) The standard program to display man pages.  The information there is only useful if
              it  is  the  man  page  for GNU man.  Then it documents the options and environment
              variables that are supported by groffer.

              Viewers for groffer's x mode.

       gs(1)  Viewers for groffer's ps mode.

       ggv(1) Viewers for groffer's pdf mode.

       kdvi(1), xdvi(1), dvilx(1)
              Viewers for groffer's dvi mode.

              Web-browsers for groffer's html or www mode.

              Standard pager program for the tty mode.

       xz(1)  The decompression programs supported by groffer.


       Copyright © 2001-2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This file is part of groffer, which is part of groff, a free software project.

       You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
       version 2 as published by the Free Software Foundation.

       The       license       text      is      available      in      the      internet      at


       This file was written by Bernd Warken ⟨⟩.