The groff mm macros are intended to be compatible with the DWB mm
macros with the following limitations:
· No Bell Labs localisms are implemented.
· The macros OK and PM are not implemented.
· groff mm does not support cut marks.
mm is intended to support easy localization. Use mmse as an example
how to adapt the output format to a national standard. Localized
strings are collected in the file
‘/usr/local/share/groff/1.22.3/tmac/xx.tmac’, where xx denotes the
two-letter code for the language, as defined in the ISO 639 standard.
For Swedish, this is ‘sv.tmac’ – not ‘se’, which is the ISO 3166 two-
letter code for the country (as used for the output format
A file called locale or country_locale is read after the
initialization of the global variables. It is therefore possible to
localize the macros with a different company name and so on.
In this manual, square brackets are used to show optional arguments.
Number registers and strings
Many macros can be controlled by number registers and strings. A
number register is assigned with the nr command:
.nr XXX [±]n [i]
XXX is the name of the register, n is the value to be assigned, and
i is the increment value for auto-increment. n can have a plus or
minus sign as a prefix if an increment or decrement of the current
value is wanted. (Auto-increment or auto-decrement occurs if the
number register is used with a plus or minus sign, \n+[XXX] or
Strings are defined with ds.
.ds YYY string
The string is assigned everything to the end of the line, even
blanks. Initial blanks in string should be prefixed with a double-
quote. (Strings are used in the text as \*[YYY].)
Special formatting of number registers
A number register is printed with normal digits if no format has been
given. Set the format with af:
.af R cR is the name of the register, c is the format.
1 0, 1, 2, 3, ...
001 000, 001, 002, 003, ...
i 0, i, ii, iii, iv, ...
I 0, I, II, III, IV, ...
a 0, a, b, c, ..., z, aa, ab, ...
A 0, A, B, C, ..., Z, AA, AB, ...
In mm, the fonts (or rather, font styles) R (normal), I (italic), and
B (bold) are hardwired to font positions 1, 2, and 3, respectively.
Internally, font positions are used for backwards compatibility.
From a practical point of view it doesn't make a big difference – a
different font family can still be selected with a call to the .fam
request or using groff's -f command line option. On the other hand,
if you want to replace just, say, font B, you have to replace the
font at position 2 (with a call to ‘.fp 2 ...’).
Macros)E level text
Add heading text text to the table of contents with level,
which is either 0 or in the range 1 to 7. See also .H. This
macro is used for customized tables of contents.
1C  Begin one-column processing. A 1 as an argument disables the
page break. Use wide footnotes, small footnotes may be
2C Begin two-column processing. Splits the page in two columns.
It is a special case of MC. See also 1C.
AE Abstract end, see AS.
Author's firm, should be called before AU, see also COVER.
AL [type [text-indent ]]
Start auto-increment list. Items are numbered beginning with
one. The type argument controls the format of numbers.
1 Arabic (the default)
A Upper-case letters (A–Z)
a Lower-case letters (a–z)
I Upper-case roman
i Lower-case roman
text-indent sets the indentation and overrides Li. A third
argument prohibits printing of a blank line before each item.
APP name text
Begin an appendix with name name. Automatic naming occurs if
name is "". The appendices start with A if automatic naming
is used. A new page is ejected, and a header is also produced
if the number variable Aph is non-zero. This is the default.
The appendix always appears in the ‘List of contents’ with
correct page numbers. The name ‘APPENDIX’ can be changed by
setting the string App to the desired text. The string Apptxt
contains the current appendix text.
APPSK name pages text
Same as .APP, but the page number is incremented with pages.
This is used when diagrams or other non-formatted documents
are included as appendices.
AS [arg [indent]]
Abstract start. Indentation is specified in ‘ens’, but
scaling is allowed. Argument arg controls where the abstract
0 Abstract is printed on page 1 and on the cover sheet if
used in the released-paper style (MT 4), otherwise it is
printed on page 1 without a cover sheet.
