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TBL(1)											   TBL(1)

NAME
       tbl - format tables for troff

SYNOPSIS
       tbl [-Cv] [files ...]

DESCRIPTION
       This  manual  page  describes  the GNU version of tbl, which is part of the groff document
       formatting system.  tbl compiles descriptions of tables embedded within troff input  files
       into  commands  that are understood by troff.  Normally, it should be invoked using the -t
       option of groff.  It is highly compatible with Unix tbl.  The output generated by GNU  tbl
       cannot be processed with Unix troff; it must be processed with GNU troff.  If no files are
       given on the command line or a filename of - is given, the standard input is read.

OPTIONS
       -C     Enable compatibility mode to recognize .TS and .TE even when followed by a  charac-
	      ter  other  than	space  or  newline.  Leader characters (\a) are handled as inter-
	      preted.

       -v     Print the version number.

USAGE
       tbl expects to find table descriptions wrapped in the .TS (table  start)  and  .TE  (table
       end) macros.

   Global options
       The  line  immediately  following  the  .TS  macro may contain any of the following global
       options (ignoring the case of characters - Unix tbl only accepts options with all  charac-
       ters lowercase or all characters uppercase), separated by spaces, tabs, or commas:

       allbox Enclose each item of the table in a box.

       box    Enclose the table in a box.

       center Center  the table (default is left-justified).  The alternative keyword name centre
	      is also recognized (this is a GNU tbl extension).

       decimalpoint(c)
	      Set the character to be recognized as the decimal point in numeric columns (GNU tbl
	      only).

       delim(xy)
	      Use x and y as start and end delimiters for eqn(1).

       doublebox
	      Enclose the table in a double box.

       doubleframe
	      Same as doublebox (GNU tbl only).

       expand Make  the  table	as wide as the current line length (providing a column separation
	      factor).	Ignored if one or more `x' column specifiers are used (see below).

	      In case the sum of the column widths is larger than the current  line  length,  the
	      column  separation factor is set to zero; such tables extend into the right margin,
	      and there is no column separation at all.

       frame  Same as box (GNU tbl only).

       linesize(n)
	      Set lines or rules (e.g. from box) in n-point type.

       nokeep Don't use diversions to prevent page breaks (GNU tbl only).  Normally tbl  attempts
	      to  prevent undesirable breaks in boxed tables by using diversions.  This can some-
	      times interact badly with macro packages' own use of  diversions,  when  footnotes,
	      for example, are used.

       nospaces
	      Ignore leading and trailing spaces in data items (GNU tbl only).

       nowarn Turn  off  warnings  related  to	tables	exceeding the current line width (GNU tbl
	      only).

       tab(x) Use the character x instead of a tab to separate items in a line of input data.

       The global options must end with a semicolon.  There might be whitespace between an option
       and its argument in parentheses.

   Table format specification
       After  global  options  come  lines describing the format of each line of the table.  Each
       such format line describes one line of the table itself, except that the last format  line
       (which  you must end with a period) describes all remaining lines of the table.	A single-
       key character describes each column of each line of the table.  Key characters can be sep-
       arated  by  spaces or tabs.  You may run format specifications for multiple lines together
       on the same line by separating them with commas.

       You may follow each key character with specifiers that determine the font and  point  size
       of the corresponding item, that determine column width, inter-column spacing, etc.

       The  longest  format  line  defines  the  number  of  columns in the table; missing format
       descriptors at the end of format lines are assumed to be L.  Extra  columns  in	the  data
       (which have no corresponding format entry) are ignored.

