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NetBSD 6.1.5 - man page for tmac (netbsd section 5)

GROFF_TMAC(5)									    GROFF_TMAC(5)

       groff_tmac - macro files in the roff typesetting system

       The  roff(7)  type-setting  system  provides  a set of macro packages suitable for special
       kinds of documents.  Each macro package stores its macros and definitions in a file called
       the package's tmac file.  The name is deduced from `TroffMACros'.

       The  tmac  files  are  normal roff source documents, except that they usually contain only
       definitions and setup commands, but no text.  All tmac files are kept in  a  single  or	a
       small number of directories, the tmac directories.

       groff  provides	all classical macro packages, some more full packages, and some secondary
       packages for special purposes.  Note that it is not possible to use multiple primary macro
       packages at the same time; saying e.g.

	      sh# groff -m man -m ms foo


	      sh# groff -m man foo -m ms bar

       will fail.

   Man Pages
       man    This  is the classical macro package for UNIX manual pages (man pages); it is quite
	      handy and easy to use; see groff_man(7).

       mdoc   An alternative macro package for man pages mainly used in BSD systems; it  provides
	      many new features, but it is not the standard for man pages; see groff_mdoc(7).

   Full Packages
       The packages in this section provide a complete set of macros for writing documents of any
       kind, up to whole books.  They are similar in functionality; it is a matter of taste which
       one to use.

       me     The classical me macro package; see groff_me(7).

       mm     The semi-classical mm macro package; see groff_mm(7).

       mom    The  new mom macro package, only available in groff.  As this is not based on other
	      packages, it can be freely designed.  So it is expected to  become  quite  a  nice,
	      modern macro package.  See groff_mom(7).

       ms     The classical ms macro package; see groff_ms(7).

   Special Packages
       The macro packages in this section are not intended for stand-alone usage, but can be used
       to add special functionality to any other macro package or to plain groff.

	      This macro file is already loaded at start-up by troff so  it  isn't  necessary  to
	      call  it explicitly.  It provides an interface to set the paper size on the command
	      line with the option -dpaper=size.  Possible values for size are the  same  as  the
	      predefined papersize values in the DESC file (only lowercase; see groff_font(5) for
	      more) except a7-d7.  An appended l (ell) character denotes  landscape  orientation.
	      Examples: a4, c3l, letterl.

	      Most output drivers need additional command line switches -p and -l to override the
	      default paper length and orientation as set in the driver specific DESC file.   For
	      example, use the following for PS output on A4 paper in landscape orientation:

	      sh# groff -Tps -dpaper=a4l -P-pa4 -P-l -ms foo.ms > foo.ps

       pic    This  file  provides  proper  definitions  for the macros PS and PE, needed for the
	      pic(1) preprocessor.  They will center each picture.  Use it  only  if  your  macro
	      package  doesn't provide proper definitions for those two macros (actually, most of
	      them already have).

       pspic  A single macro is provided in this file, PSPIC, to include a PostScript graphic  in
	      a  document.   It makes only sense for output devices which support inclusion of PS
	      images: -Tps, -Tdvi, and -Thtml; the file is then loaded automatically.  Syntax:

		     .PSPIC [-L|-R|-I n] file [width [height]]

	      file is the name of the file containing the illustration; width and height give the
	      desired  width  and height of the graphic.  The width and height arguments may have
	      scaling indicators attached; the default scaling indicator is i.	This  macro  will
	      scale  the  graphic  uniformly in the x and y directions so that it is no more than
	      width wide and height high.  By default, the graphic will be horizontally centered.
	      The  -L  and -R options cause the graphic to be left-aligned and right-aligned, re-
	      spectively.  The -I option causes the graphic to be indented by n (default  scaling
	      indicator is m).

       trace  Use  this  for  tracing  macro  calls.   It  is  only  useful  for  debugging.  See

	      Overrides the definition of standard troff characters and some groff characters for
	      tty  devices.  The optical appearance is intentionally inferior compared to that of
	      normal tty formatting to allow processing with critical equipment.

       www    Additions of elements known from the html format, as being  used	in  the  internet
	      (World   Wide  Web)  pages;  this  includes  URL	links  and  mail  addresses;  see

       In classical roff systems, there was a funny naming scheme for macro packages,  due  to	a
       simplistic  design  in  option parsing.	Macro packages were always included by option -m;
       when this option was directly followed by its argument without an intervening space,  this
       looked  like a long option preceded by a single minus -- a sensation in the computer stone
       age.  To make this optically working for macro package names, all classical macro packages
       choose  a  name	that  started with the letter `m', which was omitted in the naming of the
       macro file.

       For example, the macro package for the man pages was called  man,  while  its  macro  file
       tmac.an.  So it could be activated by the argument an to option -m, or -man for short.

