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       groff_ms - groff ms macros


       groff -ms [ options... ] [ files... ]
       groff -m ms [ options... ] [ files... ]


       This  manual  page  describes the GNU version of the ms macros, part of
       the groff typesetting system.  The ms macros are mostly compatible with
       the  documented behavior of the 4.3 BSD Unix ms macros (see Differences
       from troff ms below for details).   The  ms  macros  are  suitable  for
       reports, letters, books, and technical documentation.


       The  ms  macro  package  expects  files  to  have  a  certain amount of
       structure.  The simplest documents can begin with a paragraph macro and
       consist  of  text  separated  by  paragraph macros or even blank lines.
       Longer documents have a structure as follows:

       Document type
              If you use the  RP  (report)  macro  at  the  beginning  of  the
              document,  groff  prints  the  cover page information on its own
              page; otherwise it prints the information on the first page with
              your   document  text  immediately  following.   Other  document
              formats found in AT&T troff are specific to  AT&T  or  Berkeley,
              and are not supported in groff ms.

       Format and layout
              By setting number registers, you can change your document’s type
              (font and size), margins,  spacing,  headers  and  footers,  and
              footnotes.   See  Document  control  registers  below  for  more

       Cover page
              A cover page consists of a title, and  optionally  the  author’s
              name and institution, an abstract, and the date.  See Cover page
              macros below for more details.

       Body   Following the cover page  is  your  document.   It  consists  of
              paragraphs, headings, and lists.

       Table of contents
              Longer  documents usually include a table of contents, which you
              can add by placing the TC macro at the end of your document.

   Document control registers
       The following table lists the document control number  registers.   For
       the  sake  of  consistency,  set  registers  related  to margins at the
       beginning of your document, or just after the RP macro.

       Margin settings

              Reg.          Definition             Effective      Default
              PO     Page offset (left margin)   next page        1i
              LL     Line length                 next paragraph   6i
              LT     Header/footer length        next paragraph   6i
              HM     Top (header) margin         next page        1i
              FM     Bottom (footer) margin      next page        1i

       Text settings

       Paragraph settings

       Footnote settings

              Reg.     Definition        Effective      Default
              FL     Footnote length   next footnote   \n[LL]*5/6
              FI     Footnote indent   next footnote   2n
              FF     Footnote format   next footnote   0
              FPS    Point size        next footnote   \n[PS]-2
              FVS    Vert. spacing     next footnote   \n[FPS]+2
              FPD    Para. spacing     next footnote   \n[PD]/2

       Other settings

              Reg.             Definition             Effective   Default
              MINGW   Minimum width between columns   next page   2n

   Cover page macros
       Use the following macros to create a cover page for  your  document  in
       the order shown.

       .RP [no]
              Specifies  the  report  format  for  your  document.  The report
              format creates a separate cover page.  With no RP  macro,  groff
              prints a subset of the cover page on page 1 of your document.

              If  you  use the optional no argument, groff prints a title page
              but does not repeat any of the title  page  information  (title,
              author, abstract, etc.) on page 1 of the document.

       .P1    (P-one) Prints the header on page 1.  The default is to suppress
              the header.

       .DA [xxx]
              (optional) Print the current date, or the arguments to the macro
              if  any,  on  the  title page (if specified) and in the footers.
              This is the default for nroff.

       .ND [xxx]
              (optional) Print the current date, or the arguments to the macro
              if any, on the title page (if specified) but not in the footers.
              This is the default for troff.

       .TL    Specifies the document title.  Groff collects text following the
              TL  macro  into  the  title,  until  reaching the author name or

       .AU    Specifies the author’s name.  You can specify  multiple  authors
              by using an AU macro for each author.

       .AI    Specifies  the  author’s  institution.  You can specify multiple

       .AB [no]
              Begins the abstract.  The default is to print the word ABSTRACT,
              centered  and  in  italics, above the text of the abstract.  The
              option no suppresses this heading.