1 Abstract is only printed on the cover sheet (MT 4 only).
2 Abstract is printed only on the cover sheet (other than
MT 4 only). The cover sheet is printed without a need
An abstract is not printed at all in external letters (MT 5).
The indent parameter controls the indentation of both margins,
otherwise normal text indentation is used.
Abstract title. Default is ‘ABSTRACT’. Sets the text above
the abstract text.
AT title1 [title2 [...]]
Author's title. AT must appear just after each AU. The title
shows up after the name in the signature block.
AU [name [initials [loc [dept [ext [room [arg [arg [arg]]]]]]]]]
Author information. Specifies the author of the memo or
paper, and is printed on the cover sheet and on other similar
places. AU must not appear before TL. The author information
can contain initials, location, department, telephone
extension, room number or name and up to three extra
AV [name ]
Approval signature. Generates an approval line with place for
signature and date. The string ‘APPROVED:’ can be changed
with variable Letapp; it is replaced with an empty lin if
there is a second argument. The string ‘Date’ can be changed
with variable Letdate.
Letter signature. Generates a line with place for signature.
B [bold-text [prev-font-text [bold [...]]]]
Begin boldface. No limit on the number of arguments. All
arguments are concatenated to one word; the first, third and
so on is printed in boldface.
B1 Begin box (as the ms macro). Draws a box around the text.
The text is indented one character, and the right margin is
one character shorter.
B2 End box. Finishes the box started with B1.
BE End bottom block, see BS.
BI [bold-text [italic-text [bold-text [...]]]]
Bold-italic. No limit on the number of arguments, see B.
BL [text-indent ]
Start bullet list. Initializes a list with a bullet and a
space in the beginning of each list item (see LI). text-indent overrides the default indentation of the list items set
by number register Pi. A third argument prohibits printing of
a blank line before each item.
BR [bold-text [roman-text [bold-text [...]]]]
Bold-roman. No limit on the number of arguments.
BS Bottom block start. Begins the definition of a text block
which is printed at the bottom of each page. The block ends
BVL text-indent [mark-indent ]
Start of broken variable-item list. Broken variable-item list
has no fixed mark, it assumes that every LI has a mark
instead. The text always begins at the next line after the
mark. text-indent sets the indentation to the text, and mark-indent the distance from the current indentation to the mark.
A third argument prohibits printing of a blank line before
Begin a coversheet definition. It is important that .COVER
appears before any normal text. This macro uses arg to build
the filename ‘/usr/local/share/groff/1.22.3/tmac/mm/arg.cov’.
Therefore it is possible to create unlimited types of cover
sheets. ‘ms.cov’ is supposed to look like the ms cover sheet.
.COVER requires a .COVEND at the end of the cover definition.
Always use this order of the cover macros:
However, only .TL and .AU are required.
COVEND Finish the cover description and print the cover page. It is
defined in the cover file.
DE Display end. Ends a block of text or display that begins with
DS or DF.
DF [format [fill [rindent]]]
Begin floating display (no nesting allowed). A floating
display is saved in a queue and is printed in the order
entered. Format, fill, and rindent are the same as in DS.
Floating displays are controlled by the two number registers
De and Df.
0 Nothing special, this is the default.
1 A page eject occurs after each printed display,
giving only one display per page and no text
0 Displays are printed at the end of each section
(when section-page numbering is active) or at the
end of the document.
1 A new display is printed on the current page if
there is enough space, otherwise it is printed at
the end of the document.
2 One display is printed at the top of each page or
column (in multi-column mode).
3 Print one display if there is enough space for it,
otherwise it is printed at the top of the next page
4 Print as many displays as possible in a new page or
column. A page break occurs between each display
if De is not zero.
5 Fill the current page with displays and the rest
beginning at a new page or column. (This is the
default.) A page break occurs between each display
if De is not zero.
DL [text-indent [1 ]]
Dash list start. Begins a list where each item is printed
after a dash. text-indent changes the default indentation of
the list items set by number register Pi. A second argument
prevents an empty line between each list item. See LI. A
third argument prohibits printing of a blank line before each
DS [format [fill [rindent]]]
Static display start. Begins collection of text until DE.
