PRECONV(1)                 General Commands Manual                PRECONV(1)

NAME         top

       preconv  -  convert  encoding  of  input files to something GNU troff

SYNOPSIS         top

       preconv [-dr] [-e encoding] [files ...]
       preconv -h | --help
       preconv -v | --version

       It is possible to have whitespace between the -e command line option
       and its parameter.

DESCRIPTION         top

       preconv reads files and converts its encoding(s) to a form GNU
       troff(1) can process, sending the data to standard output.
       Currently, this means ASCII characters and ‘\[uXXXX]’ entities, where
       ‘XXXX’ is a hexadecimal number with four to six digits, representing
       a Unicode input code.  Normally, preconv should be invoked with the
       -k and -K options of groff.

OPTIONS         top

       -d     Emit debugging messages to standard error (mainly the used

              Specify default encoding if everything fails (see below).

              Specify input encoding explicitly, overriding all other
              methods.  This corresponds to groff's -Kencoding option.
              Without this switch, preconv uses the algorithm described
              below to select the input encoding.

       -h     Print help message.

       -r     Do not add .lf requests.

       -v     Print version number.

USAGE         top

       preconv tries to find the input encoding with the following

       1.     If the input encoding has been explicitly specified with
              option -e, use it.

       2.     Otherwise, check whether the input starts with a Byte Order
              Mark (BOM, see below).  If found, use it.

       3.     Finally, check whether there is a known coding tag (see below)
              in either the first or second input line.  If found, use it.

       4.     If everything fails, use a default encoding as given with
              option -D, by the current locale, or ‘latin1’ if the locale is
              set to ‘C’, ‘POSIX’, or empty (in that order).

       Note that the groff program supports a GROFF_ENCODING environment
       variable which is eventually expanded to option -k.

   Byte Order Mark
       The Unicode Standard defines character U+FEFF as the Byte Order Mark
       (BOM).  On the other hand, value U+FFFE is guaranteed not be a
       Unicode character at all.  This allows to detect the byte order
       within the data stream (either big-endian or lower-endian), and the
       MIME encodings ‘UTF-16’ and ‘UTF-32’ mandate that the data stream
       starts with U+FEFF.  Similarly, the data stream encoded as ‘UTF-8’
       might start with a BOM (to ease the conversion from and to UTF-16 and
       UTF-32).  In all cases, the byte order mark is not part of the data
       but part of the encoding protocol; in other words, preconv's output
       doesn't contain it.

       Note that U+FEFF not at the start of the input data actually is
       emitted; it has then the meaning of a ‘zero width no-break space’
       character – something not needed normally in groff.

   Coding Tags
       Editors which support more than a single character encoding need tags
       within the input files to mark the file's encoding.  While it is
       possible to guess the right input encoding with the help of heuristic
       algorithms for data which represents a greater amount of a natural
       language, it is still just a guess.  Additionally, all algorithms
       fail easily for input which is either too short or doesn't represent
       a natural language.

       For these reasons, preconv supports the coding tag convention (with
       some restrictions) as used by GNU Emacs and XEmacs (and probably
       other programs too).

       Coding tags in GNU Emacs and XEmacs are stored in so-called File
       Variables.  preconv recognizes the following syntax form which must
       be put into a troff comment in the first or second line.

              -*- tag1: value1; tag2: value2; ... -*-

       The only relevant tag for preconv is ‘coding’ which can take the
       values listed below.  Here an example line which tells Emacs to edit
       a file in troff mode, and to use latin2 as its encoding.

              .\" -*- mode: troff; coding: latin-2 -*-

       The following list gives all MIME coding tags (either lowercase or
       uppercase) supported by preconv; this list is hard-coded in the

              big5, cp1047, euc-jp, euc-kr, gb2312, iso-8859-1, iso-8859-2,
              iso-8859-5, iso-8859-7, iso-8859-9, iso-8859-13, iso-8859-15,
              koi8-r, us-ascii, utf-8, utf-16, utf-16be, utf-16le

       In addition, the following hard-coded list of other  tags  is  recog‐
       nized which eventually map to values from the list above.

              ascii, chinese-big5, chinese-euc, chinese-iso-8bit, cn-big5,
              cn-gb, cn-gb-2312, cp878, csascii, csisolatin1,
              cyrillic-iso-8bit, cyrillic-koi8, euc-china, euc-cn,
              euc-japan, euc-japan-1990, euc-korea, greek-iso-8bit,
              iso-10646/utf8, iso-10646/utf-8, iso-latin-1, iso-latin-2,
              iso-latin-5, iso-latin-7, iso-latin-9, japanese-euc,
              japanese-iso-8bit, jis8, koi8, korean-euc, korean-iso-8bit,
              latin-0, latin1, latin-1, latin-2, latin-5, latin-7, latin-9,
              mule-utf-8, mule-utf-16, mule-utf-16be, mule-utf-16-be,
              mule-utf-16be-with-signature, mule-utf-16le, mule-utf-16-le,
              mule-utf-16le-with-signature, utf8, utf-16-be,
              utf-16-be-with-signature, utf-16be-with-signature, utf-16-le,
              utf-16-le-with-signature, utf-16le-with-signature

       Those  tags  are  taken from GNU Emacs and XEmacs, together with some
       aliases.  Trailing ‘-dos’, ‘-unix’, and  ‘-mac’  suffixes  of  coding
       tags  (which  give  the  end-of-line convention used in the file) are
       stripped off before the comparison with the above tags happens.

   Iconv Issues
       preconv by itself only supports three encodings: latin-1, cp1047, and
       UTF-8; all other encodings are passed to the iconv library functions.
       At compile time it is searched and checked for a valid  iconv  imple‐
       mentation; a call to ‘preconv --version’ shows whether iconv is used.

BUGS         top

       preconv doesn't support local variable lists yet.  This is a
       different syntax form to specify local variables at the end of a

SEE ALSO         top

       the GNU Emacs and XEmacs info pages

COPYING         top

       Copyright © 2006-2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this
       manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are
       preserved on all copies.

       Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of
       this manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that
       the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a
       permission notice identical to this one.

       Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this
       manual into another language, under the above conditions for modified
       versions, except that this permission notice may be included in
       translations approved by the Free Software Foundation instead of in
       the original English.

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the groff (GNU troff) project.  Information
       about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for
       this manual page, see ⟨⟩.  This
       page was obtained from the tarball groff-1.22.3.tar.gz fetched from
       ⟨⟩ on 2016-10-04.  If you discover any
       rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe
       there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to

Groff Version 1.22.3           4 November 2014                    PRECONV(1)