       .AE    End the abstract.

       Use the PP macro to create indented paragraphs, and  the  LP  macro  to
       create paragraphs with no initial indent.

       The  QP  macro  indents  all  text at both left and right margins.  The
       effect is  identical  to  the  HTML  <BLOCKQUOTE>  element.   The  next
       paragraph or heading returns margins to normal.

       The  XP  macro  produces  an exdented paragraph.  The first line of the
       paragraph begins at the left margin, and subsequent lines are  indented
       (the opposite of PP).

       For  each  of  the  above  paragraph types, and also for any list entry
       introduced by the IP macro  (described  later),  the  document  control
       register  PORPHANS,  sets  the  minimum  number  of lines which must be
       printed, after the start of the paragraph, and before  any  page  break
       occurs.   If  there is insufficient space remaining on the current page
       to accommodate this number of lines, then a page break is forced before
       the first line of the paragraph is printed.

       Similarly,  when  a  section  heading  (see  subsection Headings below)
       preceeds any of these paragraph types, the  HORPHANS  document  control
       register  specifies  the minimum number of lines of the paragraph which
       must be kept on the same page as the heading.   If  insufficient  space
       remains  on the current page to accommodate the heading and this number
       of lines of paragraph text, then a page  break  is  forced  before  the
       heading is printed.

       Use  headings to create a hierarchical structure for your document.  By
       default, the ms macros print headings  in  bold  using  the  same  font
       family  and  point  size  as  the  body text.  For output devices which
       support scalable fonts, this behaviour may be modified, by defining the
       document control registers, GROWPS and PSINCR.

       The following heading macros are available:

       .NH xx Numbered  heading.  The argument xx is either a numeric argument
              to indicate the level of the heading, or S xx xx "..."   to  set
              the  section  number  explicitly.  If you specify heading levels
              out of sequence, such  as  invoking  .NH 3  after  .NH 1,  groff
              prints a warning on standard error.

              If  the GROWPS register is set to a value greater than the level
              of the heading, then the point  size  of  the  heading  will  be
              increased by PSINCR units over the text size specified by the PS
              register, for each level by which the heading level is less than
              the value of GROWPS.  For example, the sequence:

                     .nr PS 10
                     .nr GROWPS 3
                     .nr PSINCR 1.5p
                     .NH 1
                     Top Level Heading
                     .NH 2
                     Second Level Heading
                     .NH 3
                     Third Level Heading

              will  cause  “1. Top Level Heading”  to  be printed in 13pt bold
              text, followed by  “1.1. Second Level Heading”  in  11.5pt  bold
              text,  while  “1.1.1. Third Level Heading”,  and all more deeply
              nested heading levels, will remain in the 10pt bold  text  which
              is specified by the PS register.

              Note  that  the  value  stored in PSINCR is interpreted in groff
              basic units; the p  scaling  factor  should  be  employed,  when
              assigning a value specified in points.

              The  style  used  to  represent  the  section  number,  within a
              numbered heading, is controlled by the SN-STYLE string; this may
              be  set  to either the SN-DOT or the SN-NO-DOT style, (described
              below), by aliasing SN-STYLE accordingly.  By default,  SN-STYLE
              is initialised by defining the alias

                     .als SN-STYLE SN-DOT

              it  may  be  changed  to  the  SN-NO-DOT style, if preferred, by
              defining the alternative alias

                     .als SN-STYLE SN-NO-DOT

              Any such change becomes effective with the  first  use  of  .NH,
              after the new alias is defined.

              After  invoking .NH, the assigned heading number is available in
              the strings SN-DOT (as it  appears  in  the  default  formatting
              style for numbered headings, with a terminating period following
              the  number),  and  SN-NO-DOT  (with  this  terminating   period
              omitted).   The  string  SN is also defined, as an alias for SN-
              DOT; if preferred, the user may redefine it as an alias for  SN-
              NO-DOT, by including the initialisation:

                     .als SN SN-NO-DOT

              at  any  time; the change becomes effective with the next use of
              .NH, after the new alias is defined.