The text is printed together on the same page, unless it is
longer than the height of the page. DS can be nested
"" No indentation.
none No indentation.
L No indentation.
I Indent text with the value of number register
C Center each line.
CB Center the whole display as a block.
R Right-adjust the lines.
RB Right-adjust the whole display as a block.
The values ‘L’, ‘I’, ‘C’, and ‘CB’ can also be specified as
‘0’, ‘1’, ‘2’, and ‘3’, respectively, for compatibility
"" Line-filling turned off.
none Line-filling turned off.
N Line-filling turned off.
F Line-filling turned on.
‘N’ and ‘F’ can also be specified as ‘0’ and ‘1’,
By default, an empty line is printed before and after the
display. Setting number register Ds to 0 prevents this.
rindent shortens the line length by that amount.
EC [title [override [flag [refname]]]]
Equation title. Sets a title for an equation. The override
argument changes the numbering.
none override is a prefix to the number.
0 override is a prefix to the number.
1 override is a suffix to the number.
2 override replaces the number.
EC uses the number register Ec as a counter. It is possible
to use .af to change the format of the number. If number
register Of is 1, the format of title uses a dash instead of a
dot after the number.
The string Le controls the title of the List of Equations;
default is ‘LIST OF EQUATIONS’. The List of Equations is only
printed if number register Le is 1. The default is 0. The
string Liec contains the word ‘Equation’, which is printed
before the number. If refname is used, then the equation
number is saved with .SETR, and can be retrieved with ‘.GETSTrefname’.
Special handling of the title occurs if EC is used inside
DS/DE; it is not affected by the format of DS.
Even-page footer, printed just above the normal page footer on
even pages. See PF.
This macro defines string EOPef.
Even-page header, printed just below the normal page header on
even pages. See PH.
This macro defines string TPeh.
EN Equation end, see EQ.
EOP End-of-page user-defined macro. This macro is called instead
of the normal printing of the footer. The macro is executed
in a separate environment, without any trap active. See TP.
Strings available to EOP
EOPf argument of PF
EOPef argument of EF
EOPof argument of OFEPIC [-L] width height [name]
Draw a box with the given width and height. It also prints
the text name or a default string if name is not specified.
This is used to include external pictures; just give the size
of the picture. -L left-adjusts the picture; the default is
to center. See PIC.
Equation start. EQ/EN are the delimiters for equations
written for eqn(1). EQ/EN must be inside of a DS/DE pair,
except if EQ is used to set options for eqn only. The label
argument appears at the right margin of the equation, centered
vertically within the DS/DE block, unless number register Eq
is 1. Then the label appears at the left margin.
If there are multiple EQ/EN blocks within a single DS/DE pair,
only the last equation label (if any) is printed.
EX [title [override [flag [refname]]]]
Exhibit title. The arguments are the same as for EC. EX uses
the number register Ex as a counter. The string Lx controls
the title of the List of Exhibits; default is ‘LIST OF
EXHIBITS’. The List of Exhibits is only printed if number
register Lx is 1, which is the default. The string Liex
contains the word ‘Exhibit’, which is printed before the
number. If refname is used, the exhibit number is saved with
.SETR, and can be retrieved with ‘.GETST refname’.
Special handling of the title occurs if EX is used inside
DS/DE; it is not affected by the format of DS.
Print ‘Yours very truly,’ as a formal closing of a letter or
memorandum. The argument replaces the default string. The
default is stored in string variable Letfc.
FD [arg ]
Footnote default format. Controls the hyphenation (hyphen),
right margin justification (adjust), and indentation of
footnote text (indent). It can also change the label
arg hyphen adjust indent ljust
0 no yes yes left
1 yes yes yes left
2 no no yes left
3 yes no yes left
4 no yes no left
5 yes yes no left
6 no no no left
7 yes no no left
8 no yes yes right
9 yes yes yes right
10 no no yes right
11 yes no yes right
An argument greater than or equal to 11 is considered as
value 0. Default for mm is 10.
