GROFF_MAN(7) Miscellaneous Information Manual GROFF_MAN(7)
groff_man - groff `man' macros to support generation of man pages
groff -man [ options... ] [ files... ]
groff -m man [ options... ] [ files... ]
The man macros used to generate man pages with groff were written by James Clark. This document provides a brief summary of the use of
each macro in that package.
The man macros understand the following command line options (which define various registers).
-rcR=1 This option (the default if in nroff mode) will create a single, very long page instead of multiple pages. Say -rcR=0 to disable
-rC1 If more than one manual page is given on the command line, number the pages continuously, rather than starting each at 1.
-rD1 Double-sided printing. Footers for even and odd pages are formatted differently.
Set distance of the footer relative to the bottom of the page if negative or relative to the top if positive. The default is -0.5i.
Set hyphenation flags. Possible values are 1 to hyphenate without restrictions, 2 to not hyphenate the last word on a page, 4 to
not hyphenate the last two characters of a word, and 8 to not hyphenate the first two characters of a word. These values are addi-
tive; the default is 14.
Set body text indentation to width. The default is 7n for nroff, 7.2n for troff. For nroff, this value should always be an integer
multiple of unit `n' to get consistent indentation.
Set line length. If this option is not given, the line length is set to respect any value set by a prior `.ll' request, (which must
be in effect when the `.TH' macro is invoked), if this differs from the built-in default for the formatter; otherwise it defaults to
78n in nroff mode and 6.5i in troff mode.
Note that the use of a `.ll' request to initialize the line length is supported for backward compatibility with some versions of the
man program; direct initialization of the `LL' register should always be preferred to the use of such a request. In particular,
note that a `.ll 65n' request will not preserve the normal nroff default line length, (the man default initialization to 78n will
prevail), whereas, the `-rLL=65n' option, or an equivalent `.nr LL 65n' request preceding the use of the `TH' macro, will set a line
length of 65n.
Set title length. If this option is not given, the title length defaults to the line length.
-rPnnn Enumeration of pages will start with nnn rather than with 1.
-rSxx Base document font size is xx points (xx can be 10, 11, or 12) rather than 10 points.
Set sub-subheading indentation to width. The default is 3n.
-rXnnn After page nnn, number pages as nnna, nnnb, nnnc, etc. For example, the option `-rX2' will produce the following page numbers: 1,
2, 2a, 2b, 2c, etc.
This section describes the available macros for manual pages. For further customization, put additional macros and requests into the file
man.local which will be loaded immediately after the man package.
.TH title section [extra1] [extra2] [extra3]
Set the title of the n page to title and the section to section, which must take on a value between 1 and 8. The value section may
also have a string appended, e.g. `.pm', to indicate a specific subsection of the man pages. Both title and section are positioned
at the left and right in the header line (with section in parentheses immediately appended to title. extra1 will be positioned in
the middle of the footer line. extra2 will be positioned at the left in the footer line (or at the left on even pages and at the
right on odd pages if double-sided printing is active). extra3 is centered in the header line.
For HTML output, headers and footers are completely supressed.
Additionally, this macro starts a new page; the new line number is 1 again (except if the `-rC1' option is given on the command
line) -- this feature is intended only for formatting multiple man pages; a single man page should contain exactly one TH macro at
the beginning of the file.
.SH [text for a heading]
Set up an unnumbered section heading sticking out to the left. Prints out all the text following SH up to the end of the line (or
the text in the next input line if there is no argument to SH) in bold face (or the font specified by the string HF), one size
larger than the base document size. Additionally, the left margin and the indentation for the following text is reset to the
.SS [text for a heading]
Set up a secondary, unnumbered section heading. Prints out all the text following SS up to the end of the line (or the text in the
next input line if there is no argument to SS) in bold face (or the font specified by the string HF), at the same size as the base
document size. Additionally, the left margin and the indentation for the following text is reset to the default values.
Set up an indented paragraph with label. The indentation is set to nnn if that argument is supplied (the default unit is `n' if
omitted), otherwise it is set to the previous indentation value specified with TP, IP, or HP (or to the default value if none of
them have been used yet).
The first input line of text following this macro is interpreted as a string to be printed flush-left, as it is appropriate for a
label. It is not interpreted as part of a paragraph, so there is no attempt to fill the first line with text from the following
input lines. Nevertheless, if the label is not as wide as the indentation the paragraph starts at the same line (but indented),
continuing on the following lines. If the label is wider than the indentation the descriptive part of the paragraph begins on the
line following the label, entirely indented. Note that neither font shape nor font size of the label is set to a default value; on
the other hand, the rest of the text will have default font settings.
The TP macro is the macro used for the explanations you are just reading.
.P These macros are mutual aliases. Any of them causes a line break at the current position, followed by a vertical space downwards by
the amount specified by the PD macro. The font size and shape are reset to the default value (10pt resp. Roman). Finally, the cur-
rent left margin and the indentation are restored.
