GROPS(1) General Commands Manual GROPS(1)
grops - PostScript driver for groff
grops [ -glmv ] [ -bn ] [ -cn ] [ -Fdir ] [ -ppapersize ] [ -Pprologue ] [ -wn ] [ files... ]
It is possible to have whitespace between a command line option and its parameter.
grops translates the output of GNU troff to PostScript. Normally grops should be invoked by using the groff command with a -Tps option.
(Actually, this is the default for groff.) If no files are given, grops will read the standard input. A filename of - will also cause
grops to read the standard input. PostScript output is written to the standard output. When grops is run by groff options can be passed
to grops using the groff -P option.
-bn Workaround broken spoolers and previewers. Normally grops produces output that conforms the Document Structuring Conventions ver-
sion 3.0. Unfortunately some spoolers and previewers can't handle such output. The value of n controls what grops does to its out-
put acceptable to such programs. A value of 0 will cause grops not to employ any workarounds. Add 1 if no %%BeginDocumentSetup and
%%EndDocumentSetup comments should be generated; this is needed for early versions of TranScript that get confused by anything
between the %%EndProlog comment and the first %%Page comment. Add 2 if lines in included files beginning with %! should be
stripped out; this is needed for Sun's pageview previewer. Add 4 if %%Page, %%Trailer and %%EndProlog comments should be stripped
out of included files; this is needed for spoolers that don't understand the %%BeginDocument and %%EndDocument comments. Add 8 if
the first line of the PostScript output should be %!PS-Adobe-2.0 rather than %!PS-Adobe-3.0; this is needed when using Sun's
Newsprint with a printer that requires page reversal. The default value can be specified by a
command in the DESC file. Otherwise the default value is 0.
-cn Print n copies of each page.
-Fdir Prepend directory dir/devname to the search path for prologue, font, and device description files; name is the name of the device,
-g Guess the page length. This generates PostScript code that guesses the page length. The guess will be correct only if the image-
able area is vertically centered on the page. This option allows you to generate documents that can be printed both on letter
(8.5x11) paper and on A4 paper without change.
-l Print the document in landscape format.
-m Turn manual feed on for the document.
Set physical dimension of output medium. This overrides the papersize and paperlength commands in the DESC file; it accepts the
same arguments as the papersize command.
Use the file prologue-file (in the font path) as the prologue instead of the default prologue file prologue. This option overrides
the environment variable GROPS_PROLOGUE.
-wn Lines should be drawn using a thickness of n thousandths of an em. If this option is not given, the line thickness defaults to
-v Print the version number.
There are styles called R, I, B, and BI mounted at font positions 1 to 4. The fonts are grouped into families A, BM, C, H, HN, N, P and T
having members in each of these styles:
There is also the following font which is not a member of a family:
There are also some special fonts called SS and S. Zapf Dingbats is available as ZD and a reversed version of ZapfDingbats (with symbols
pointing in the opposite direction) is available as ZDR; most characters in these fonts are unnamed and must be accessed using N.
The default color for m and M is black; for colors defined in the `rgb' color space, setrgbcolor is used, for `cmy' and `cmyk' setcmyk-
color, and for `gray' setgray.
grops understands various X commands produced using the X escape sequence; grops will only interpret commands that begin with a ps: tag.
X'ps: exec code'
This executes the arbitrary PostScript commands in code. The PostScript currentpoint will be set to the position of the X command
before executing code. The origin will be at the top left corner of the page, and y coordinates will increase down the page. A
procedure u will be defined that converts groff units to the coordinate system in effect. For example,
.nr x 1i
x u 0 rlineto stroke'
will draw a horizontal line one inch long. code may make changes to the graphics state, but any changes will persist only to the
end of the page. A dictionary containing the definitions specified by the def and mdef will be on top of the dictionary stack. If
your code adds definitions to this dictionary, you should allocate space for them using X'ps mdef n'. Any definitions will persist
only until the end of the page. If you use the Y escape sequence with an argument that names a macro, code can extend over multi-
ple lines. For example,
.nr x 1i
x u 0 rlineto
is another way to draw a horizontal line one inch long.
X'ps: file name'
This is the same as the exec command except that the PostScript code is read from file name.
X'ps: def code'
Place a PostScript definition contained in code in the prologue. There should be at most one definition per X command. Long defi-
nitions can be split over several X commands; all the code arguments are simply joined together separated by newlines. The defini-
tions are placed in a dictionary which is automatically pushed on the dictionary stack when an exec command is executed. If you use
the Y escape sequence with an argument that names a macro, code can extend over multiple lines.
X'ps: mdef n code'
Like def, except that code may contain up to n definitions. grops needs to know how many definitions code contains so that it can
create an appropriately sized PostScript dictionary to contain them.
X'ps: import file llx lly urx ury width [ height ]'
Import a PostScript graphic from file. The arguments llx, lly, urx, and ury give the bounding box of the graphic in the default
PostScript coordinate system; they should all be integers; llx and lly are the x and y coordinates of the lower left corner of the
graphic; urx and ury are the x and y coordinates of the upper right corner of the graphic; width and height are integers that give
the desired width and height in groff units of the graphic. The graphic will be scaled so that it has this width and height and
translated so that the lower left corner of the graphic is located at the position associated with X command. If the height argu-
ment is omitted it will be scaled uniformly in the x and y directions so that it has the specified width. Note that the contents of
the X command are not interpreted by troff; so vertical space for the graphic is not automatically added, and the width and height
arguments are not allowed to have attached scaling indicators. If the PostScript file complies with the Adobe Document Structuring
Conventions and contains a %%BoundingBox comment, then the bounding box can be automatically extracted from within groff by using
the psbb request.