FE Footnote end.
FG [title [override [flag [refname]]]]
Figure title. The arguments are the same as for EC. FG uses
the number register Fg as a counter. The string Lf controls
the title of the List of Figures; default is ‘LIST OF
FIGURES’. The List of Figures is only printed if number
register Lf is 1, which is the default. The string Lifg
contains the word ‘Figure’, which is printed before the
number. If refname is used, then the figure number is saved
with .SETR, and can be retrieved with ‘.GETST refname’.
Special handling of the title occurs if FG is used inside
DS/DE, it is not affected by the format of DS.
Footnote start. The footnote is ended by FE. By default,
footnotes are automatically numbered; the number is available
in string F. Just add \*F in the text. By adding label, it
is possible to have other number or names on the footnotes.
Footnotes in displays are now possible. An empty line
separates footnotes; the height of the line is controlled by
number register Fs, default value is 1.
GETHN refname [varname]
Include the header number where the corresponding ‘SETRrefname’ was placed. This is displayed as ‘X.X.X.’ in pass 1.
See INITR. If varname is used, GETHN sets the string variable
varname to the header number.
GETPN refname [varname]
Include the page number where the corresponding ‘SETR refname’
was placed. This is displayed as ‘9999’ in pass 1. See
INITR. If varname is used, GETPN sets the stringvariable
varname to the page number.
Combine GETHN and GETPN with the text ‘chapter’ and ‘, page’.
The string Qrf contains the text for the cross reference:
.ds Qrf See chapter \\*[Qrfh], page \\*[Qrfp].
Qrf may be changed to support other languages. Strings Qrfh
and Qrfp are set by GETR and contain the page and header
GETST refname [varname]
Include the string saved with the second argument to .SETR.
This is a dummy string in pass 1. If varname is used, GETST
sets it to the saved string. See INITR.
H level [heading-text [heading-suffix]]
Numbered section heading. Section headers can have a level
between 1 and 14; level 1 is the top level. The text is given
in heading-text, and must be surrounded by double quotes if it
contains spaces. heading-suffix is added to the header in the
text but not in the table of contents. This is normally used
for footnote marks and similar things. Don't use \*F in
heading-suffix, it doesn't work. A manual label must be used,
A call to the paragraph macro P directly after H is ignored.
H takes care of spacing and indentation.
Page ejection before heading
Number register Ej controls page ejection before the
heading. By default, a level-one heading gets two
blank lines before it; higher levels only get one. A
new page is ejected before each first-level heading if
number register Ej is 1. All levels below or equal the
value of Ej get a new page. Default value for Ej is 0.
Heading break level
A line break occurs after the heading if the heading
level is less or equal to number register Hb. Default
value is 2.
Heading space level
A blank line is inserted after the heading if the
heading level is less or equal to number register Hs.
Default value is 2.
Text follows the heading on the same line if the level
is greater than both Hb and Hs.
Indentation of the text after the heading is controlled
by number register Hi. Default value is 0.
0 The text is left-justified.
1 Indentation of the text follows the value of number
register Pt , see P.
2 The text is lined up with the first word of the
Centered section headings
All headings whose level is equal or below number
register Hc and also less than or equal to Hb or Hs are
Font control of the heading
The font of each heading level is controlled by string
HF. It contains a font number or font name for each
level. Default value is
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
(all headings in italic). This could also be written
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
Note that some other implementations use 3 3 2 2 2 2 2
as the default value. All omitted values are presumed
to have value 1.
Point size control
String HP controls the point size of each heading, in
the same way as HF controls the font. A value of 0
selects the default point size. Default value is
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Beware that only the point size changes, not the
vertical size. The latter can be controlled by the
user-specified macros HX and/or HZ.
