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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.

   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.

	      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/groff/1.18.1/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/groff/1.18.1/tmac/macros.tmac

       In both cases, the formatter is called with

	      sh# troff -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/lib/groff/site-tmac in this installation

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

       o the main tmac directory, being /usr/share/groff/1.18.1/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 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 1.18.1			  21 August 2002			    GROFF_TMAC(5)
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