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MAN(7)			       BSD Miscellaneous Information Manual			   MAN(7)

NAME
     man -- legacy formatting language for manual pages

DESCRIPTION
     Traditionally, the man language has been used to write UNIX manuals for the man(1) utility.
     It supports limited control of presentational details like fonts, indentation and spacing.
     This reference document describes the structure of manual pages and the syntax and usage of
     the man language.

     Do not use man to write your manuals: It lacks support for semantic markup.  Use the mdoc(7)
     language, instead.

     In a man document, lines beginning with the control character '.' are called ``macro
     lines''.  The first word is the macro name.  It usually consists of two capital letters.
     For a list of available macros, see MACRO OVERVIEW.  The words following the macro name are
     arguments to the macro.

     Lines not beginning with the control character are called ``text lines''.	They provide
     free-form text to be printed; the formatting of the text depends on the respective process-
     ing context:

	   .SH Macro lines change control state.
	   Text lines are interpreted within the current state.

     Many aspects of the basic syntax of the man language are based on the roff(7) language; see
     the LANGUAGE SYNTAX and MACRO SYNTAX sections in the roff(7) manual for details, in particu-
     lar regarding comments, escape sequences, whitespace, and quoting.

MANUAL STRUCTURE
     Each man document must contain the TH macro describing the document's section and title.  It
     may occur anywhere in the document, although conventionally it appears as the first macro.

     Beyond TH, at least one macro or text line must appear in the document.

     The following is a well-formed skeleton man file for a utility "progname":

	   .TH PROGNAME 1 2009-10-10
	   .SH NAME
	   \fBprogname\fR \(en a description goes here
	   .\" .SH LIBRARY
	   .\" For sections 2 & 3 only.
	   .\" Not used in OpenBSD.
	   .SH SYNOPSIS
	   \fBprogname\fR [\fB\-options\fR] arguments...
	   .SH DESCRIPTION
	   The \fBfoo\fR utility processes files...
	   .\" .SH IMPLEMENTATION NOTES
	   .\" Not used in OpenBSD.
	   .\" .SH RETURN VALUES
	   .\" For sections 2, 3, & 9 only.
	   .\" .SH ENVIRONMENT
	   .\" For sections 1, 6, 7, & 8 only.
	   .\" .SH FILES
	   .\" .SH EXIT STATUS
	   .\" For sections 1, 6, & 8 only.
	   .\" .SH EXAMPLES
	   .\" .SH DIAGNOSTICS
	   .\" For sections 1, 4, 6, 7, & 8 only.
	   .\" .SH ERRORS
	   .\" For sections 2, 3, & 9 only.
	   .\" .SH SEE ALSO
	   .\" .BR foo ( 1 )
	   .\" .SH STANDARDS
	   .\" .SH HISTORY
	   .\" .SH AUTHORS
	   .\" .SH CAVEATS
	   .\" .SH BUGS
	   .\" .SH SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS
	   .\" Not used in OpenBSD.

     The sections in a man document are conventionally ordered as they appear above.  Sections
     should be composed as follows:

	   NAME
	   The name(s) and a short description of the documented material.  The syntax for this
	   is generally as follows:

		 \fBname\fR \(en description

	   LIBRARY
	   The name of the library containing the documented material, which is assumed to be a
	   function in a section 2 or 3 manual.  For functions in the C library, this may be as
	   follows:

		 Standard C Library (libc, -lc)

	   SYNOPSIS
	   Documents the utility invocation syntax, function call syntax, or device configura-
	   tion.

	   For the first, utilities (sections 1, 6, and 8), this is generally structured as fol-
	   lows:

		 \fBname\fR [-\fBab\fR] [-\fBc\fR\fIarg\fR] \fBpath\fR...

	   For the second, function calls (sections 2, 3, 9):

		 .B char *name(char *\fIarg\fR);

	   And for the third, configurations (section 4):

		 .B name* at cardbus? function?

	   Manuals not in these sections generally don't need a SYNOPSIS.

	   DESCRIPTION
	   This expands upon the brief, one-line description in NAME.  It usually contains a
	   break-down of the options (if documenting a command).

	   IMPLEMENTATION NOTES
	   Implementation-specific notes should be kept here.  This is useful when implementing
	   standard functions that may have side effects or notable algorithmic implications.

	   RETURN VALUES
	   This section documents the return values of functions in sections 2, 3, and 9.

	   ENVIRONMENT
	   Documents any usages of environment variables, e.g., environ(7).

	   FILES
	   Documents files used.  It's helpful to document both the file name and a short
	   description of how the file is used (created, modified, etc.).

	   EXIT STATUS
	   This section documents the command exit status for section 1, 6, and 8 utilities.
	   Historically, this information was described in DIAGNOSTICS, a practise that is now
	   discouraged.

