NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | OPTION OVERVIEW | OPTION DETAILS | OUTPUT MODES | MAN PAGE SEARCHING | DECOMPRESSION | ENVIRONMENT | CONFIGURATION FILES | EXAMPLES | COMPATIBILITY | BUGS | SEE ALSO | COPYING | AUTHORS | COLOPHON

GROFFER(1)                 General Commands Manual                GROFFER(1)

NAME         top

       groffer - display groff files and man pages on X and tty

SYNOPSIS         top

       groffer [--] [filespec ....]

       groffer [mode-option ....]  [groff-options ....]  [man-options ....]
               [X-options ....]  [--] [filespec ....]

       groffer -h | --help

       groffer -v | --version

DESCRIPTION         top

       The groffer program is the easiest way to use groff(1).  It can
       display arbitrary documents written in the groff language, see
       groff(7), or other roff languages, see roff(7), that are compatible
       to the original troff language.  It finds and runs all necessary
       groff preprocessors, such as chem.

       The groffer program also includes many of the features for finding
       and displaying the Unix manual pages (man pages), such that it can be
       used as a replacement for a man(1) program.  Moreover, compressed
       files that can be handled by gzip(1) or bzip2(1) are decompressed on-
       the-fly.

       The normal usage is quite simple by supplying a file name or name of
       a man page without further options.  But the option handling has many
       possibilities for creating special behaviors.  This can be done ei‐
       ther in configuration files, with the shell environment variable
       $GROFFER_OPT, or on the command line.

       The output can be generated and viewed in several different ways
       available for groff.  This includes the groff native X Window viewer
       gxditview(1), each Postcript, pdf, or dvi display program, a web
       browser by generating html in www mode, or several text modes in text
       terminals.

       Most of the options that must be named when running groff directly
       are determined automatically for groffer, due to the internal usage
       of the grog(1) program.  But all parts can also be controlled manual‐
       ly by arguments.

       Several file names can be specified on the command line arguments.
       They are transformed into a single document in the normal way of
       groff.

       Option handling is done in GNU style.  Options and file names can be
       mixed freely.  The option `--' closes the option handling, all fol‐
       lowing arguments are treated as file names.  Long options can be ab‐
       breviated in several ways.

OPTION OVERVIEW         top

       breaking options

               [-h | --help] [-v | --version]

       groffer mode options

               [--auto] [--default] [--default-modes mode1,mode2,....]
               [--dvi] [--groff] [--html] [--latin1] [--mode display_mode]
               [--pdf] [--pdf2] [--ps] [--source] [--text] [--to-stdout]
               [--tty] [--utf8] [--viewer prog] [--www] [--x | --X]

       options related to groff

               [-T | --device device]
               [-Z | --intermediate-output | --ditroff]

              All further groff short options are accepted.

       options for man pages

               [--apropos] [--apropos-data] [--apropos-devel]
               [--apropos-progs] [--man] [--no-man] [--no-special]
               [--whatis]

       long options taken over from GNU man

               [--all] [--ascii] [--ditroff] [--extension suffix]
               [--locale language] [--local-file] [--location | --where]
               [--manpath dir1:dir2:....]  [--no-location] [--pager program]
               [--sections sec1:sec2:....]  [--systems sys1,sys2,....]
               [--troff-device device]

              Further long options of GNU man are accepted as well.

       X Window Toolkit options

               [--bd | --bordercolor pixels] [--bg | --background color]
               [--bw | --borderwidth pixels] [--display X-display]
               [--fg | --foreground color] [--fn | --ft | --font font_name]
               [--geometry size_pos] [--resolution value] [--rv]
               [--title string] [--xrm X-resource]

       options for development

               [--debug] [--debug-filenames] [--debug-grog] [--debug-keep]
               [--debug-params] [--debug-tmpdir] [--do-nothing]
               [--print text] [-V]

       filespec arguments

              The filespec parameters are all arguments that are neither an
              option nor an option argument.  They usually mean a file name
              or a man page searching scheme.

              In the following, the term section_extension is used.  It
              means a word that consists of a man section that is optionally
              followed by an extension.  The name of a man section is a sin‐
              gle character from [1–9on], the extension is some word.  The
              extension is mostly lacking.

              No filespec parameters means standard input.

              -         stands for standard input (can occur several times).

              filename  the path name of an existing file.

              man:name(section_extension)
              man:name.section_extension
              name(section_extension)
              name.section_extension
              section_extension name
                        search the man page name in the section with
                        optional extension section_extension.

              man:name  man page in the lowest man section that has name.

              name      if name is not an existing file search for the
                        man page name in the lowest man section.

OPTION DETAILS         top

       The groffer program can usually be run with very few options.  But
       for special purposes, it supports many options.  These can be
       classified in 5 option classes.

       All short options of groffer are compatible with the short options of
       groff(1).  All long options of groffer are compatible with the long
       options of man(1).

       Arguments for long option names can be abbreviated in several ways.
       First, the argument is checked whether it can be prolonged as is.
       Furthermore, each minus sign - is considered as a starting point for
       a new abbreviation.  This leads to a set of multiple abbreviations
       for a single argument.  For example, --de-n-f can be used as an
       abbreviation for --debug-not-func, but --de-n works as well.  If the
       abbreviation of the argument leads to several resulting options an
       error is raised.

       These abbreviations are only allowed in the environment variable
       $GROFFER_OPT, but not in the configuration files.  In configuration,
       all long options must be exact.

   groffer breaking Options
       As soon as one of these options is found on the command line it is
       executed, printed to standard output, and the running groffer is
       terminated thereafter.  All other arguments are ignored.

       -h | --help
              Print help information with a short explanation of options to
              standard output.

       -v | --version
              Print version information to standard output.

   groffer Mode Options
       The display mode and the viewer programs are determined by these
       options.  If none of these mode and viewer options is specified
       groffer tries to find a suitable display mode automatically.  The
       default modes are mode pdf, mode ps, mode html, mode x, and mode dvi
       in X Window with different viewers and mode tty with device utf8
       under less on a terminal; other modes are tested if the programs for
       the main default mode do not exist.