.IP [designator] [nnn]
Set up an indented paragraph, using designator as a tag to mark its beginning. The indentation is set to nnn if that argument is
supplied (the default unit is `n' if omitted), otherwise it is set to the previous indentation value specified with TP, IP, or HP
(or to the default value if none of them have been used yet). Font size and face of the paragraph (but not the designator) are
reset to its default values.
To start an indented paragraph with a particular indentation but without a designator, use `""' (two doublequotes) as the second
For example, the following paragraphs were all set up with bullets as the designator, using `.IP (bu 4'. The whole block has been
enclosed with `.RS' and `.RE' to set the left margin temporarily to the current indentation value.
o IP is one of the three macros used in the man package to format lists.
o HP is another. This macro produces a paragraph with a left hanging indentation.
o TP is another. This macro produces an unindented label followed by an indented paragraph.
Set up a paragraph with hanging left indentation. The indentation is set to nnn if that argument is supplied (the default unit is
`n' if omitted), otherwise it is set to the previous indentation value specified with TP, IP, or HP (or to the default value if none
of them have been used yet). Font size and face are reset to its default values. The following paragraph illustrates the effect of
this macro with hanging indentation set to 4 (enclosed by .RS and .RE to set the left margin temporarily to the current indenta-
This is a paragraph following an invocation of the HP macro. As you can see, it produces a paragraph where all lines but the first
This macro moves the left margin to the right by the value nnn if specified (default unit is `n'); otherwise it is set to the previ-
ous indentation value specified with TP, IP, or HP (or to the default value if none of them have been used yet). The indentation
value is then set to the default.
Calls to the RS macro can be nested.
This macro moves the left margin back to level nnn, restoring the previous left margin. If no argument is given, it moves one level
back. The first level (i.e., no call to RS yet) has number 1, and each call to RS increases the level by 1.
To summarize, the following macros cause a line break with the insertion of vertical space (which amount can be changed with the PD macro):
SH, SS, TP, LP (PP, P), IP, and HP. The macros RS and RE also cause a break but no insertion of vertical space.
MACROS TO SET FONTS
The standard font is Roman; the default text size is 10 point.
Causes the text on the same line or the text on the next input line to appear in a font that is one point size smaller than the
Causes the text on the same line or the text on the next input line to appear in boldface font, one point size smaller than the
Causes text on the same line to appear alternately in bold face and italic. The text must be on the same line as the macro call.
.BI this "word and" that
would cause `this' and `that' to appear in bold face, while `word and' appears in italics.
Causes text to appear alternately in italic and bold face. The text must be on the same line as the macro call.
Causes text on the same line to appear alternately in roman and italic. The text must be on the same line as the macro call.
Causes text on the same line to appear alternately in italic and roman. The text must be on the same line as the macro call.
Causes text on the same line to appear alternately in bold face and roman. The text must be on the same line as the macro call.
Causes text on the same line to appear alternately in roman and bold face. The text must be on the same line as the macro call.
Causes text to appear in bold face. If no text is present on the line where the macro is called the text of the next input line
appears in bold face.
Causes text to appear in italic. If no text is present on the line where the macro is called the text of the next input line
appears in italic.
The default indentation is 7.2n in troff mode and 7n in nroff mode except for grohtml which ignores indentation.
.DT Set tabs every 0.5 inches. Since this macro is always called during a TH request, it makes sense to call it only if the tab posi-
tions have been changed.
Adjust the empty space before a new paragraph or section. The optional argument gives the amount of space (default unit is `v');
without parameter, the value is reset to its default value (1 line in nroff mode, 0.4v otherwise). This affects the macros SH, SS,
TP, LP (resp. PP and P), IP, and HP.
.AT [system [release]]
Alter the footer for use with AT&T man pages. This command exists only for compatibility; don't use it. See the groff info manual
Alter the footer for use with BSD man pages. This command exists only for compatibility; don't use it. See the groff info manual
.PT Print the header string. Redefine this macro to get control of the header.
.BT Print the footer string. Redefine this macro to get control of the footer.
The following strings are defined:
*S Switch back to the default font size.
*R The `registered' sign.
*(Tm The `trademark' sign.
*(rq Left and right quote. This is equal to `(lq' and `(rq', respectively.
*(HF The typeface used to print headings and subheadings. The default is `B'.
If a preprocessor like tbl or eqn is needed, it has become usage to make the first line of the man page look like this:
Note the single space character after the double quote. word consists of letters for the needed preprocessors: `e' for eqn, `r' for refer,
and `t' for tbl. Modern implementations of the man program read this first line and automatically call the right preprocessor(s).
These are wrapper files to call andoc.tmac.
This file checks whether the man macros or the mdoc package should be used.
All man macros are contained in this file.
Local changes and customizations should be put into this file.
Since the man macros consist of groups of groff requests, one can, in principle, supplement the functionality of the man macros with indi-
vidual groff requests where necessary. See the groff info pages for a complete reference of all requests.
tbl(1), eqn(1), refer(1), man(1), man(7),
This manual page was originally written for the Debian GNU/Linux system by Susan G. Kleinmann <email@example.com>, corrected and updated by
Werner Lemberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>, and is now part of the GNU troff distribution.
Groff Version 1.19.2 23 March 2013 GROFF_MAN(7)