       The available key characters are:

       a,A    Center  longest line in this column and then left-justifies all other lines in this
	      column with respect to that centered line.  The idea is to use such alphabetic sub-
	      columns  (hence  the  name  of  the  key character) in combination with L; they are
	      called subcolumns because A items are indented by 1n relative to L entries.   Exam-
	      ple:

		     .TS
		     tab(;);
		     ln,an.
		     item one;1
		     subitem two;2
		     subitem three;3
		     .T&
		     ln,an.
		     item eleven;11
		     subitem twentytwo;22
		     subitem thirtythree;33
		     .TE

	      Result:

		     item one		      1
		      subitem two	      2
		      subitem three	      3
		     item eleven	     11
		      subitem twentytwo      22
		      subitem thirtythree    33

       c,C    Center item within the column.

       l,L    Left-justify item within the column.

       n,N    Numerically justify item in the column: Units positions of numbers are aligned ver-
	      tically.	If there is one or more dots adjacent to a digit, use the  rightmost  one
	      for  vertical  alignment.  If there is no dot, use the rightmost digit for vertical
	      alignment; otherwise, center the item within the column.	Alignment can  be  forced
	      to a certain position using `\&'; if there is one or more instances of this special
	      (non-printing) character present within the data, use the leftmost one  for  align-
	      ment.  Example:

		     .TS
		     n.
		     1
		     1.5
		     1.5.3
		     abcde
		     a\&bcde
		     .TE

	      Result:

		       1
		       1.5
		     1.5.3
		      abcde
		       abcde

	      If  numerical entries are combined with L or R entries - this can happen if the ta-
	      ble format is changed with .T& -, center the widest number  (of  the  data  entered
	      under  the  N specifier regime) relative to the widest L or R entry, preserving the
	      alignment of all numerical entries.  Contrary to A type entries, there is no  extra
	      indentation.

	      Using equations (to be processed with eqn) within columns which use the N specifier
	      is problematic in most cases due to tbl's algorithm for finding the vertical align-
	      ment,  as  described above.  Using the global delim option, however, it is possible
	      to make tbl ignore the data within eqn delimiters for that purpose.

       r,R    Right-justify item within the column.

       s,S    Span previous item on the left into this column.	Not allowed for the first column.

       ^      Span down entry from previous row in this column.  Not allowed for the first row.

       _,-    Replace this entry with a horizontal line.

       =      Replace this entry with a double horizontal line.

       |      The corresponding column becomes a vertical rule (if two of these are  adjacent,	a
	      double vertical rule).

       A  vertical  bar  to the left of the first key letter or to the right of the last one pro-
       duces a line at the edge of the table.

       To change the data format within a table, use the .T& command (at the start  of	a  line).
       It  is  followed  by  format  and  data	lines  (but no global options) similar to the .TS
       request.

   Column specifiers
       Here are the specifiers that can appear in suffixes to column key letters (in any order):

       b,B    Short form of fB (make affected entries bold).

       d,D    Start an item vertically spanning rows at the bottom of its range rather than  ver-
	      tically centering it (GNU tbl only).

       e,E    Make  equally-spaced  columns.  All columns marked with this specifier get the same
	      width; this happens after the affected column widths have been computed (this means
	      that the largest width value rules).

       f,F    Either  of these specifiers may be followed by a font name (either one or two char-
	      acters long), font number (a single digit), or long name in parentheses  (the  last
	      form  is	a GNU tbl extension).  A one-letter font name must be separated by one or
	      more blanks from whatever follows.

       i,I    Short form of fI (make affected entries italic).

       m,M    This is a GNU tbl extension.  Either of these specifiers may be followed by a macro
	      name  (either one or two characters long), or long name in parentheses.  A one-let-
	      ter macro name must be separated by one or more blanks from whatever follows.   The
	      macro  which  name can be specified here must be defined before creating the table.
	      It is called just before the table's cell text  is  output.   As	implemented  cur-
	      rently,  this  macro  is	only called if block input is used, that is, text between
	      `T{' and `T}'.  The macro should contain only simple troff requests to  change  the
	      text block formatting, like text adjustment, hyphenation, size, or font.	The macro
	      is called after other cell modifications like b, f or v are output.  Thus the macro
	      can overwrite other modification specifiers.

