Man Linux: Main Page and Category List


       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

       fails.  Exception to this is the use of man pages written  with  either
       the  mdoc  or  the man macro package.  See below the description of the
       andoc.tmac file.

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

       doc    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).

       andoc  mandoc Use this file in case you  don’t  know  whether  the  man
              macros  or  the mdoc package should be used.  Multiple man pages
              (in either format) can be handled.

   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

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

   Language-specific Packages
       cs     This  file  adds  support  for Czech localization, including the
              main macro packages (me, mom, mm, and ms).

              Note that cs.tmac sets the input encoding to latin-2.

       de     den  German  localization  support,  including  the  main  macro
              packages (me, mom, mm, and ms).

              de.tmac    selects    hyphenation   patterns   for   traditional
              orthography, and den.tmac does the same for the new  orthography
              (‘Rechtschreibreform’).   It  should  be  used as the last macro
              package on the command line.

       fr     This file adds support for French  localization,  including  the
              main macro packages (me, mom, mm, and ms).  Example:

                     sh# groff -ms -mfr >

              Note  that  fr.tmac  sets  the  input encoding to latin-9 to get
              proper support of the ‘oe’ ligature.

       sv     Swedish localization support, including  the  me,  mom,  and  ms
              macro  packages.  Note that Swedish for the mm macros is handled
              separately; see groff_mmse(7).  It should be used  as  the  last
              macro package on the command line.

   Input Encodings
       latin1 latin2  latin5 latin9 Various input encodings supported directly
              by groff.  Normally, this macro is loaded at the very  beginning
              of  a  document  or specified as the first macro argument on the
              command line.  roff loads latin1 by default at  start-up.   Note
              that these macro packages don’t work on EBCDIC hosts.

       cp1047 Encoding  support  for  EBCDIC.  On those platforms it is loaded
              automatically at start-up.  Due to  different  character  ranges
              used in roff it doesn’t work on architectures which are based on

       Note that it can happen that some input  encoding  characters  are  not
       available for a particular output device.  For example, saying

       groff -Tlatin1 -mlatin9 ...

       fails  if  you  use  the  Euro  character  in the input.  Usually, this
       limitation is present only for devices which  have  a  limited  set  of
       output  glyphs  (-Tascii,  -Tlatin1);  for  other devices it is usually
       sufficient to install proper fonts which contain the necessary  glyphs.

   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.

       60bit  Provide  some  macros for addition, multiplication, and division
              of  60bit  integers  (allowing  safe  multiplication  of   30bit
              integers, for example).

       ec     Switch  to  the  EC  and  TC  font  families.   To  be used with
              grodvi(1) – this man page also gives more details of how to  use

              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,

              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 >

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

       pspic  A  single  macro  is  provided in this file, PSPIC, to include a
              PostScript graphic in a document.  The following output  devices
              support  inclusion  of  PS  images:  -Tps,  -Tdvi,  -Thtml,  and
              -Txhtml; for all other devices the  image  is  replaced  with  a
              hollow  rectangle  of the same size.  This macro file is already
              loaded at start-up by troff so it isn’t  necessary  to  call  it


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

              file  is  the name of the PostScript file; width and height give
              the desired width and height of the image.  If neither  a  width
              nor  a  height  argument is specified, the image’s natural width
              (as given in the file’s bounding box) or the current line length
              is used as the width, whatever is smaller.  The width and height
              arguments may have  scaling  indicators  attached;  the  default
              scaling indicator is i.  This macro scales the graphic uniformly
              in the x and y directions so that it is no more than width  wide
              and  height  high.   Option -C centers the graphic horizontally,
              which is the default.  The -L and -R options cause  the  graphic
              to  be  left-aligned  and  right-aligned,  respectively.  The -I
              option causes the graphic to be indented by n  (default  scaling
              indicator is m).

              For use of .PSPIC within a diversion it is recommended to extend
              it with the following code, assuring that the diversion’s  width
              completely covers the image’s width.

                     .am   PSPIC   .  vpt   0  \h’(\\n[ps-offset]u  +  \\n[ps-
                     deswid]u)’ .  sp -1 .  vpt 1 ..

       ptx    A single macro is provided in  this  file,  xx,  for  formatting
              permuted  index  entries  as produces by the GNU ptx(1) program.
              In case you need a different formatting,  copy  the  macro  into
              your document and adapt it to your needs.

       trace  Use  this  for  tracing  macro  calls.   It  is  only useful for
              debugging.  See groff_trace(7).

              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 used in the
              internet (World Wide Web) pages; this  includes  URL  links  and
              mail addresses; see groff_www(7).


       Classical  roff  systems  were  designed  before the conventions of the
       modern C getopt(3) call evolved, and used a  naming  scheme  for  macro
       packages  that  looks  odd  to  modern eyes. Macro packages were always
       included with the 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 invocation form work, classical troff macro packages
       used names 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  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  speech;  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  documentation.   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  in
       the form  In modern operating systems, the type of a file is
       specified as a postfix, the file name extension.   Again,  groff  copes
       with  this  situation by searching both anything.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

       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, is searched for instead.

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

       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

       For example, suppose a macro file is stored as


       and is used in some document called docu.roff.

       At run-time, the formatter call for this is

              sh# groff -m macros docu.roff

       To include the macro file directly in the document either

              .mso macros.tmac

       is used or

              .so /usr/share/groff/1.20.1/tmac/macros.tmac

       In both cases, the formatter should be called with option -s to  invoke

              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

       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
       \n[.$]; see groff(7).

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

       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 expressions, 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 parameters.  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 change with each call
       of the macro their leading backslash must be doubled, which results  in
       \\$*  and  \\[.$].  The same applies to the macro name because it could
       be called with an alias name, so \\$0.

       On the other hand, midpart is a constant string, it does 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 does not change, so no doubling with \f[I] and \f[].

   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  requests.  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

              .eo   .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 fails with advanced
       applications, such as indirectly 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

   Tips for Macro Definitions
       ·      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 \)\\$*\) ..

       ·      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 following macro
              just ignores its arguments, so it acts like a comment line:

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

       ·      In  long  macro  definitions, make ample use of comment lines or
              almost-empty lines (this is, lines which have a leading dot  and
              nothing else) for a better structuring.

       ·      To  increase  readability,  use groff’s indentation facility for
              requests and macro calls (arbitrary whitespace after the leading

       Diversions   can  be  used  to  implement  quite  advanced  programming
       constructs.  They are comparable 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
       (formatted)  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
       remain  aware  of the fact that diversions always store complete lines.
       If diversions are used when the  line  buffer  has  not  been  flushed,
       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  explicitly  using  .br requests.  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

       [If you really need diversions which should ignore the current  partial
       line,  use environments 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  definition  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. 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 constitutes the tmac path.

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

       ·      the directories specified with  troff/groff’s  -M  command  line

       ·      the   directories  given  in  the  $GROFF_TMAC_PATH  environment

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

       ·      the home directory

       ·      a platform-specific directory, being


              in this installation

       ·      a site-specific (platform-independent) directory, being


              in this installation

       ·      the main tmac directory, being


              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, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 Free
       Software Foundation, Inc.

       This document is distributed under the  terms  of  the  FDL  (GNU  Free
       Documentation  License) version 1.3 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

       This  document  is  part  of  groff, the GNU roff distribution.  It was
       written by Bernd Warken it is maintained by Werner Lemberg


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

              an overview of the groff system.

              groff_mdoc(7),     groff_me(7),    groff_mm(7),    groff_mom(7),
              groff_ms(7), groff_trace(7), groff_www(7).  the groff tmac macro

              the groff language.

       The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard is available at the FHS web site