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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for tbl (redhat section 1)

TBL(1)				     General Commands Manual				   TBL(1)

       tbl - format tables for troff

       tbl [ -Cv ] [ files... ]

       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.

       -C     Recognize  .TS  and  .TE even when followed by a character other than space or new-

       -v     Print the version number.

       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).

	      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.

	      Encloses the table in a double box.

       allbox Encloses each item of the table in a box.

       frame  Same as box (GNU tbl only).

	      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.

	      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.

	      Set the character to be recognized as the decimal point in numeric columns (GNU tbl

	      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

       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, the last entry takes effect.

       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-

       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 latter must
       start a line, probably followed by other data columns (separated with tabs).

       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

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

       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.

       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.  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
	      lw(1i) l.

       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.

       groff(1), troff(1)

Groff Version 1.18.1			16 September 2002				   TBL(1)

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