Fourteen number registers named H1 up to H14 contain
the counter for each heading level. The values are
printed using Arabic numerals; this can be changed with
the macro HM (see below). All marks are concatenated
before printing. To avoid this, set number register Ht
to 1. This only prints the current heading counter at
Automatic table of contents
All headings whose level is equal or below number
register Cl are saved to be printed in the table of
contents. Default value is 2.
Special control of the heading, user-defined macros
The following macros can be defined by the user to get
a finer control of vertical spacing, fonts, or other
features. Argument level is the level-argument to H,
but 0 for unnumbered headings (see HU). Argument
rlevel is the real level; it is set to number register
Hu for unnumbered headings. Argument heading-text is
the text argument to H and HU.
HX level rlevel heading-text
This macro is called just before the printing of
the heading. The following registers are
available for HX. Note that HX may alter }0,
}2, and ;3.
Contains the heading mark plus two spaces
if rlevel is non-zero, otherwise empty.
Contains the position of the text after
the heading. 0 means that the text
should follow the heading on the same
line, 1 means that a line break should
occur before the text, and 2 means that a
blank line should separate the heading
and the text.
Contains two spaces if register ;0 is 0.
It is used to separate the heading from
the text. The string is empty if ;0 is
Contains the needed space in units after
the heading. Default is 2v. Can be used
to change things like numbering (}0),
vertical spacing (}2), and the needed
space after the heading.
HY dlevel rlevel heading-text
This macro is called after size and font
calculations and might be used to change
HZ dlevel rlevel heading-text
This macro is called after the printing of the
heading, just before H or HU exits. Can be used
to change the page header according to the
Set hyphenation character. Default value is ‘\%’. Resets to
the default if called without argument. Hyphenation can be
turned off by setting number register Hy to 0 at the beginning
of the file.
HM [arg1 [arg2 [... [arg14]]]]
Heading mark style. Controls the type of marking for printing
of the heading counters. Default is 1 for all levels.
1 Arabic numerals.
0001 Arabic numerals with leading zeroes, one or more.
A upper-case alphabetic
a lower-case alphabetic
I upper-case roman numerals
i lower-case roman numerals
"" Arabic numerals.
Unnumbered section header. HU behaves like H at the level in
number register Hu. See H.
HX dlevel rlevel heading-text
User-defined heading exit. Called just before printing the
header. See H.
HY dlevel rlevel heading-text
User-defined heading exit. Called just before printing the
header. See H.
HZ dlevel rlevel heading-text
User-defined heading exit. Called just after printing the
header. See H.
I [italic-text [prev-font-text [italic-text [...]]]]
Italic. Changes the font to italic if called without
arguments. With one argument it sets the word in italic.
With two arguments it concatenates them and sets the first
word in italic and the second in the previous font. There is
no limit on the number of argument; all are concatenated.
IA [addressee-name [title]]
Begin specification of the addressee and addressee's address
in letter style. Several names can be specified with empty
IA/IE-pairs, but only one address. See LT.
IB [italic-text [bold-text [italic-text [...]]]]
Italic-bold. Even arguments are printed in italic, odd in
boldface. See I.
IE End the address specification after IA.
INITI type filename [macro]
Initialize the new index system and set the filename to
collect index lines in with IND. Argument type selects the
type of index: page number, header marks or both. The default
is page numbers.
It is also possible to create a macro that is responsible for
formatting each row; just add the name of the macro as a third
argument. The macro is then called with the index as
N Page numbers
H Header marks
B Both page numbers and header marks, separated with a tab
Initialize the cross reference macros. Cross references are
written to stderr and are supposed to be redirected into file
‘filename.qrf’. Requires two passes with groff; this is
handled by a separate program called mmroff(1). This program
exists because groff(1) by default deactivates the unsafe
operations that are required by INITR. The first pass looks
for cross references, and the second one includes them. INITR
can be used several times, but it is only the first occurrence
of INITR that is active.
See also SETR, GETPN, and GETHN.
IND arg1 [arg2 [...]]
Write a line in the index file selected by INITI with all
arguments and the page number or header mark separated by
arg1\tpage number\theader mark
INDP Print the index by running the command specified by string
variable Indcmd, which has ‘sort -t\t’ as the default value.