	   EXAMPLES
	   Example usages.  This often contains snippets of well-formed, well-tested invocations.
	   Make sure that examples work properly!

	   DIAGNOSTICS
	   Documents error conditions.	This is most useful in section 4 manuals.  Historically,
	   this section was used in place of EXIT STATUS for manuals in sections 1, 6, and 8;
	   however, this practise is discouraged.

	   ERRORS
	   Documents error handling in sections 2, 3, and 9.

	   SEE ALSO
	   References other manuals with related topics.  This section should exist for most man-
	   uals.

		 .BR bar ( 1 ),

	   Cross-references should conventionally be ordered first by section, then alphabeti-
	   cally.

	   STANDARDS
	   References any standards implemented or used, such as

		 IEEE Std 1003.2 (\(lqPOSIX.2\(rq)

	   If not adhering to any standards, the HISTORY section should be used.

	   HISTORY
	   A brief history of the subject, including where support first appeared.

	   AUTHORS
	   Credits to the person or persons who wrote the code and/or documentation.  Authors
	   should generally be noted by both name and email address.

	   CAVEATS
	   Common misuses and misunderstandings should be explained in this section.

	   BUGS
	   Known bugs, limitations, and work-arounds should be described in this section.

	   SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS
	   Documents any security precautions that operators should consider.

MACRO OVERVIEW
     This overview is sorted such that macros of similar purpose are listed together, to help
     find the best macro for any given purpose.  Deprecated macros are not included in the over-
     view, but can be found in the alphabetical reference below.

   Page header and footer meta-data
     TH 	  set the title: title section date [source [volume]]
     AT 	  display AT&T UNIX version in the page footer (<= 1 argument)
     UC 	  display BSD version in the page footer (<= 1 argument)

   Sections and paragraphs
     SH 	  section header (one line)
     SS 	  subsection header (one line)
     PP, LP, P	  start an undecorated paragraph (no arguments)
     RS, RE	  reset the left margin: [width]
     IP 	  indented paragraph: [head [width]]
     TP 	  tagged paragraph: [width]
     HP 	  hanged paragraph: [width]
     br 	  force output line break in text mode (no arguments)
     sp 	  force vertical space: [height]
     fi, nf	  fill mode and no-fill mode (no arguments)
     in 	  additional indent: [width]

   Physical markup
     B		  boldface font
     I		  italic font
     R		  roman (default) font
     SB 	  small boldface font
     SM 	  small roman font
     BI 	  alternate between boldface and italic fonts
     BR 	  alternate between boldface and roman fonts
     IB 	  alternate between italic and boldface fonts
     IR 	  alternate between italic and roman fonts
     RB 	  alternate between roman and boldface fonts
     RI 	  alternate between roman and italic fonts

   Semantic markup
     OP 	  optional arguments

MACRO REFERENCE
     This section is a canonical reference to all macros, arranged alphabetically.  For the scop-
     ing of individual macros, see MACRO SYNTAX.

   AT
     Sets the volume for the footer for compatibility with man pages from AT&T UNIX releases.
     The optional arguments specify which release it is from.

   B
     Text is rendered in bold face.

     See also I and R.

   BI
     Text is rendered alternately in bold face and italic.  Thus, '.BI this word and that' causes
     'this' and 'and' to render in bold face, while 'word' and 'that' render in italics.  White-
     space between arguments is omitted in output.

     Examples:

	   .BI bold italic bold italic

     The output of this example will be emboldened ``bold'' and italicised ``italic'', with spa-
     ces stripped between arguments.

     See also IB, BR, RB, RI, and IR.

   BR
     Text is rendered alternately in bold face and roman (the default font).  Whitespace between
     arguments is omitted in output.

     See BI for an equivalent example.

     See also BI, IB, RB, RI, and IR.

   DT
     Has no effect.  Included for compatibility.

   HP
     Begin a paragraph whose initial output line is left-justified, but subsequent output lines
     are indented, with the following syntax:

	   .HP [width]

     The width argument must conform to Scaling Widths.  If specified, it's saved for later para-
     graph left-margins; if unspecified, the saved or default width is used.

     See also IP, LP, P, PP, and TP.

   I
     Text is rendered in italics.

     See also B and R.

   IB
     Text is rendered alternately in italics and bold face.  Whitespace between arguments is
     omitted in output.

     See BI for an equivalent example.

     See also BI, BR, RB, RI, and IR.

   IP
     Begin an indented paragraph with the following syntax:

	   .IP [head [width]]

     The width argument defines the width of the left margin and is defined by Scaling Widths.
     It's saved for later paragraph left-margins; if unspecified, the saved or default width is
     used.

     The head argument is used as a leading term, flushed to the left margin.  This is useful for
     bulleted paragraphs and so on.