       In X Window, many programs create their own window when called.
       groffer can run these viewers as an independent program in the
       background.  As this does not work in text mode on a terminal (tty)
       there must be a way to know which viewers are X Window graphical
       programs.  The groffer script has a small set of information on some
       viewer names.  If a viewer argument of the command-line chooses an
       element that is kept as X Window program in this list it is treated
       as a viewer that can run in the background.  All other, unknown
       viewer calls are not run in the background.

       For each mode, you are free to choose whatever viewer you want.  That
       need not be some graphical viewer suitable for this mode.  There is a
       chance to view the output source; for example, the combination of the
       options --mode=ps and --viewer=less shows the content of the
       Postscript output, the source code, with the pager less.

       --auto Equivalent to --mode=auto.

       --default
              Reset all configuration from previously processed command line
              options to the default values.  This is useful to wipe out all
              former options of the configuration, in $GROFFER_OPT, and
              restart option processing using only the rest of the command
              line.

       --default-modes mode1,mode2,....
              Set the sequence of modes for auto mode to the comma separated
              list given in the argument.  See --mode for details on modes.
              Display in the default manner; actually, this means to try the
              modes x, ps, and tty in this sequence.

       --dvi  Equivalent to --mode=dvi.
       --viewer prog
              Choose a viewer program for dvi mode.  This can be a file name
              or a program to be searched in $PATH.  Known X Window dvi
              viewers include xdvi(1) and dvilx(1).  In each case, arguments
              can be provided additionally.

       --groff
              Equivalent to --mode=groff.

       --html Equivalent to --mode=html.
       --viewer
              Choose a web browser program for viewing in html mode.  It can
              be the path name of an executable file or a program in $PATH.
              In each case, arguments can be provided additionally.

       --mode value
              Set the display mode.  The following mode values are
              recognized:

              auto   Select the automatic determination of the display mode.
                     The sequence of modes that are tried can be set with
                     the --default-modes option.  Useful for restoring the
                     default mode when a different mode was specified
                     before.

              dvi    Display formatted input in a dvi viewer program.  By
                     default, the formatted input is displayed with the
                     xdvi(1) program.

              groff  After the file determination, switch groffer to process
                     the input like groff(1) would do.  This disables the
                     groffer viewing features.

              html   Translate the input into html format and display the
                     result in a web browser program.  By default, the
                     existence of a sequence of standard web browsers is
                     tested, starting with konqueror(1) and mozilla(1).  The
                     text html viewer is lynx(1).

              pdf    Transform roff input files into a PDF file by using the
                     groff(1) device -Tpdf.  This is the default PDF
                     generator.  The generated PDF file is displayed with
                     suitable viewer programs, such as okular(1).

              pdf2   This is the traditional pdf mode.  Sometimes this mode
                     produces more correct output than the default PDF mode.
                     By default, the input is formatted by groff using the
                     Postscript device, then it is transformed into the PDF
                     file format using gs(1), or ps2pdf(1).  If that's not
                     possible, the Postscript mode (ps) is used instead.
                     Finally it is displayed using different viewer
                     programs.

              ps     Display formatted input in a Postscript viewer program.
                     By default, the formatted input is displayed in one of
                     many viewer programs.

              text   Format in a groff text mode and write the result to
                     standard output without a pager or viewer program.  The
                     text device, latin1 by default, can be chosen with
                     option -T.

              tty    Format in a groff text mode and write the result to
                     standard output using a text pager program, even when
                     in X Window.

              www    Equivalent to --mode=html.

              x      Display the formatted input in a native roff viewer.
                     By default, the formatted input is displayed with the
                     gxditview(1) program being distributed together with
                     groff.  But the standard X Window tool xditview(1) can
                     also be chosen with the option --viewer.  The default
                     resolution is 75dpi, but 100dpi are also possible.  The
                     default groff device for the resolution of 75dpi is
                     X75-12, for 100dpi it is X100.  The corresponding groff
                     intermediate output for the actual device is generated
                     and the result is displayed.  For a resolution of
                     100dpi, the default width of the geometry of the
                     display program is chosen to 850dpi.

              X      Equivalent to --mode=x.

              The following modes do not use the groffer viewing features.
              They are only interesting for advanced applications.

              groff  Generate device output with plain groff without using
                     the special viewing features of groffer.  If no device
                     was specified by option -T the groff default ps is
                     assumed.

              source Output the roff source code of the input files without
                     further processing.

       --pdf  Equivalent to --mode=pdf.
       --pdf2 Equivalent to --mode=pdf2.
       --viewer prog
              Choose a viewer program for pdf mode.  This can be a file name
              or a program to be searched in $PATH; arguments can be
              provided additionally.

       --ps   Equivalent to --mode=ps.
       --viewer prog
              Choose a viewer program for ps mode.  This can be a file name
              or a program to be searched in $PATH.  Common Postscript
              viewers include okular(1), evince(1), gv(1), ghostview(1), and
              gs(1), In each case, arguments can be provided additionally.

       --source
              Equivalent to --mode=source.

       --text Equivalent to --mode=text.

       --to-stdout
              The file for the chosen mode is generated and its content is
              printed to standard output.  It will not be displayed in
              graphical mode.

       --tty  Equivalent to --mode=tty.
       --viewer prog
              Choose a text pager for mode tty.  The standard pager is
              less(1).  This option is equivalent to man option
              --pager=prog.  The option argument can be a file name or a
              program to be searched in $PATH; arguments can be provided
              additionally.

       --www  Equivalent to --mode=html.
       --viewer
              prog.

       --X | --x
              Equivalent to --mode=x.
       --viewer prog
              Choose a viewer program for x mode.  Suitable viewer programs
              are gxditview(1) which is the default and xditview(1).  The
              argument can be any executable file or a program in $PATH;
              arguments can be provided additionally.

       --     Signals the end of option processing; all remaining arguments
              are interpreted as filespec parameters.

       Besides these, groffer accepts all short options that are valid for
       the groff(1) program.  All non-groffer options are sent unmodified
       via grog to groff.  So postprocessors, macro packages, compatibility
       with classical troff, and much more can be manually specified.