INDP reads the output from the command to form the index, by
default in two columns (this can be changed by defining
TYIND). The index is printed with string variable Index as
header, default is ‘INDEX’. One-column processing is
reactivated after the list. INDP calls the user-defined
macros TXIND, TYIND, and TZIND if defined. TXIND is called
before printing the string ‘INDEX’, TYIND is called instead of
printing ‘INDEX’, and TZIND is called after the printing and
should take care of restoring to normal operation again.
Change the predefined date string in DT to ISO-format, this
is, ‘YYYY-MM-DD’. This can also be done by adding -rIso=1 on
the command line. Reverts to old date format if argument
IR [italic-text [roman-text [italic-text [...]]]]
Italic-roman. Even arguments are printed in italic, odd in
roman. See I.
LB text-indent mark-indent pad type [mark [LI-space [LB-space]]]
List-begin macro. This is the common macro used for all
lists. text-indent is the number of spaces to indent the text
from the current indentation.
pad and mark-indent control where to put the mark. The mark
is placed within the mark area, and mark-indent sets the
number of spaces before this area. By default it is 0. The
mark area ends where the text begins. The start of the text
is still controlled by text-indent.
The mark is left-justified within the mark area if pad is 0.
If pad is greater than 0, mark-indent is ignored, and the mark
is placed pad spaces before the text. This right-justifies
If type is 0 the list either has a hanging indentation or, if
argument mark is given, the string mark as a mark.
If type is greater than 0 automatic numbering occurs, using
arabic numbers if mark is empty. mark can then be any of ‘1’,
‘A’, ‘a’, ‘I’, or ‘i’.
type selects one of six possible ways to display the mark.
Every item in the list gets LI-space number of blank lines
before them. Default is 1.
LB itself prints LB-space blank lines. Default is 0.
List-status clear. Terminates all current active lists down
to list-level, or 0 if no argument is given. This is used
by H to clear any active list.
LE  List end. Terminates the current list. LE outputs a blank
line if an argument is given.
LI [mark [1|2]]
List item preceding every item in a list. Without argument,
LI prints the mark determined by the current list type. By
giving LI one argument, it uses that as the mark instead. Two
arguments to LI makes mark a prefix to the current mark.
There is no separating space between the prefix and the mark
if the second argument is ‘2’ instead of ‘1’. This behaviour
can also be achieved by setting number register Limsp to zero.
A zero length mark makes a hanging indentation instead.
A blank line is printed before the list item by default. This
behaviour can be controlled by number register Ls. Pre-
spacing occurs for each list level less than or equal to Ls.
Default value is 99. There is no nesting limit.
The indentation can be changed through number register Li.
Default is 6.
All lists begin with a list initialization macro, LB. There
are, however, seven predefined list types to make lists easier
to use. They all call LB with different default values.
AL Automatically Incremented List
ML Marked List
VL Variable-Item List
BL Bullet List
DL Dash List
RL Reference List
BVL Broken Variable List.
These lists are described at other places in this manual. See
Format a letter in one of four different styles depending on
the argument. See also section INTERNALS.
BL Blocked. Date line, return address, writer's
address and closing begins at the center of the
line. All other lines begin at the left margin.
SB Semi-blocked. Same as blocked, except that the
first line in every paragraph is indented five
FB Full-blocked. All lines begin at the left
SP Simplified. Almost the same as the full-blocked
style. Subject and the writer's identification
are printed in all-capital.
LO type [arg]
Specify options in letter (see .LT). This is a list of the
CN Confidential notation. Prints ‘CONFIDENTIAL’ on
the second line below the date line. Any argument
replaces ‘CONFIDENTIAL’. See also string variable
RN Reference notation. Prints ‘In reference to:’ and
the argument two lines below the date line. See
also string variable LetRN.
AT Attention. Prints ‘ATTENTION:’ and the argument
below the inside address. See also string
SA Salutation. Prints ’To Whom It May Concern:’ or
the argument if it was present. The salutation is
printed two lines below the inside address. See
also string variable LetSA.