     See also HP, LP, P, PP, and TP.

   IR
     Text is rendered alternately in italics and roman (the default font).  Whitespace between
     arguments is omitted in output.

     See BI for an equivalent example.

     See also BI, IB, BR, RB, and RI.

   LP
     Begin an undecorated paragraph.  The scope of a paragraph is closed by a subsequent para-
     graph, sub-section, section, or end of file.  The saved paragraph left-margin width is reset
     to the default.

     See also HP, IP, P, PP, and TP.

   OP
     Optional command-line argument.  This has the following syntax:

	   .OP key [value]

     The key is usually a command-line flag and value its argument.

   P
     Synonym for LP.

     See also HP, IP, LP, PP, and TP.

   PP
     Synonym for LP.

     See also HP, IP, LP, P, and TP.

   R
     Text is rendered in roman (the default font).

     See also I and B.

   RB
     Text is rendered alternately in roman (the default font) and bold face.  Whitespace between
     arguments is omitted in output.

     See BI for an equivalent example.

     See also BI, IB, BR, RI, and IR.

   RE
     Explicitly close out the scope of a prior RS.  The default left margin is restored to the
     state of the original RS invocation.

   RI
     Text is rendered alternately in roman (the default font) and italics.  Whitespace between
     arguments is omitted in output.

     See BI for an equivalent example.

     See also BI, IB, BR, RB, and IR.

   RS
     Temporarily reset the default left margin.  This has the following syntax:

	   .RS [width]

     The width argument must conform to Scaling Widths.  If not specified, the saved or default
     width is used.

     See also RE.

   SB
     Text is rendered in small size (one point smaller than the default font) bold face.

   SH
     Begin a section.  The scope of a section is only closed by another section or the end of
     file.  The paragraph left-margin width is reset to the default.

   SM
     Text is rendered in small size (one point smaller than the default font).

   SS
     Begin a sub-section.  The scope of a sub-section is closed by a subsequent sub-section, sec-
     tion, or end of file.  The paragraph left-margin width is reset to the default.

   TH
     Sets the title of the manual page with the following syntax:

	   .TH title section date [source [volume]]

     Conventionally, the document title is given in all caps.  The recommended date format is
     YYYY-MM-DD as specified in the ISO-8601 standard; if the argument does not conform, it is
     printed verbatim.	If the date is empty or not specified, the current date is used.  The
     optional source string specifies the organisation providing the utility.  The volume string
     replaces the default rendered volume, which is dictated by the manual section.

     Examples:

	   .TH CVS 5 1992-02-12 GNU

   TP
     Begin a paragraph where the head, if exceeding the indentation width, is followed by a new-
     line; if not, the body follows on the same line after a buffer to the indentation width.
     Subsequent output lines are indented.  The syntax is as follows:

	   .TP [width]

     The width argument must conform to Scaling Widths.  If specified, it's saved for later para-
     graph left-margins; if unspecified, the saved or default width is used.

     See also HP, IP, LP, P, and PP.

   UC
     Sets the volume for the footer for compatibility with man pages from BSD releases.  The
     optional first argument specifies which release it is from.

   br
     Breaks the current line.  Consecutive invocations have no further effect.

     See also sp.

   fi
     End literal mode begun by nf.

   ft
     Change the current font mode.  See Text Decoration for a listing of available font modes.

   in
     Indent relative to the current indentation:

	   .in [width]

     If width is signed, the new offset is relative.  Otherwise, it is absolute.  This value is
     reset upon the next paragraph, section, or sub-section.

   na
     Don't align to the right margin.

   nf
     Begin literal mode: all subsequent free-form lines have their end of line boundaries pre-
     served.  May be ended by fi.  Literal mode is implicitly ended by SH or SS.

   sp
     Insert vertical spaces into output with the following syntax:

	   .sp [height]

     Insert height spaces, which must conform to Scaling Widths.  If 0, this is equivalent to the
     br macro.	Defaults to 1, if unspecified.

     See also br.

MACRO SYNTAX
     The man macros are classified by scope: line scope or block scope.  Line macros are only
     scoped to the current line (and, in some situations, the subsequent line).  Block macros are
     scoped to the current line and subsequent lines until closed by another block macro.

   Line Macros
     Line macros are generally scoped to the current line, with the body consisting of zero or
     more arguments.  If a macro is scoped to the next line and the line arguments are empty, the
     next line, which must be text, is used instead.  Thus:

	   .I
	   foo

     is equivalent to '.I foo'.  If next-line macros are invoked consecutively, only the last is
     used.  If a next-line macro is followed by a non-next-line macro, an error is raised, except
     for br, sp, and na.

     The syntax is as follows:

	   .YO [body...]
	   [body...]