       .SH [xx]
              Unnumbered subheading.  The use of the optional xx argument is a
              GNU  extension,  which  adjusts the point size of the unnumbered
              subheading to match that of a numbered heading, introduced using
              .NH xx  with  the same value of xx.  For example, given the same
              settings for PS, GROWPS and PSINCR, as used  in  the  preceeding
              .NH example, the sequence:

                     .SH 2
                     An Unnumbered Subheading

              will print “An Unnumbered Subheading” in 11.5pt bold text.

       The  ms  macros  provide a variety of methods to highlight or emphasize

       .B [txt [post [pre]]]
              Sets its first argument in bold type.  If you specify  a  second
              argument,  groff  prints  it in the previous font after the bold
              text,  with  no  intervening  space  (this  allows  you  to  set
              punctuation  after the highlighted text without highlighting the
              punctuation).  Similarly, it prints the third argument (if  any)
              in the previous font before the first argument.  For example,

                     .B foo ) (

              prints (foo).

              If  you  give  this  macro  no  arguments, groff prints all text
              following in bold until the  next  highlighting,  paragraph,  or
              heading macro.

       .R [txt [post [pre]]]
              Sets its first argument in roman (or regular) type.  It operates
              similarly to the B macro otherwise.

       .I [txt [post [pre]]]
              Sets its first argument in italic type.  It  operates  similarly
              to the B macro otherwise.

       .CW [txt [post [pre]]]
              Sets  its  first argument in a constant width face.  It operates
              similarly to the B macro otherwise.

       .BI [txt [post [pre]]]
              Sets its first  argument  in  bold  italic  type.   It  operates
              similarly to the B macro otherwise.

       .BX [txt]
              Prints  its  argument and draws a box around it.  If you want to
              box a string that contains spaces, use a digit-width space (\0).

       .UL [txt [post]]
              Prints  its  first argument with an underline.  If you specify a
              second argument, groff prints it in the previous font after  the
              underlined text, with no intervening space.

       .LG    Prints  all  text following in larger type (2 points larger than
              the current point size) until the next font size,  highlighting,
              paragraph,  or  heading  macro.   You  can  specify  this  macro
              multiple times to enlarge the point size as needed.

       .SM    Prints all text following in smaller type (2 points smaller than
              the  current point size) until the next type size, highlighting,
              paragraph,  or  heading  macro.   You  can  specify  this  macro
              multiple times to reduce the point size as needed.

       .NL    Prints all text following in the normal point size (that is, the
              value of the PS register).

              Print the enclosed text as a superscript.

       You may need to indent sections of text.  A typical use for indents  is
       to create nested lists and sublists.

       Use  the  RS and RE macros to start and end a section of indented text,
       respectively.  The PI register controls the amount of indent.

       You can nest indented sections as deeply as needed by  using  multiple,
       nested pairs of RS and RE.

       The IP macro handles duties for all lists.  Its syntax is as follows:

       .IP [marker [width]]

              The  marker  is  usually  a  bullet character \(bu for unordered
              lists, a  number  (or  auto-incrementing  number  register)  for
              numbered  lists,  or  a  word  or phrase for indented (glossary-
              style) lists.

              The width specifies the indent for the body of each  list  item.
              Once  specified,  the indent remains the same for all list items
              in the document until specified again.

   Tab stops
       Use the ta request to set tab stops as needed.  Use  the  TA  macro  to
       reset tabs to the default (every 5n).  You can redefine the TA macro to
       create a different set of default tab stops.

   Displays and keeps
       Use displays to show text-based  examples  or  figures  (such  as  code
       listings).   Displays  turn  off  filling,  so  lines  of  code  can be
       displayed as-is without inserting br requests  in  between  each  line.
       Displays  can  be  kept  on  a  single page, or allowed to break across
       pages.  The following table shows the display types available.