   Options related to groff
       All short options of groffer are compatible with the short options of
       groff(1).  The following of groff options have either an additional
       special meaning within groffer or make sense for normal usage.

       Because of the special outputting behavior of the groff option -Z
       groffer was designed to be switched into groff mode; the groffer
       viewing features are disabled there.  The other groff options do not
       switch the mode, but allow to customize the formatting process.

       --a    This generates an ascii approximation of output in the
              text modes.  That could be important when the text pager has
              problems with control sequences in tty mode.

       --m file
              Add file as a groff macro file.  This is useful in case it
              cannot be recognized automatically.

       --P opt_or_arg
              Send the argument opt_or_arg as an option or option argument
              to the actual groff postprocessor.

       --T devname | --device devname
              This option determines groff's output device.  The most
              important devices are the text output devices for referring to
              the different character sets, such as ascii, utf8, latin1,
              utf8, and others.  Each of these arguments switches groffer
              into a text mode using this device, to mode tty if the actual
              mode is not a text mode.  The following devname arguments are
              mapped to the corresponding groffer --mode=devname option:
              dvi, html, and ps.  All X* arguments are mapped to mode x.
              Each other devname argument switches to mode groff using this
              device.

       --X    is equivalent to groff -X.  It displays the groff intermediate
              output with gxditview.  As the quality is relatively bad this
              option is deprecated; use --X instead because the x mode uses
              an X* device for a better display.

       -Z | --intermediate-output | --ditroff
              Switch into groff mode and format the input with the groff
              intermediate output without postprocessing; see groff_out(5).
              This is equivalent to option --ditroff of man, which can be
              used as well.

       All other groff options are supported by groffer, but they are just
       transparently transferred to groff without any intervention.  The
       options that are not explicitly handled by groffer are transparently
       passed to groff.  Therefore these transparent options are not
       documented here, but in groff(1).  Due to the automatism in groffer,
       none of these groff options should be needed, except for advanced
       usage.

   Options for man pages
       --apropos
              Start the apropos(1) command or facility of man(1) for
              searching the filespec arguments within all man page
              descriptions.  Each filespec argument is taken for search as
              it is; section specific parts are not handled, such that 7
              groff searches for the two arguments 7 and groff, with a large
              result; for the filespec groff.7 nothing will be found.  The
              language locale is handled only when the called programs do
              support this; the GNU apropos and man -k do not.  The display
              differs from the apropos program by the following concepts:

              * Construct a groff frame similar to a man page to the output
                of apropos,

              * each filespec argument is searched on its own.

              * The restriction by --sections is handled as well,

              * wildcard characters are allowed and handled without a
                further option.

       --apropos-data
              Show only the apropos descriptions for data documents, these
              are the man(7) sections 4, 5, and 7.  Direct section
              declarations are ignored, wildcards are accepted.

       --apropos-devel
              Show only the apropos descriptions for development documents,
              these are the man(7) sections 2, 3, and 9.  Direct section
              declarations are ignored, wildcards are accepted.

       --apropos-progs
              Show only the apropos descriptions for documents on programs,
              these are the man(7) sections 1, 6, and 8.  Direct section
              declarations are ignored, wildcards are accepted.

       --whatis
              For each filespec argument search all man pages and display
              their description — or say that it is not a man page.  This is
              written from anew, so it differs from man's whatis output by
              the following concepts

              * each retrieved file name is added,

              * local files are handled as well,

              * the language and system locale is supported,

              * the display is framed by a groff output format similar to a
                man page,

              * wildcard characters are allowed without a further option.

       The following options were added to groffer for choosing whether the
       file name arguments are interpreted as names for local files or as a
       search pattern for man pages.  The default is looking up for local
       files.

       --man  Check the non-option command line arguments (filespecs) first
              on being man pages, then whether they represent an existing
              file.  By default, a filespec is first tested whether it is an
              existing file.

       --no-man | --local-file
              Do not check for man pages.  --local-file is the corresponding
              man option.

       --no-special
              Disable former calls of --all, --apropos*, and --whatis.

   Long options taken over from GNU man
       The long options of groffer were synchronized with the long options
       of GNU man.  All long options of GNU man are recognized, but not all
       of these options are important to groffer, so most of them are just
       ignored.  These ignored man options are --catman, --troff, and --up‐
       date.

       In the following, the man options that have a special meaning for
       groffer are documented.

       If your system has GNU man installed the full set of long and short
       options of the GNU man program can be passed via the environment
       variable $MANOPT; see man(1).

       --all  In searching man pages, retrieve all suitable documents in‐
              stead of only one.

       -7 | --ascii
              In text modes, display ASCII translation of special characters
              for critical environment.  This is equivalent to groff
              -mtty_char; see groff_tmac(5).

       --ditroff
              Produce groff intermediate output.  This is equivalent to
              groffer -Z.

       --extension suffix
              Restrict man page search to file names that have suffix ap‐
              pended to their section element.  For example, in the file
              name /usr/share/man/man3/terminfo.3ncurses.gz the man page ex‐
              tension is ncurses.

       --locale language
              Set the language for man pages.  This has the same effect, but
              overwrites $LANG.

       --location
              Print the location of the retrieved files to standard error.

       --no-location
              Do not display the location of retrieved files; this resets a
              former call to --location.  This was added by groffer.

       --manpath 'dir1:dir2:....'
              Use the specified search path for retrieving man pages instead
              of the program defaults.  If the argument is set to the empty
              string "" the search for man page is disabled.

       --pager
              Set the pager program in tty mode; default is less.  This can
              be set with --viewer.

       --sections sec1:sec2:....
              Restrict searching for man pages to the given sections, a
              colon-separated list.

       --systems sys1,sys2,....
              Search for man pages for the given operating systems; the ar‐
              gument systems is a comma-separated list.

       --where
              Equivalent to --location.

   X Window Toolkit Options
       The following long options were adapted from the corresponding
       X Window Toolkit options.  groffer will pass them to the actual view‐
       er program if it is an X Window program.  Otherwise these options are
       ignored.

       Unfortunately these options use the old style of a single minus for
       long options.  For groffer that was changed to the standard with us‐
       ing a double minus for long options, for example, groffer uses the
       option --font for the X Window option -font.