       p,P    Followed	by  a  number, this does a point size change for the affected fields.  If
	      signed, the current point size is incremented or decremented (using a signed number
	      instead of a signed digit is a GNU tbl extension).  A point size specifier followed
	      by a column separation number must be separated by one or more blanks.

       t,T    Start an item vertically spanning rows at the top of its range rather  than  verti-
	      cally centering it.

       u,U    Move the corresponding column up one half-line.

       v,V    Followed	by  a  number,	this  indicates the vertical line spacing to be used in a
	      multi-line table entry.  If signed, the current vertical	line  spacing  is  incre-
	      mented or decremented (using a signed number instead of a signed digit is a GNU tbl
	      extension).  A vertical line spacing specifier followed by a column separation num-
	      ber  must be separated by one or more blanks.  No effect if the corresponding table
	      entry isn't a text block.

       w,W    Minimal column width value.  Must be followed either by a troff(1) width expression
	      in  parentheses  or  a  unitless	integer.  If no unit is given, en units are used.
	      Also used as the default line length for included text blocks.   If  used  multiple
	      times to specify the width for a particular column, the last entry takes effect.

       x,X    An  expanded column.  After computing all column widths without an x specifier, use
	      the remaining line width for this column.  If there is more than one expanded  col-
	      umn,  distribute	the  remaining horizontal space evenly among the affected columns
	      (this is a GNU extension).  This feature has the same effect as specifying a  mini-
	      mum column width.

       z,Z    Ignore  the corresponding column for width-calculation purposes, this is, don't use
	      the fields but only the specifiers of this column to compute its width.

       A number suffix on a key character is interpreted as a column separation in en units (mul-
       tiplied	in  proportion if the expand option is on - in case of overfull tables this might
       be zero).  Default separation is 3n.

       The column specifier x is mutually exclusive with e and w (but e is not mutually exclusive
       with w); if specified multiple times for a particular column, the last entry takes effect:
       x unsets both e and w, while either e or w overrides x.

   Table data
       The format lines are followed by lines containing the actual data for the table,  followed
       finally	by  .TE.   Within such data lines, items are normally separated by tab characters
       (or the character specified with the tab option).  Long input lines can be  broken  across
       multiple  lines	if the last character on the line is `\' (which vanishes after concatena-
       tion).

       Note that tbl computes the column widths line by line, applying \w  on  each  entry  which
       isn't a text block.  As a consequence, constructions like

	      .TS
	      c,l.
	      \s[20]MM
	      MMMM
	      .TE

       fail; you must either say

	      .TS
	      cp20,lp20.
	      MM
	      MMMM
	      .TE

       or

	      .TS
	      c,l.
	      \s[20]MM
	      \s[20]MMMM
	      .TE

       A  dot  starting  a  line, followed by anything but a digit is handled as a troff command,
       passed through without changes.	The table position is unchanged in this case.

       If a data line consists of only `_' or `=', a single  or  double  line,	respectively,  is
       drawn across the table at that point; if a single item in a data line consists of only `_'
       or `=', then that item is replaced by a single or double line, joining its neighbours.  If
       a data item consists only of `\_' or `\=', a single or double line, respectively, is drawn
       across the field at that point which does not join its neighbours.

       A data item consisting only of `\Rx' (`x' any character) is  replaced  by  repetitions  of
       character `x' as wide as the column (not joining its neighbours).

       A data item consisting only of `\^' indicates that the field immediately above spans down-
       ward over this row.

   Text blocks
       A text block can be used to enter data as a single entry which would be too long as a sim-
       ple  string  between tabs.  It is started with `T{' and closed with `T}'.  The former must
       end a line, and the latter must start a line, probably  followed  by  other  data  columns
       (separated with tabs or the character given with the tab global option).

       By  default, the text block is formatted with the settings which were active before enter-
       ing the table, possibly overridden by the m, v, and w tbl  specifiers.	For  example,  to
       make all text blocks ragged-right, insert .na right before the starting .TS (and .ad after
       the table).