       Use the DE macro to end any display type.  The macros Ds  and  De  were
       formerly provided as aliases for DS and DE, respectively, but they have
       been removed, and should  no  longer  be  used.   X11  documents  which
       actually  use  Ds and De always load a specific macro file from the X11
       distribution (macros.t) which provides proper definitions for  the  two

       To  keep  text together on a page, such as a paragraph that refers to a
       table (or list, or other item) immediately following, use the KS and KE
       macros.   The  KS  macro  begins a block of text to be kept on a single
       page, and the KE macro ends the block.

       You can specify a floating keep using the KF and  KE  macros.   If  the
       keep  cannot  fit  on the current page, groff holds the contents of the
       keep and allows text following the keep (in the source file) to fill in
       the remainder of the current page.  When the page breaks, whether by an
       explicit bp request or by reaching the end of the  page,  groff  prints
       the  floating  keep  at  the  top  of the new page.  This is useful for
       printing large graphics or tables that do not need  to  appear  exactly
       where specified.

       The  macros  B1  and B2 can be used to enclose a text within a box; .B1
       begins the box, and .B2 ends it.  Text  in  the  box  is  automatically
       placed in a diversion (keep).

   Tables, figures, equations, and references
       The -ms macros support the standard groff preprocessors: tbl, pic, eqn,
       and refer.  Mark text meant for preprocessors by enclosing it in  pairs
       of tags as follows:

       .TS [H] and .TE
              Denotes  a  table, to be processed by the tbl preprocessor.  The
              optional H argument instructs groff to create a  running  header
              with  the  information  up  to  the  TH macro.  Groff prints the
              header at the beginning of the table; if  the  table  runs  onto
              another  page, groff prints the header on the next page as well.

       .PS and .PE
              Denotes a graphic, to be processed by the pic preprocessor.  You
              can  create  a  pic  file  by  hand,  using  the AT&T pic manual
              available on the Web as a reference,  or  by  using  a  graphics
              program such as xfig.

       .EQ [align] and .EN
              Denotes  an  equation,  to be processed by the eqn preprocessor.
              The optional align argument can be C, L, or  I  to  center  (the
              default), left-justify, or indent the equation.

       .[ and .]
              Denotes  a reference, to be processed by the refer preprocessor.
              The GNU refer(1) manual page provides a comprehensive  reference
              to   the  preprocessor  and  the  format  of  the  bibliographic

       The ms macros provide a flexible footnote system.  You  can  specify  a
       numbered  footnote by using the \** escape, followed by the text of the
       footnote enclosed by FS and FE macros.

       You can specify symbolic footnotes by placing the mark character  (such
       as  \(dg  for  the  dagger character) in the body text, followed by the
       text of the footnote enclosed by FS \(dg and FE macros.

       You can control how groff prints footnote numbers by changing the value
       of the FF register as follows:

              0      Prints  the footnote number as a superscript; indents the
                     footnote (default).

              1      Prints the number followed by  a  period  (like  1.)  and
                     indents the footnote.

              2      Like 1, without an indent.

              3      Like  1,  but  prints  the  footnote  number as a hanging

       You can use footnotes safely within keeps and displays, but avoid using
       numbered  footnotes  within  floating  keeps.  You can set a second \**
       between a \** and its corresponding .FS; as long  as  each  .FS  occurs
       after  the corresponding \** and the occurrences of .FS are in the same
       order as the corresponding occurrences of \**.

   Headers and footers
       There are three ways to define headers and footers:

       ·  Use the strings LH, CH, and RH to set the left,  center,  and  right
          headers;  use  LF,  CF,  and  RF  to set the left, center, and right
          footers.  This works best for  documents  that  do  not  distinguish
          between odd and even pages.

       ·  Use  the  OH  and  EH  macros to define headers for the odd and even
          pages; and OF and EF macros to define footers for the odd  and  even
          pages.   This is more flexible than defining the individual strings.
          The syntax for these macros is as follows:


          You can replace the quote (’) marks with any character not appearing
          in the header or footer text.