       See X(7) and the documentation on the X Window Toolkit options for
       more details on these options and their arguments.

       --background color
              Set the background color of the viewer window.

       --bd pixels
              This is equivalent to --bordercolor.

       --bg color
              This is equivalent to --background.

       --bw pixels
              This is equivalent to --borderwidth.

       --bordercolor pixels
              Specifies the color of the border surrounding the viewer win‐
              dow.

       --borderwidth pixels
              Specifies the width in pixels of the border surrounding the
              viewer window.

       --display X-display
              Set the X Window display on which the viewer program shall be
              started, see the X Window documentation for the syntax of the
              argument.

       --foreground color
              Set the foreground color of the viewer window.

       --fg color
              This is equivalent to --foreground.

       --fn font_name
              This is equivalent to --font.

       --font font_name
              Set the font used by the viewer window.  The argument is an
              X Window font name.

       --ft font_name
              This is equivalent to --font.

       --geometry size_pos
              Set the geometry of the display window, that means its size
              and its starting position.  See X(7) for the syntax of the ar‐
              gument.

       --resolution value
              Set X Window resolution in dpi (dots per inch) in some viewer
              programs.  The only supported dpi values are 75 and 100.  Ac‐
              tually, the default resolution for groffer is set to 75dpi.
              The resolution also sets the default device in mode x.

       --rv   Reverse foreground and background color of the viewer window.

       --title 'some text'
              Set the title for the viewer window.

       --xrm 'resource'
              Set X Window resource.

   Options for Development
       --debug
              Enable all debugging options --debug-type.  The temporary
              files are kept and not deleted, the grog output is printed,
              the name of the temporary directory is printed, the displayed
              file names are printed, and the parameters are printed.

       --debug-filenames
              Print the names of the files and man pages that are displayed
              by groffer.

       --debug-grog
              Print the output of all grog commands.

       --debug-keep
              Enable two debugging informations.  Print the name of the tem‐
              porary directory and keep the temporary files, do not delete
              them during the run of groffer.

       --debug-params
              Print the parameters, as obtained from the configuration
              files, from GROFFER_OPT, and the command line arguments.

       --debug-tmpdir
              Print the name of the temporary directory.

       --do-nothing
              This is like --version, but without the output; no viewer is
              started.  This makes only sense in development.

       --print=text
              Just print the argument to standard error.  This is good for
              parameter check.

       -V     This is an advanced option for debugging only.  Instead of
              displaying the formatted input, a lot of groffer specific in‐
              formation is printed to standard output:

              * the output file name in the temporary directory,

              * the display mode of the actual groffer run,

              * the display program for viewing the output with its argu‐
                ments,

              * the active parameters from the config files, the arguments
                in $GROFFER_OPT, and the arguments of the command line,

              * the pipeline that would be run by the groff program, but
                without executing it.

       Other useful debugging options are the groff option -Z and
       --mode=groff.

   Filespec Arguments
       A filespec parameter is an argument that is not an option or option
       argument.  In groffer, filespec parameters are a file name or a tem‐
       plate for searching man pages.  These input sources are collected and
       composed into a single output file such as groff does.

       The strange POSIX behavior to regard all arguments behind the first
       non-option argument as filespec arguments is ignored.  The GNU behav‐
       ior to recognize options even when mixed with filespec arguments is
       used throughout.  But, as usual, the double minus argument -- ends
       the option handling and interprets all following arguments as
       filespec arguments; so the POSIX behavior can be easily adopted.

       The options --apropos* have a special handling of filespec arguments.
       Each argument is taken as a search scheme of its own.  Also a regexp
       (regular expression) can be used in the filespec.  For example, grof‐
       fer --apropos '^gro.f$' searches groff in the man page name, while
       groffer --apropos groff searches groff somewhere in the name or de‐
       scription of the man pages.

       All other parts of groffer, such as the normal display or the output
       with --whatis have a different scheme for filespecs.  No regular ex‐
       pressions are used for the arguments.  The filespec arguments are
       handled by the following scheme.

       It is necessary to know that on each system the man pages are sorted
       according to their content into several sections.  The classical man
       sections have a single-character name, either a digit from 1 to 9 or
       one of the characters n or o.

       This can optionally be followed by a string, the so-called extension.
       The extension allows to store several man pages with the same name in
       the same section.  But the extension is only rarely used, usually it
       is omitted.  Then the extensions are searched automatically by alpha‐
       bet.

       In the following, we use the name section_extension for a word that
       consists of a single character section name or a section character
       that is followed by an extension.  Each filespec parameter can have
       one of the following forms in decreasing sequence.

       * No filespec parameters means that groffer waits for standard input.
         The minus option - always stands for standard input; it can occur
         several times.  If you want to look up a man page called - use the
         argument man:-.

       * Next a filespec is tested whether it is the path name of an exist‐
         ing file.  Otherwise it is assumed to be a searching pattern for a
         man page.

       * man:name(section_extension), man:name.section_extension,
         name(section_extension), or name.section_extension search the
         man page name in man section and possibly extension of
         section_extension.

       * Now man:name searches for a man page in the lowest man section that
         has a document called name.

       * section_extension name is a pattern of 2 arguments that originates
         from a strange argument parsing of the man program.  Again, this
         searches the man page name with section_extension, a combination of
         a section character optionally followed by an extension.

       * We are left with the argument name which is not an existing file.
         So this searches for the man page called name in the lowest
         man section that has a document for this name.

       Several file name arguments can be supplied.  They are mixed by groff
       into a single document.  Note that the set of option arguments must
       fit to all of these file arguments.  So they should have at least the
       same style of the groff language.

OUTPUT MODES         top

       By default, the groffer program collects all input into a single
       file, formats it with the groff program for a certain device, and
       then chooses a suitable viewer program.  The device and viewer
       process in groffer is called a mode.  The mode and viewer of a
       running groffer program is selected automatically, but the user can
       also choose it with options.  The modes are selected by option the
       arguments of --mode=anymode.  Additionally, each of this argument can
       be specified as an option of its own, such as anymode.  Most of these
       modes have a viewer program, which can be chosen by the option
       --viewer.