	   Macro     Arguments	   Scope	 Notes
	   AT	     <=1	   current
	   B	     n		   next-line
	   BI	     n		   current
	   BR	     n		   current
	   DT	     0		   current
	   I	     n		   next-line
	   IB	     n		   current
	   IR	     n		   current
	   OP	     0, 1	   current	 compat
	   R	     n		   next-line
	   RB	     n		   current
	   RI	     n		   current
	   SB	     n		   next-line
	   SM	     n		   next-line
	   TH	     >1, <6	   current
	   UC	     <=1	   current
	   br	     0		   current	 compat
	   fi	     0		   current	 compat
	   ft	     1		   current	 compat
	   in	     1		   current	 compat
	   na	     0		   current	 compat
	   nf	     0		   current	 compat
	   sp	     1		   current	 compat

     Macros marked as "compat" are included for compatibility with the significant corpus of
     existing manuals that mix dialects of roff.  These macros should not be used for portable
     man manuals.

   Block Macros
     Block macros comprise a head and body.  As with in-line macros, the head is scoped to the
     current line and, in one circumstance, the next line (the next-line stipulations as in Line
     Macros apply here as well).

     The syntax is as follows:

	   .YO [head...]
	   [head...]
	   [body...]

     The closure of body scope may be to the section, where a macro is closed by SH; sub-section,
     closed by a section or SS; part, closed by a section, sub-section, or RE; or paragraph,
     closed by a section, sub-section, part, HP, IP, LP, P, PP, or TP.	No closure refers to an
     explicit block closing macro.

     As a rule, block macros may not be nested; thus, calling a block macro while another block
     macro scope is open, and the open scope is not implicitly closed, is syntactically incor-
     rect.

	   Macro    Arguments	 Head Scope    Body Scope     Notes
	   HP	    <2		 current       paragraph
	   IP	    <3		 current       paragraph
	   LP	    0		 current       paragraph
	   P	    0		 current       paragraph
	   PP	    0		 current       paragraph
	   RE	    0		 current       none	      compat
	   RS	    1		 current       part	      compat
	   SH	    >0		 next-line     section
	   SS	    >0		 next-line     sub-section
	   TP	    n		 next-line     paragraph

     Macros marked "compat" are as mentioned in Line Macros.

     If a block macro is next-line scoped, it may only be followed by in-line macros for decorat-
     ing text.

   Font handling
     In man documents, both Physical markup macros and roff(7) '\f' font escape sequences can be
     used to choose fonts.  In text lines, the effect of manual font selection by escape
     sequences only lasts until the next macro invocation; in macro lines, it only lasts until
     the end of the macro scope.  Note that macros like BR open and close a font scope for each
     argument.

COMPATIBILITY
     This section documents areas of questionable portability between implementations of the man
     language.

     -	 Do not depend on SH or SS to close out a literal context opened with nf.  This behaviour
	 may not be portable.
     -	 In quoted literals, GNU troff allowed pair-wise double-quotes to produce a standalone
	 double-quote in formatted output.  It is not known whether this behaviour is exhibited
	 by other formatters.
     -	 troff suppresses a newline before ''' macro output; in mandoc, it is an alias for the
	 standard '.' control character.
     -	 The '\h' (horizontal position), '\v' (vertical position), '\m' (text colour), '\M' (text
	 filling colour), '\z' (zero-length character), '\w' (string length), '\k' (horizontal
	 position marker), '\o' (text overstrike), and '\s' (text size) escape sequences are all
	 discarded in mandoc.
     -	 The '\f' scaling unit is accepted by mandoc, but rendered as the default unit.
     -	 The sp macro does not accept negative values in mandoc.  In GNU troff, this would result
	 in strange behaviour.
     -	 In page header lines, GNU troff versions up to and including 1.21 only print volume
	 names explicitly specified in the TH macro; mandoc and newer groff print the default
	 volume name corresponding to the section number when no volume is given, like in
	 mdoc(7).

     The OP macro is part of the extended man macro set, and may not be portable to non-GNU troff
     implementations.

SEE ALSO
     man(1), mandoc(1), eqn(7), mandoc_char(7), mdoc(7), roff(7), tbl(7)

HISTORY
     The man language first appeared as a macro package for the roff typesetting system in
     Version 7 AT&T UNIX.  It was later rewritten by James Clark as a macro package for groff.
     Eric S. Raymond wrote the extended man macros for groff in 2007.  The stand-alone implemen-
     tation that is part of the mandoc(1) utility written by Kristaps Dzonsons appeared in
     OpenBSD 4.6.

AUTHORS
     This man reference was written by Kristaps Dzonsons, kristaps@bsd.lv.

CAVEATS
     Do not use this language.	Use mdoc(7), instead.

BSD					 January 3, 2012				      BSD
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