       You  can  also  redefine the PT and BT macros to change the behavior of
       the header and footer, respectively.  The header process also calls the
       (undefined)  HD  macro after PT ; you can define this macro if you need
       additional processing after printing the header (for example, to draw a
       line below the header).

       You  control  margins  using  a set of number registers.  The following
       table lists the register names and defaults:

              Reg.          Definition             Effective      Default
              PO     Page offset (left margin)   next page        1i
              LL     Line length                 next paragraph   6i
              LT     Header/footer length        next paragraph   6i
              HM     Top (header) margin         next page        1i

              FM     Bottom (footer) margin      next page        1i

       Note that there is no right margin setting.  The  combination  of  page
       offset  and line length provide the information necessary to derive the
       right margin.

   Multiple columns
       The ms macros can set text in as many columns as will reasonably fit on
       the  page.   The  following  macros are available.  All of them force a
       page break if a multi-column mode is  already  set.   However,  if  the
       current  mode  is  single-column, starting a multi-column mode does not
       force a page break.

       .1C    Single-column mode.

       .2C    Two-column mode.

       .MC [width [gutter]]
              Multi-column  mode.   If  you  specify  no  arguments,   it   is
              equivalent  to  the  2C macro.  Otherwise, width is the width of
              each column and gutter is the space between columns.  The  MINGW
              number register is the default gutter width.

   Creating a table of contents
       Wrap text that you want to appear in the table of contents in XS and XE
       macros.  Use the TC macro to print the table of contents at the end  of
       the document, resetting the page number to i (Roman numeral 1).

       You can manually create a table of contents by specifying a page number
       as the first argument to XS.   Add  subsequent  entries  using  the  XA
       macro.  For example:

              .XS 1
              .XA 2
              A Brief History of the Universe
              .XA 729
              Details of Galactic Formation

       Use  the  PX  macro  to  print  a  manually-generated table of contents
       without resetting the page number.

       If you give the argument no  to  either  PX  or  TC,  groff  suppresses
       printing the title specified by the \*[TOC] string.

   Fractional point sizes
       Traditionally,  the  ms  macros  only  support  integer  values for the
       document’s  font  size  and  vertical  spacing.    To   overcome   this
       restriction,  values  larger  than  or  equal  to  1000  are  taken  as
       fractional values, multiplied by 1000.  For  example,  ‘.nr  PS  10250’
       sets the font size to 10.25 points.

       The  following  four  registers  accept fractional point sizes: PS, VS,
       FPS, and FVS.

       Due to backwards compatibility, the value of VS must  be  smaller  than
       40000 (this is 40.0 points).


       The groff ms macros are a complete re-implementation, using no original
       AT&T code.  Since they take  advantage  of  the  extended  features  in
       groff, they cannot be used with AT&T troff.  Other differences include:

       ·  The internals of groff ms differ from  the  internals  of  Unix  ms.
          Documents that depend upon implementation details of Unix ms may not
          format properly with groff ms.

       ·  The error-handling policy of  groff  ms  is  to  detect  and  report
          errors, rather than silently to ignore them.

       ·  Some  Bell  Labs localisms are not implemented by default.  However,
          if you call the otherwise undocumented SC section-header macro,  you
          will enable implementations of three other archaic Bell Labs macros:
          UC, P1, and P2.  These are not enabled by default because  (a)  they
          were  not  documented, in the original ms manual, and (b) the P1 and
          UC macros both collide with different macros in the Berkeley version
          of ms.

          These  emulations  are  sufficient to give back the 1976 Kernighan &
          Cherry paper Typsetting  Mathematics    Users  Guide  its  section
          headings,  and  restore some text that had gone missing as arguments
          of undefined macros.  No warranty express or implied is given as  to
          how  well  the  typographic details these produce match the original
          Bell Labs macros.