       Several different modes are offered, graphical modes for X Window,
       text modes, and some direct groff modes for debugging and
       development.

       By default, groffer first tries whether x mode is possible, then
       ps mode, and finally tty mode.  This mode testing sequence for
       auto mode can be changed by specifying a comma separated list of
       modes with the option --default-modes.

       The searching for man pages and the decompression of the input are
       active in every mode.

   Graphical Display Modes
       The graphical display modes work mostly in the X Window environment
       (or similar implementations within other windowing environments).
       The environment variable $DISPLAY and the option --display are used
       for specifying the X Window display to be used.  If this environment
       variable is empty groffer assumes that no X Window is running and
       changes to a text mode.  You can change this automatic behavior by
       the option --default-modes.

       Known viewers for the graphical display modes and their standard
       X Window viewer programs are

       * in a PDF viewer (pdf mode)

       * in a web browser (html or www mode)

       * in a Postscript viewer (ps mode)

       * X Window roff viewers such as gxditview(1) or xditview(1) (in
         x mode)

       * in a dvi viewer program (dvi mode)

       The pdf mode has a major advantage — it is the only graphical display
       mode that allows to search for text within the viewer; this can be a
       really important feature.  Unfortunately, it takes some time to
       transform the input into the PDF format, so it was not chosen as the
       major mode.

       These graphical viewers can be customized by options of the
       X Window Toolkit.  But the groffer options use a leading double minus
       instead of the single minus used by the X Window Toolkit.

   Text modes
       There are two modes for text output, mode text for plain output with‐
       out a pager and mode tty for a text output on a text terminal using
       some pager program.

       If the variable $DISPLAY is not set or empty, groffer assumes that it
       should use tty mode.

       In the actual implementation, the groff output device latin1 is cho‐
       sen for text modes.  This can be changed by specifying option -T or
       --device.

       The pager to be used can be specified by one of the options --pager
       and --viewer, or by the environment variable $PAGER.  If all of this
       is not used the less(1) program with the option -r for correctly dis‐
       playing control sequences is used as the default pager.

   Special Modes for Debugging and Development
       These modes use the groffer file determination and decompression.
       This is combined into a single input file that is fed directly into
       groff with different strategy without the groffer viewing facilities.
       These modes are regarded as advanced, they are useful for debugging
       and development purposes.

       The source mode with option --source just displays the decompressed
       input.

       Option --to-stdout does not display in a graphical mode.  It just
       generates the file for the chosen mode and then prints its content to
       standard output.

       The groff mode passes the input to groff using only some suitable op‐
       tions provided to groffer.  This enables the user to save the gener‐
       ated output into a file or pipe it into another program.

       In groff mode, the option -Z disables post-processing, thus producing
       the groff intermediate output.  In this mode, the input is formatted,
       but not postprocessed; see groff_out(5) for details.

       All groff short options are supported by groffer.

MAN PAGE SEARCHING         top

       The default behavior of groffer is to first test whether a file
       parameter represents a local file; if it is not an existing file
       name, it is assumed to represent the name of a man page.  The
       following options can be used to determine whether the arguments
       should be handled as file name or man page arguments.

       --man  forces to interpret all file parameters as filespecs for
              searching man pages.

       --no-man
       --local-file
              disable the man searching; so only local files are displayed.

       If neither a local file nor a man page was retrieved for some file
       parameter a warning is issued on standard error, but processing is
       continued.

   Search Algorithm
       Let us now assume that a man page should be searched.  The groffer
       program provides a search facility for man pages.  All long options,
       all environment variables, and most of the functionality of the GNU
       man(1) program were implemented.  The search algorithm shall
       determine which file is displayed for a given man page.  The process
       can be modified by options and environment variables.

       The only man action that is omitted in groffer are the preformatted
       man pages, also called cat pages.  With the excellent performance of
       the actual computers, the preformatted man pages aren't necessary any
       longer.  Additionally, groffer is a roff program; it wants to read
       roff source files and format them itself.

       The algorithm for retrieving the file for a man page needs first a
       set of directories.  This set starts with the so-called man path that
       is modified later on by adding names of operating system and
       language.  This arising set is used for adding the section
       directories which contain the man page files.

       The man path is a list of directories that are separated by colon.
       It is generated by the following methods.

       * The environment variable $MANPATH can be set.

       * It can be read from the arguments of the environment variable
         $MANOPT.

       * The man path can be manually specified by using the option
         --manpath.  An empty argument disables the man page searching.

       * When no man path was set the manpath(1) program is tried to
         determine one.

       * If this does not work a reasonable default path from $PATH is
         determined.

       We now have a starting set of directories.  The first way to change
       this set is by adding names of operating systems.  This assumes that
       man pages for several operating systems are installed.  This is not
       always true.  The names of such operating systems can be provided by
       3 methods.

       * The environment variable $SYSTEM has the lowest precedence.

       * This can be overridden by an option in $MANOPT.

       * This again is overridden by the command line option --systems.

       Several names of operating systems can be given by appending their
       names, separated by a comma.

       The man path is changed by appending each system name as subdirectory
       at the end of each directory of the set.  No directory of the
       man path set is kept.  But if no system name is specified the
       man path is left unchanged.

       After this, the actual set of directories can be changed by language
       information.  This assumes that there exist man pages in different
       languages.  The wanted language can be chosen by several methods.

       * Environment variable $LANG.

       * This is overridden by $LC_MESSAGES.

       * This is overridden by $LC_ALL.

       * This can be overridden by providing an option in $MANOPT.

       * All these environment variables are overridden by the command line
         option --locale.

       The default language can be specified by specifying one of the
       pseudo-language parameters C or POSIX.  This is like deleting a
       formerly given language information.  The man pages in the default
       language are usually in English.

       Of course, the language name is determined by man.  In GNU man, it is
       specified in the POSIX 1003.1 based format:

       <language>[_<territory>[.<character-set>[,<version>]]],

       but the two-letter code in <language> is sufficient for most purpos‐
       es.  If for a complicated language formulation no man pages are found
       groffer searches the country part consisting of these first two char‐
       acters as well.