The -mps macros (which are automatically loaded when grops is run by the groff command) include a PSPIC macro which allows a picture
to be easily imported. This has the format
.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 cause the graphic to be left-aligned and right-aligned respectively. The -I option causes the
graphic to be indented by n.
No output will be generated for text and drawing commands that are bracketed with these X commands. These commands are intended
for use when output from troff will be previewed before being processed with grops; if the previewer is unable to display certain
characters or other constructs, then other substitute characters or constructs can be used for previewing by bracketing them with
these X commands.
For example, gxditview is not able to display a proper (em character because the standard X11 fonts do not provide it; this problem
can be overcome by executing the following request
.char (em X'ps: invis'
'v'-.25m'h'.05m'D'l .9m 0'h'.05m''
In this case, gxditview will be unable to display the (em character and will draw the line, whereas grops will print the (em char-
acter and ignore the line.
The input to grops must be in the format output by troff(1). This is described in groff_out(5). In addition the device and font descrip-
tion files for the device used must meet certain requirements. The device and font description files supplied for ps device meet all these
requirements. afmtodit(1) can be used to create font files from AFM files. The resolution must be an integer multiple of 72 times the
sizescale. The ps device uses a resolution of 72000 and a sizescale of 1000. The device description file should contain a command
which says that output should be generated which is suitable for printing on a page whose length is n machine units. Common values are
792000 for letter paper and 841890 for paper in A4 format. Alternatively, it can contain
to specify a paper size; see groff_font(5) for more information. Each font description file must contain a command
which says that the PostScript name of the font is psname. It may also contain a command
which says that the PostScript font should be reencoded using the encoding described in enc_file; this file should consist of a sequence of
lines of the form:
where pschar is the PostScript name of the character, and code is its position in the encoding expressed as a decimal integer. Lines
starting with # and blank lines are ignored. The code for each character given in the font file must correspond to the code for the char-
acter in encoding file, or to the code in the default encoding for the font if the PostScript font is not to be reencoded. This code can
be used with the N escape sequence in troff to select the character, even if the character does not have a groff name. Every character in
the font file must exist in the PostScript font, and the widths given in the font file must match the widths used in the PostScript font.
grops will assume that a character with a groff name of space is blank (makes no marks on the page); it can make use of such a character to
generate more efficient and compact PostScript output.
grops can automatically include the downloadable fonts necessary to print the document. Any downloadable fonts which should, when
required, be included by grops must be listed in the file /usr/share/groff/1.18.1/font/devps/download; this should consist of lines of the
where font is the PostScript name of the font, and filename is the name of the file containing the font; lines beginning with # and blank
lines are ignored; fields may be separated by tabs or spaces; filename will be searched for using the same mechanism that is used for groff
font metric files. The download file itself will also be searched for using this mechanism; currently, only the first found file in the
font path is used.
If the file containing a downloadable font or imported document conforms to the Adobe Document Structuring Conventions, then grops will
interpret any comments in the files sufficiently to ensure that its own output is conforming. It will also supply any needed font
resources that are listed in the download file as well as any needed file resources. It is also able to handle inter-resource dependen-
cies. For example, suppose that you have a downloadable font called Garamond, and also a downloadable font called Garamond-Outline which
depends on Garamond (typically it would be defined to copy Garamond's font dictionary, and change the PaintType), then it is necessary for
Garamond to be appear before Garamond-Outline in the PostScript document. grops will handle this automatically provided that the download-
able font file for Garamond-Outline indicates its dependence on Garamond by means of the Document Structuring Conventions, for example by
beginning with the following lines
%%DocumentNeededResources: font Garamond
%%IncludeResource: font Garamond
In this case both Garamond and Garamond-Outline would need to be listed in the download file. A downloadable font should not include its
own name in a %%DocumentSuppliedResources comment.
grops will not interpret %%DocumentFonts comments. The %%DocumentNeededResources, %%DocumentSuppliedResources, %%IncludeResource, %%Begin-
Resource and %%EndResource comments (or possibly the old %%DocumentNeededFonts, %%DocumentSuppliedFonts, %%IncludeFont, %%BeginFont and
%%EndFont comments) should be used.
TrueType fonts can be used with grops if converted first to Type 42 format, an especial PostScript wrapper equivalent to the PFA format
mentioned in pfbtops(1). There are several different methods to generate a type42 wrapper and most of them involve the use of a PostScript
interpreter such as Ghostscript -- see gs(1). Yet, the easiest method involves the use of the application ttftot42. This program uses
freetype(3) (version 1.3.1) to generate type42 font wrappers and well-formed AFM files that can be fed to the afmtodit(1) script to create
appropriate metric files. The resulting font wrappers should be added to the download file. ttftot42 source code can be downloaded from
If this is set to foo, then grops will use the file foo (in the font path) instead of the default prologue file prologue. The
option -P overrides this environment variable.
/usr/share/groff/1.18.1/font/devps/DESC Device description file.
/usr/share/groff/1.18.1/font/devps/F Font description file for font F.
/usr/share/groff/1.18.1/font/devps/download List of downloadable fonts.
/usr/share/groff/1.18.1/font/devps/text.enc Encoding used for text fonts.
/usr/share/groff/1.18.1/tmac/ps.tmac Macros for use with grops; automatically loaded by troffrc
/usr/share/groff/1.18.1/tmac/pspic.tmac Definition of PSPIC macro, automatically loaded by ps.tmac.
/usr/share/groff/1.18.1/tmac/psold.tmac Macros to disable use of characters not present in older PostScript printers (e.g. `eth' or
/tmp/gropsXXXXXX Temporary file.
afmtodit(1), groff(1), troff(1), psbb(1), groff_out(5), groff_font(5), groff_char(7)
Groff Version 1.18.1 Nov 2003 GROPS(1)