       ·  Berkeley localisms, in particular the TM  and  CT  macros,  are  not

       ·  Groff  ms  does  not  work  in compatibility mode (e.g., with the -C

       ·  There is no support for typewriter-like devices.

       ·  Groff ms does not provide cut marks.

       ·  Multiple line spacing  is  not  supported  (use  a  larger  vertical
          spacing instead).

       ·  Some  Unix ms documentation says that the CW and GW number registers
          can  be  used  to  control  the  column  width  and  gutter   width,
          respectively.  These number registers are not used in groff ms.

       ·  Macros  that  cause  a reset (paragraphs, headings, etc.) may change
          the indent.  Macros that change  the  indent  do  not  increment  or
          decrement  the indent, but rather set it absolutely.  This can cause
          problems for documents that define additional macros of  their  own.
          The  solution is to use not the in request but instead the RS and RE

       ·  The number register GS is set to 1 by the groff ms  macros,  but  is
          not  used  by  the Unix ms macros.  Documents that need to determine
          whether they are being formatted with Unix ms or groff ms should use
          this number register.

       ·  To  make  groff ms use the default page offset (which also specifies
          the left margin), the PO number register must stay  undefined  until
          the first ms macro is evaluated.  This implies that PO should not be
          used early in the document, unless it is changed also: Remember that
          accessing an undefined register automatically defines it.

       You  can redefine the following strings to adapt the groff ms macros to
       languages other than English:

                             String       Default Value
                           REFERENCES   References
                           ABSTRACT     ABSTRACT
                           TOC          Table of Contents
                           MONTH1       January
                           MONTH2       February
                           MONTH3       March

                           MONTH4       April
                           MONTH5       May
                           MONTH6       June
                           MONTH7       July
                           MONTH8       August
                           MONTH9       September
                           MONTH10      October
                           MONTH11      November
                           MONTH12      December

       The \*- string produces an em dash — like this.

       Use  \*Q  and  \*U  to  get  a  left  and  right  typographer’s  quote,
       respectively, in troff (and plain quotes in nroff).

   Text Settings
       The  FAM  string  sets  the  default  font  family.   If this string is
       undefined at initialization, it is set to Times.

       The point size,  vertical  spacing,  and  inter-paragraph  spacing  for
       footnotes  are controlled by the number registers FPS, FVS, and FPD; at
       initialization these  are  set  to  \n(PS-2,  \n[FPS]+2,  and  \n(PD/2,
       respectively.    If   any   of   these  registers  are  defined  before
       initialization, the initialization macro does not change them.

       The hyphenation flags (as set by the hy request) are set  from  the  HY
       register; the default is 14.

       Improved  accent marks (as originally defined in Berkeley’s ms version)
       are available by specifying the AM  macro  at  the  beginning  of  your
       document.   You  can place an accent over most characters by specifying
       the string defining the  accent  directly  after  the  character.   For
       example, n\*~ produces an n with a tilde over it.


       The  following  conventions  are  used for names of macros, strings and
       number registers.  External names available to documents that  use  the
       groff ms macros contain only uppercase letters and digits.

       Internally  the macros are divided into modules; naming conventions are
       as follows:

       ·  Names used only within one module are of the form module*name.

       ·  Names used outside the module in which they are defined are  of  the
          form module@name.

       ·  Names  associated  with  a  particular  environment  are of the form
          environment:name; these are used only within the par module.

       ·  name does not have a module prefix.

       ·  Constructed  names  used  to  implement  arrays  are  of  the   form

       Thus the groff ms macros reserve the following names:

       ·  Names containing the characters *, @, and :.

       ·  Names containing only uppercase letters and digits.


       /usr/share/groff/1.20.1/tmac/ms.tmac (a wrapper file for s.tmac)


       groff(1),  troff(1),  tbl(1),  pic(1), eqn(1), refer(1), Groff: The GNU
       Implementation of troff by Trent Fisher and Werner Lemberg.


       Original manual page by James Clark et al; rewritten  by  Larry  Kollar