       The actual directory set is copied thrice.  The language name is ap‐
       pended as subdirectory to each directory in the first copy of the ac‐
       tual directory set (this is only done when a language information is
       given).  Then the 2-letter abbreviation of the language name is ap‐
       pended as subdirectories to the second copy of the directory set
       (this is only done when the given language name has more than 2 let‐
       ters).  The third copy of the directory set is kept unchanged (if no
       language information is given this is the kept directory set).  These
       maximally 3 copies are appended to get the new directory set.

       We now have a complete set of directories to work with.  In each of
       these directories, the man files are separated in sections.  The name
       of a section is represented by a single character, a digit between 1
       and 9, or the character o or n, in this order.

       For each available section, a subdirectory man<section> exists con‐
       taining all man files for this section, where <section> is a single
       character as described before.  Each man file in a section directory
       has the form
       man<section>/<name>.<section>[<extension>][.<compression>], where
       <extension> and <compression> are optional.  <name> is the name of
       the man page that is also specified as filespec argument on the com‐
       mand line.

       The extension is an addition to the section.  This postfix acts like
       a subsection.  An extension occurs only in the file name, not in name
       of the section subdirectory.  It can be specified on the command
       line.

       On the other hand, the compression is just an information on how the
       file is compressed.  This is not important for the user, such that it
       cannot be specified on the command line.

       There are 4 methods to specify a section on the command line:

       * Environment variable $MANSECT

       * Command line option --sections

       * Appendix to the name argument in the form <name>.<section>

       * Preargument before the name argument in the form <section> <name>

       It is also possible to specify several sections by appending the sin‐
       gle characters separated by colons.  One can imagine that this means
       to restrict the man page search to only some sections.  The multiple
       sections are only possible for $MANSECT and --sections.

       If no section is specified all sections are searched one after the
       other in the given order, starting with section 1, until a suitable
       file is found.

       There are 4 methods to specify an extension on the command line.  But
       it is not necessary to provide the whole extension name, some abbre‐
       viation is good enough in most cases.

       * Environment variable $EXTENSION

       * Command line option --extension

       * Appendix to the <name>.<section> argument in the form <name>.<sec‐
         tion><extension>

       * Preargument before the name argument in the form <section><exten‐
         sion> <name>

       For further details on man page searching, see man(1).

   Examples of man files
       /usr/share/man/man1/groff.1
              This is an uncompressed file for the man page groff in sec‐
              tion 1.  It can be called by
              sh# groffer groff
              No section is specified here, so all sections should be
              searched, but as section 1 is searched first this file will be
              found first.  The file name is composed of the following com‐
              ponents.  /usr/share/man/ must be part of the man path; the
              subdirectory man1/ and the part .1 stand for the section;
              groff is the name of the man page.

       /usr/local/share/man/man7/groff.7.gz
              The file name is composed of the following components.
              /usr/local/share/man must be part of the man path; the subdi‐
              rectory man7/ and the part .7 stand for the section; groff is
              the name of the man page; the final part .gz stands for a com‐
              pression with gzip(1).  As the section is not the first one it
              must be specified as well.  This can be done by one of the
              following commands.
              sh# groffer groff.7
              sh# groffer 7 groff
              sh# groffer --sections=7 groff

       /usr/local/man/man1/ctags.1emacs21.bz2
              Here /usr/local/man must be in man path; the subdirectory
              man1/ and the file name part .1 stand for section 1; the name
              of the man page is ctags; the section has an extension
              emacs21; and the file is compressed as .bz2 with bzip2(1).
              The file can be viewed with one of the following commands
              sh# groffer ctags.1e
              sh# groffer 1e ctags
              sh# groffer --extension=e --sections=1 ctags
              where e works as an abbreviation for the extension emacs21.

       /usr/man/linux/de/man7/man.7.Z
              The directory /usr/man is now part of the man path; then there
              is a subdirectory for an operating system name linux/; next
              comes a subdirectory de/ for the German language; the section
              names man7 and .7 are known so far; man is the name of the
              man page; and .Z signifies the compression that can be handled
              by gzip(1).  We want now show how to provide several values
              for some options.  That is possible for sections and operating
              system names.  So we use as sections 5 and 7 and as system
              names linux and aix.  The command is then

              sh# groffer --locale=de --sections=5:7 --systems=linux,aix man
              sh# LANG=de MANSECT=5:7 SYSTEM=linux,aix groffer man

DECOMPRESSION         top

       The program has a decompression facility.  If standard input or a
       file that was retrieved from the command line parameters is
       compressed with a format that is supported by either gzip(1) or
       bzip2(1) it is decompressed on-the-fly.  This includes the GNU .gz,
       .bz2, and the traditional .Z compression.  The program displays the
       concatenation of all decompressed input in the sequence that was
       specified on the command line.

ENVIRONMENT         top

       The groffer program supports many system variables, most of them by
       courtesy of other programs.  All environment variables of groff(1)
       and GNU man(1) and some standard system variables are honored.

   Native groffer Variables
       $GROFFER_OPT
              Store options for a run of groffer.  The options specified in
              this variable are overridden by the options given on the
              command line.  The content of this variable is run through the
              shell builtin `eval'; so arguments containing white-space or
              special shell characters should be quoted.  Do not forget to
              export this variable, otherwise it does not exist during the
              run of groffer.

   System Variables
       The following variables have a special meaning for groffer.

       $DISPLAY
              If this variable is set this indicates that the X Window
              system is running.  Testing this variable decides on whether
              graphical or text output is generated.  This variable should
              not be changed by the user carelessly, but it can be used to
              start the graphical groffer on a remote X Window terminal.
              For example, depending on your system, groffer can be started
              on the second monitor by the command

              sh# DISPLAY=:0.1 groffer what.ever &

       $LC_ALL
       $LC_MESSAGES
       $LANG  If one of these variables is set (in the above sequence), its
              content is interpreted as the locale, the language to be used,
              especially when retrieving man pages.  A locale name is typi‐
              cally of the form language[_territory[.codeset[@modifier]]],
              where language is an ISO 639 language code, territory is an
              ISO 3166 country code, and codeset is a character set or en‐
              coding identifier like ISO-8859-1 or UTF-8; see setlocale(3).
              The locale values C and POSIX stand for the default, i.e. the
              man page directories without a language prefix.  This is the
              same behavior as when all 3 variables are unset.

