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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, the standard input will be read.  A filename of  -  will  cause
       the standard input to be 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.  The line immediately following the .TS macro may contain any of the  follow-
       ing  global options (ignoring the case of characters -- Unix tbl only accepts options with
       all characters lowercase or all characters uppercase):

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

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

       expand Makes the table as wide as the current line length.

       box    Encloses the table in a box.

       doublebox
	      Encloses the table in a double box.

       allbox Encloses each item of the table in a box.

       frame  Same as box (GNU tbl only).

       doubleframe
	      Same as doublebox (GNU tbl only).

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

       linesize(n)
	      Sets 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 the table by using diversions.  This can sometimes
	      interact	badly  with  macro  packages'  own use of diversions, when footnotes, for
	      example, are used.

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

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

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

       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.  You may run format specs
       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:

       c,C    Centers item within the column.

       r,R    Right-justifies item within the column.

       l,L    Left-justifies item within the column.

       n,N    Numerically  justifies  item  in the column: Units positions of numbers are aligned
	      vertically.

       s,S    Spans previous item on the left into this column.

       a,A    Centers longest line in this column and then left-justifies all other lines in this
	      column with respect to that centered line.

       ^      Spans down entry from previous row in this column.

       _,-    Replaces this entry with a horizontal line.

       =      Replaces 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.

       Here are the specifiers that can appear in suffixes to column key letters:

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

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

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

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

       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.

       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.

       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.

       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    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.

       e,E    Make equally-spaced columns.

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

       z,Z    Ignore the corresponding column for width-calculation purposes.

       A number suffix on a key character is interpreted as a column separation  in  ens  (multi-
       plied in proportion if the expand option is on).  Default separation is 3n.

       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).

       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.

       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).   By default, the text block is formatted with the settings which
       were active before entering the table, possibly overridden by the 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).

       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.

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

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.

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 will 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 1.19.2			 February 6, 2006				   TBL(1)
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