       If either `w' or `x' specifiers are not given for all columns of a text	block  span,  the
       default	length of the text block (to be more precise, the line length used to process the
       text block diversion) is computed as LxC/(N+1), where `L' is the current line length,  `C'
       the  number  of	columns spanned by the text block, and `N' the total number of columns in
       the table.  Note, however, that the actual diversion width as returned in register  \n[dl]
       is  used  eventually as the text block width.  If necessary, you can also control the text
       block width with a direct insertion of a .ll request right after `T{'.

   Miscellaneous
       The number register \n[TW] holds the table width; it can't be used within the table itself
       but is defined right before calling .TE so that this macro can make use of it.

       tbl  also  defines  a macro .T# which produces the bottom and side lines of a boxed table.
       While tbl does call this macro itself at the end of the table, it can  be  used	by  macro
       packages  to  create boxes for multi-page tables by calling it within the page footer.  An
       example of this is shown by the -ms macros which provide this  functionality  if  a  table
       starts with .TS H instead of the standard call to the .TS macro.

INTERACTION WITH EQN
       tbl(1)  should  always  be  called before eqn(1) (groff(1) automatically takes care of the
       correct order of preprocessors).

       It is not advisable to use the hash character (#) as a delimiter for in-line equations  in
       eqn(1) since tbl uses a macro called .T#, causing a clash.

GNU TBL ENHANCEMENTS
       There is no limit on the number of columns in a table, nor any limit on the number of text
       blocks.	All the lines of a table are considered in deciding column widths, not	just  the
       first 200.  Table continuation (.T&) lines are not restricted to the first 200 lines.

       Numeric and alphabetic items may appear in the same column.

       Numeric and alphabetic items may span horizontally.

       tbl  uses  register,  string,  macro and diversion names beginning with the digit 3.  When
       using tbl you should avoid using any names beginning with a 3.

GNU TBL WITHIN MACROS
       Since tbl defines its own macros (right before each table) it is necessary to use an `end-
       of-macro'  macro.   Additionally,  the  escape  character has to be switched off.  Here an
       example.

	      .eo
	      .de ATABLE ..
	      .TS
	      allbox tab(;);
	      cl.
	      \$1;\$2
	      .TE
	      ...
	      .ec
	      .ATABLE A table
	      .ATABLE Another table
	      .ATABLE And "another one"

       Note, however, that not all features of tbl can be wrapped into a macro because	tbl  sees
       the input earlier than troff.  For example, number formatting with vertically aligned dec-
       imal points fails if those numbers are passed on as macro parameters because decimal point
       alignment  is  handled by tbl itself: It only sees `\$1', `\$2', etc., and therefore can't
       recognize the decimal point.

BUGS
       You should use .TS H/.TH in conjunction with a supporting macro package for all multi-page
       boxed  tables.	If  there is no header that you wish to appear at the top of each page of
       the table, place the .TH line immediately after the format  section.   Do  not  enclose	a
       multi-page table within keep/release macros, or divert it in any other way.

       A text block within a table must be able to fit on one page.

       The  bp	request  cannot  be  used  to force a page-break in a multi-page table.  Instead,
       define BP as follows

	      .de BP
	      .  ie '\\n(.z'' .bp \\$1
	      .  el \!.BP \\$1
	      ..

       and use BP instead of bp.

       Using \a directly in a table to get leaders does not work (except in compatibility  mode).
       This  is  correct  behaviour:  \a  is  an uninterpreted leader.	To get leaders use a real
       leader, either by using a control A or like this:

	      .ds a \a
	      .TS
	      tab(;);
	      lw(1i) l.
	      A\*a;B
	      .TE

REFERENCE
       Lesk, M.E.: "TBL - A Program to Format  Tables".   For  copyright  reasons  it  cannot  be
       included  in  the  groff  distribution, but copies can be found with a title search on the
       World Wide Web.

SEE ALSO
       groff(1), troff(1)

Groff Version 1.21			 31 December 2010				   TBL(1)
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