       $PAGER This variable can be used to set the pager for the tty output.
              For example, to disable the use of a pager completely set this
              variable to the cat(1) program

              sh# PAGER=cat groffer anything

       $PATH  All programs within the groffer script are called without a
              fixed path.  Thus this environment variable determines the set
              of programs used within the run of groffer.

   Groff Variables
       The groffer program internally calls groff, so all environment vari‐
       ables documented in groff(1) are internally used within groffer as
       well.  The following variable has a direct meaning for the groffer
       program.

       $GROFF_TMPDIR
              If the value of this variable is an existing, writable direc‐
              tory, groffer uses it for storing its temporary files, just as
              groff does.  See the groff(1) man page for more details on the
              location of temporary files.

   Man Variables
       Parts of the functionality of the man program were implemented in
       groffer; support for all environment variables documented in man(1)
       was added to groffer, but the meaning was slightly modified due to
       the different approach in groffer; but the user interface is the
       same.  The man environment variables can be overwritten by options
       provided with $MANOPT, which in turn is overwritten by the command
       line.

       $EXTENSION
              Restrict the search for man pages to files having this exten‐
              sion.  This is overridden by option --extension; see there for
              details.

       $MANOPT
              This variable contains options as a preset for man(1).  As not
              all of these are relevant for groffer only the essential parts
              of its value are extracted.  The options specified in this
              variable overwrite the values of the other environment vari‐
              ables that are specific to man.  All options specified in this
              variable are overridden by the options given on the command
              line.

       $MANPATH
              If set, this variable contains the directories in which the
              man page trees are stored.  This is overridden by option
              --manpath.

       $MANSECT
              If this is a colon separated list of section names, the search
              for man pages is restricted to those manual sections in that
              order.  This is overridden by option --sections.

       $SYSTEM
              If this is set to a comma separated list of names these are
              interpreted as man page trees for different operating systems.
              This variable can be overwritten by option --systems; see
              there for details.

       The environment variable $MANROFFSEQ is ignored by groffer because
       the necessary preprocessors are determined automatically.

CONFIGURATION FILES         top

       The groffer program can be preconfigured by two configuration files.

       /etc/groff/groffer.conf
              System-wide configuration file for groffer.

       $HOME/.groff/groffer.conf
              User-specific configuration file for groffer, where $HOME
              denotes the user's home directory.  This file is called after
              the system-wide configuration file to enable overriding by the
              user.

       Both files are handled for the configuration, but the configuration
       file in /etc comes first; it is overwritten by the configuration file
       in the home directory; both configuration files are overwritten by
       the environment variable $GROFFER_OPT; everything is overwritten by
       the command line arguments.

       The configuration files contain options that should be called as
       default for every groffer run.  These options are written in lines
       such that each contains either a long option, a short option, or a
       short option cluster; each with or without an argument.  So each line
       with configuration information starts with a minus character `-'; a
       line with a long option starts with two minus characters `--', a line
       with a short option or short option cluster starts with a single
       minus `-'.

       The option names in the configuration files may not be abbreviated,
       they must be exact.

       The argument for a long option can be separated from the option name
       either by an equal sign `=' or by whitespace, i.e. one or several
       space or tab characters.  An argument for a short option or short
       option cluster can be directly appended to the option name or
       separated by whitespace.  The end of an argument is the end of the
       line.  It is not allowed to use a shell environment variable in an
       option name or argument.

       It is not necessary to use quotes in an option or argument, except
       for empty arguments.  An empty argument can be provided by appending
       a pair of quotes to the separating equal sign or whitespace; with a
       short option, the separator can be omitted as well.  For a long
       option with a separating equal sign `=', the pair of quotes can be
       omitted, thus ending the line with the separating equal sign.  All
       other quote characters are cancelled internally.

       In the configuration files, arbitrary whitespace is allowed at the
       beginning of each line, it is just ignored.  Each whitespace within a
       line is replaced by a single space character ` ' internally.

       All lines of the configuration lines that do not start with a minus
       character are ignored, such that comments starting with `#' are
       possible.  So there are no shell commands in the configuration files.

       As an example, consider the following configuration file that can be
       used either in /etc/groff/groffer.conf or ~/.groff/groffer.conf .

       # groffer configuration file
       #
       # groffer options that are used in each call of groffer
       --foreground=DarkBlue
       --resolution=100
       --viewer=gxditview -geometry 900x1200
       --viewer xpdf -Z 150

       The lines starting with # are just ignored, so they act as command
       lines.  This configuration sets four groffer options (the lines
       starting with `-').  This has the following effects:

       * Use a text color of DarkBlue in all viewers that support this, such
         as gxditview.

       * Use a resolution of 100dpi in all viewers that support this, such
         as gxditview.  By this, the default device in x mode is set to
         X100.

       * Force gxditview(1) as the x-mode viewer using the geometry option
         for setting the width to 900px and the height to 1200px.  This ge‐
         ometry is suitable for a resolution of 100dpi.

       * Use xpdf(1) as the pdf-mode viewer with the argument -Z 150.