       For similar reasons, macro packages that did not start with an `m' had a leading `m' added
       in the documentation and in talking; for example, the package  corresponding  to  tmac.doc
       was  called  mdoc  in the documentation, although a more suitable name would be doc.  For,
       when omitting the space between the option and its argument, the command line  option  for
       activating this package reads -mdoc.

       To  cope  with  all  situations,  actual  versions of groff(1) are smart about both naming
       schemes by providing two macro files for the inflicted macro packages; one with a  leading
       `m',  the other one without it.	So in groff, the man macro package may be specified as on
       of the following four methods:

	      sh# groff -m man
	      sh# groff -man
	      sh# groff -mman
	      sh# groff -m an

       Recent packages that do not start with `m' do not use an additional `m' in the  documenta-
       tion.  For example, the www macro package may be specified only as one of the two methods:

	      sh# groff -m www
	      sh# groff -mwww

       Obviously, variants like -mmwww would not make much sense.

       A  second  strange  feature  of	classical  troff  was  to  name  macro files according to
       tmac.name.  In modern operating systems, the type of a file is specified as  postfix,  the
       file  name  extension.	Again,	groff  copes  with  this situation by searching both any-
       thing.tmac and tmac.anything if only anything is specified.

       The easiest way to find out which macro packages are available on a system is to check the
       man page groff(1), or the contents of the tmac directories.

       In  groff,  most  macro	packages  are described in man pages called groff_name(7), with a
       leading `m' for the classical packages.

       There are several ways to use a macro package in a document.   The  classical  way  is  to
       specify	the  troff/groff option -m name at run-time; this makes the contents of the macro
       package name available.	In groff, the file name.tmac is searched within the tmac path; if
       not found, tmac.name will be searched for instead.

       Alternatively, it is also possible to include a macro file by adding the request .so file-
       name into the document; the argument must be the full file name of an existing file,  pos-
       sibly with the directory where it is kept.  In groff, this was improved by the similar re-
       quest .mso package, which added searching in the tmac path, just like option -m does.

       Note that in order to resolve the .so and .mso requests, the roff  preprocessor	soelim(1)
       must  be  called  if the files to be included need preprocessing.  This can be done either
       directly by a pipeline on the command line or by using the  troff/groff	option	-s.   man
       calls soelim automatically.

       For  example, suppose a macro file is stored as /usr/share/tmac/macros.tmac and is used in
       some document called docu.roff.

       At run-time, the formatter call for this is

	      sh# groff -m macrofile document.roff

       To include the macro file directly in the document either

	      .mso macrofile.tmac

       is used or

	      .so /usr/share/tmac/macros.tmac

       In both cases, the formatter is called with

	      sh# groff -s docu.roff

       If you want to write your own groff macro file, call it whatever.tmac and put it  in  some
       directory  of  the  tmac  path, see section FILES.  Then documents can include it with the
       .mso request or the option -m.

       A roff(7) document is a text file that is enriched by  predefined  formatting  constructs,
       such  as  requests,  escape sequences, strings, numeric registers, and macros from a macro
       package.  These elements are described in roff(7).

       To give a document a personal style, it is most useful to extend the existing elements  by
       defining some macros for repeating tasks; the best place for this is near the beginning of
       the document or in a separate file.

       Macros without arguments are just like strings.	But the full power of macros reveals when
       arguments  are  passed  with a macro call.  Within the macro definition, the arguments are
       available as the escape sequences $1, ..., $9, $[...], $*, and $@, the  name  under  which
       the macro was called is in $0, and the number of arguments is in register 0; see groff(7).

   Copy-in Mode
       The  phase when groff reads a macro is called copy-in mode in roff-talk.  This is compara-
       ble to the C preprocessing phase during the development of a program written in the C lan-

       In  this  phase, groff interprets all backslashes; that means that all escape sequences in
       the macro body are interpreted and replaced by their value.  For constant expression, this
       is  wanted, but strings and registers that might change between calls of the macro must be
       protected from being evaluated.	This is most easily done by doubling the  backslash  that
       introduces the escape sequence.	This doubling is most important for the positional param-
       eters.  For example, to print information on the arguments that were passed to  the  macro
       to the terminal, define a macro named `.print_args', say.

	      .ds midpart was called with
	      .de print_args
	      .  tm \f[I]\\$0\f[] \\*[midpart] \\n[.$] arguments:
	      .  tm \\$*

       When calling this macro by

	      .print_args arg1 arg2

       the following text is printed to the terminal:

	      print_args was called with the following 2 arguments:
	      arg1 arg2

       Let's  analyze  each  backslash in the macro definition.  As the positional parameters and
       the number of arguments will change with each call of the macro	their  leading	backslash
       must be doubled, which results in \\$* and \\[.$].  The same applies to the macro name be-
       cause it could be called with an alias name, so \\$0.