EXAMPLES         top

       The usage of groffer is very easy.  Usually, it is just called with a
       file name or man page.  The following examples, however, show that
       groffer has much more fancy capabilities.

       sh# groffer /usr/local/share/doc/groff/meintro.ms.gz

       Decompress, format and display the compressed file meintro.ms.gz in
       the directory /usr/local/share/doc/groff, using the standard viewer
       gxditview as graphical viewer when in X Window, or the less(1) pager
       program when not in X Window.

       sh# groffer groff

       If the file ./groff exists use it as input.  Otherwise interpret the
       argument as a search for the man page named groff in the smallest
       possible man section, being section 1 in this case.

       sh# groffer man:groff

       search for the man page of groff even when the file ./groff exists.

       sh# groffer groff.7
       sh# groffer 7 groff

       search the man page of groff in man section 7.  This section search
       works only for a digit or a single character from a small set.

       sh# groffer fb.modes

       If the file ./fb.modes does not exist interpret this as a search for
       the man page of fb.modes.  As the extension modes is not a single
       character in classical section style the argument is not split to a
       search for fb.

       sh# groffer groff ’troff(1)’ man:roff

       The arguments that are not existing files are looked-up as the fol‐
       lowing man pages: groff (automatic search, should be found in
       man section 1), troff (in section 1), and roff (in the section with
       the lowest number, being 7 in this case).  The quotes around
       ’troff(1)’ are necessary because the parentheses are special shell
       characters; escaping them with a backslash character \( and \) would
       be possible, too.  The formatted files are concatenated and displayed
       in one piece.

       sh# LANG=de groffer --man --viewer=galeon ls

       Retrieve the German man page (language de) for the ls program, decom‐
       press it, format it to html format (www mode) and view the result in
       the web browser galeon.  The option --man guarantees that the
       man page is retrieved, even when a local file ls exists in the actual
       directory.

       sh# groffer --source 'man:roff(7)'

       Get the man page called roff in man section 7, decompress it, and
       print its unformatted content, its source code.

       sh# groffer --de-p --in --ap

       This is a set of abbreviated arguments, it is determined as

       sh# groffer --debug-params --intermediate-output --apropos

       sh# cat file.gz | groffer -Z -mfoo

       The file file.gz is sent to standard input, this is decompressed, and
       then this is transported to the groff intermediate output mode with‐
       out post-processing (groff option -Z), using macro package foo (groff
       option -m).

       sh# echo '\f[CB]WOW!' |
       > groffer --x --bg red --fg yellow --geometry 200x100 -

       Display the word WOW! in a small window in constant-width bold font,
       using color yellow on red background.

COMPATIBILITY         top

       The groffer program is written in Perl, the Perl version during
       writing was v5.8.8.

       groffer provides its own parser for command line arguments that is
       compatible to both POSIX getopts(1) and GNU getopt(1).  It can handle
       option arguments and file names containing white space and a large
       set of special characters.  The following standard types of options
       are supported.

       * The option consisting of a single minus - refers to standard input.

       * A single minus followed by characters refers to a single character
         option or a combination thereof; for example, the groffer short
         option combination -Qmfoo is equivalent to -Q -m foo.

       * Long options are options with names longer than one character; they
         are always preceded by a double minus.  An option argument can
         either go to the next command line argument or be appended with an
         equal sign to the argument; for example, --long=arg is equivalent
         to --long arg.

       * An argument of -- ends option parsing; all further command line
         arguments are interpreted as filespec parameters, i.e. file names
         or constructs for searching man pages).

       * All command line arguments that are neither options nor option
         arguments are interpreted as filespec parameters and stored until
         option parsing has finished.  For example, the command line

         sh# groffer file1 -a -o arg file2

         is equivalent to

         sh# groffer -a -o arg -- file1 file2

       The free mixing of options and filespec parameters follows the GNU
       principle.  That does not fulfill the strange option behavior of
       POSIX that ends option processing as soon as the first non-option
       argument has been reached.  The end of option processing can be
       forced by the option `--' anyway.

BUGS         top

       Report bugs to the bug-groff mailing list ⟨bug-groff@gnu.org⟩.
       Include a complete, self-contained example that will allow the bug to
       be reproduced, and say which version of groffer you are using.

       You can also use the groff mailing list ⟨groff@gnu.org⟩, but you must
       first subscribe to this list.  You can do that by visiting the groff
       mailing list web page ⟨http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/groff⟩.

       See groff(1) for information on availability.

SEE ALSO         top

       groff(1), troff(1)
              Details on the options and environment variables available in
              groff; all of them can be used with groffer.

       grog(1)
              This program tries to guess the necessary groff command line
              options from the input and the groffer options.

       groff(7)
              Documentation of the groff language.

       groff_char(7)
              Documentation on the groff characters, special characters, and
              glyphs..

       groff_tmac(5)
              Documentation on the groff macro files.

       groff_out(5)
              Documentation on the groff intermediate output before the run
              of a postprocessor.  (ditroff output).  This can be run by the
              groff or groffer option -Z.

       man(1) The standard program to display man pages.  The information
              there is only useful if it is the man page for GNU man.  Then
              it documents the options and environment variables that are
              supported by groffer.

       gxditview(1)
       xditview(1x)
              Viewers for groffer's x mode.

       kpdf(1)
       kghostview(1)
       evince(1)
       ggv(1)
       gv(1)
       ghostview(1)
       gs(1)  Viewers for groffer's ps mode.

       kpdf(1)
       acroread(1)
       evince(1)
       xpdf(1)
       gpdf(1)
       kghostview(1)
       ggv(1) Viewers for groffer's pdf mode.

       kdvi(1), xdvi(1), dvilx(1)
              Viewers for groffer's dvi mode.

       konqueror(1)
       epiphany(1)
       firefox(1)
       mozilla(1)
       netscape(1)
       lynx(1)
              Web-browsers for groffer's html or www mode.

       less(1)
       more(1)
              Standard pager program for the tty mode.

       gzip(1)
       bzip2(1)
       xz(1)  The decompression programs supported by groffer.

COPYING         top

       Copyright © 2001-2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This file is part of groffer, which is part of groff, a free software
       project.

       You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU
       General Public License version 2 as published by the Free Software
       Foundation.

       The license text is available in the internet at 
       ⟨http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.html⟩.

AUTHORS         top

       This file was written by Bernd Warken ⟨groff-bernd.warken-72@web.de⟩.

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the groff (GNU troff) project.  Information
       about the project can be found at 
       ⟨http://www.gnu.org/software/groff/⟩.  If you have a bug report for
       this manual page, see ⟨http://www.gnu.org/software/groff/⟩.  This
       page was obtained from the tarball groff-1.22.3.tar.gz fetched from
       ⟨ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/groff/⟩ on 2017-09-15.  If you discover any
       rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe
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       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to
       man-pages@man7.org

Groff Version 1.22.3           4 November 2014                    GROFFER(1)

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