       On the other hand, midpart is a constant string, it will not change, so	no  doubling  for
       \*[midpart].   The  \f escape sequences are predefined groff elements for setting the font
       within the text.  Of course, this behavior will not change, so no doubling with \f[I]  and

   Draft Mode
       Writing	groff  macros  is  easy  when the escaping mechanism is temporarily disabled.  In
       groff, this is done by enclosing the macro definition(s) into a pair of .eo  and  .ec  re-
       quests.	 Then the body in the macro definition is just like a normal part of the document
       -- text enhanced by calls of requests, macros, strings, registers, etc.	For example,  the
       code above can be written in a simpler way by

	      .ds midpart was called with
	      .de print_args
	      .  tm \f[I]\$0\f[] \*[midpart] \n[.$] arguments:
	      .  tm \$*

       Unfortunately,  draft  mode  cannot  be	used universally.  Although it is good enough for
       defining normal macros, draft mode will fail with advanced applications, such as indirect-
       ly  defined  strings,  registers, etc.  An optimal way is to define and test all macros in
       draft mode and then do the backslash doubling as a final step; do not forget to remove the
       .eo request.

   Tips for Macro Definitions
       o Start	every  line  with  a  dot,  for example, by using the groff request .nop for text
	 lines, or write your own macro that handles also text lines with a leading dot.

	 .de Text
	 .  if (\\n[.$] == 0) \
	 .    return
	 . nop \)\\$*[rs]

       o Write a comment macro that works both for copy-in and draft mode; for as escaping is off
	 in draft mode, trouble might occur when normal comments are used.  For example, the fol-
	 lowing macro just ignores its arguments, so it acts like a comment line:

	 .de c
	 .c This is like a comment line.

       o In long macro definitions, make ample use of comment lines or empty lines for	a  better

       o To  increase  readability, use groff's indentation facility for requests and macro calls
	 (arbitrary whitespace after the leading dot).

       Diversions can be used to realize quite advanced programming constructs.  They are  compa-
       rable  to pointers to large data structures in the C programming language, but their usage
       is quite different.

       In their simplest form, diversions are multi-line strings, but they get their  power  when
       diversions  are used dynamically within macros.	The information stored in a diversion can
       be retrieved by calling the diversion just like a macro.

       Most of the problems arising with diversions can be avoided if you are conscious about the
       fact  that  diversions  always  deal with complete lines.  If diversions are used when the
       line buffer has not been flashed, strange results are produced;	not  knowing  this,  many
       people  get  desperate  about  diversions.   To ensure that a diversion works, line breaks
       should be added at the right places.  To be on the secure side,	enclose  everything  that
       has  to do with diversions into a pair of line breaks; for example, by amply using .br re-
       quests.	This rule should be applied to diversion definition, both inside and outside, and
       to all calls of diversions.  This is a bit of overkill, but it works nicely.

       [If  you really need diversions which should ignore the current partial line, use environ-
       ments to save the current partial line and/or use the .box request.]

       The most powerful feature using diversions is to start a diversion within a macro  defini-
       tion  and  end  it  within another macro.  Then everything between each call of this macro
       pair is stored within the diversion and can be manipulated from within the macros.

       All macro names must be named name.tmac to fully use the  tmac  mechanism.   tmac.name  as
       with classical packages is possible as well, but deprecated.

       The  macro files are kept in the tmac directories; a colon separated list of these consti-
       tutes the tmac path.

       The search sequence for macro files is (in that order):

       o the directories specified with troff/groff's -M command line option

       o the directories given in the $GROFF_TMAC_PATH environment variable

       o the current directory (only if in unsafe mode, which is enabled by the -U  command  line

       o the home directory

       o a platform-specific directory, being /usr/share/tmac in this installation

       o a  site-specific (platform-independent) directory, being /usr/share/tmac in this instal-

       o the main tmac directory, being /usr/share/tmac in this installation

	      A colon separated list of additional tmac directories in which to search for  macro
	      files.  See the previous section for a detailed description.

       Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This  document  is distributed under the terms of the FDL (GNU Free Documentation License)
       version 1.1 or later.  You should have received a copy of the FDL on your  system,  it  is
       also available on-line at the GNU copyleft site <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html>.

       This document is part of groff, the GNU roff distribution.  It was written by Bernd Warken
       <bwarken@mayn.de>; it is maintained by Werner Lemberg <wl@gnu.org>.

       A complete reference for all parts of the groff system is found in the groff info(1) file.

	      an overview of the groff system.

	      the groff tmac macro packages.

	      the groff language.

       The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard is available at the FHS web site <http://

Groff Version 1.19.2			 February 6, 2006			    GROFF_TMAC(5)

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