SJ Subject line. Prints the argument as subject
prefixed with ‘SUBJECT:’ two lines below the
inside address, except in letter type ‘SP’, where
the subject is printed in all-capital without any
prefix. See also string variable LetSJ.
MC column-size [column-separation]
Begin multiple columns. Return to normal with 1C. MC creates
as many columns as the current line length permits. column-size is the width of each column, and column-separation is the
space between two columns. Default separation is column-size/15. See also 1C.
ML mark [text-indent ]
Marked list start. The mark argument is printed before each
list item. text-indent sets the indent and overrides Li. A
third argument prohibits printing of a blank line before each
MT [arg [addressee]]
Memorandum type. The argument arg is part of a filename in
types 0 to 5 are supported, including type ‘string’ (which
gets internally mapped to type 6). addressee just sets a
variable, used in the AT&T macros.
0 Normal memorandum, no type printed.
1 Memorandum with ‘MEMORANDUM FOR FILE’ printed.
2 Memorandum with ‘PROGRAMMER'S NOTES’ printed.
3 Memorandum with ‘ENGINEER'S NOTES’ printed.
4 Released paper style.
5 External letter style.
See also COVER/COVEND, a more flexible type of front page.
MOVE y-pos [x-pos [line-length]]
Move to a position, setting page offset to x-pos. If line-length is not given, the difference between current and new
page offset is used. Use PGFORM without arguments to return
MULB cw1 space1 [cw2 space2 [cw3 ...]]
Begin a special multi-column mode. All columns widths must be
specified. The space between the columns must be specified
also. The last column does not need any space definition.
MULB starts a diversion, and MULE ends the diversion and
prints the columns. The unit for the width and space
arguments is ‘n’, but MULB accepts all normal unit
specifications like ‘c’ and ‘i’. MULB operates in a separate
MULN Begin the next column. This is the only way to switch the
MULE End the multi-column mode and print the columns.
Print numbered paragraph with header level two. See .P.
NCOL Force printing to the next column. Don't use this together
with the MUL* macros, see 2C.
NS [arg ]
Print different types of notations. The argument selects
between the predefined type of notations. If the second
argument is available, then the argument becomes the entire
notation. If the argument doesn't select a predefined type,
it is printed as ‘Copy (arg) to’. It is possible to add more
standard notations, see the string variables Letns and
Arg Notationnone Copy To
"" Copy To
1 Copy To (with att.) to
2 Copy To (without att.) to
7 Under separate cover
8 Letter to
9 Memorandum to
10 Copy (with atts.) to
11 Copy (without atts.) to
12 Abstract Only to
13 Complete Memorandum to
New date. Overrides the current date. Date is not printed if
new-date is an empty string.
Odd-page footer, a line printed just above the normal footer.
See EF and PF.
This macro defines string EOPof.
Odd-page header, a line printed just below the normal header.
See EH and PH.
This macro defines string TPoh.
OP Make sure that the following text is printed at the top of an
odd-numbered page. Does not output an empty page if currently
at the top of an odd page.
Begin new paragraph. P without argument produces
left-justified text, even the first line of the paragraph.
This is the same as setting type to 0. If the argument is 1,
the first line of text following P is indented by the number
of spaces in number register Pi, by default 5.
Instead of giving an argument to P it is possible to set the
paragraph type in number register Pt. Using 0 and 1 is the
same as adding that value to P. A value of 2 indents all
paragraphs, except after headings, lists, and displays (this
value can't be used as an argument to P itself).
The space between two paragraphs is controlled by number
register Ps, and is 1 by default (one blank line).
PGFORM [linelength [pagelength [pageoffset ]]]
Set line length, page length, and/or page offset. This macro
can be used for special formatting, like letter heads and
other. It is normally the first command in a file, though it
is not necessary. PGFORM can be used without arguments to
reset everything after a MOVE call. A line break is done
unless the fourth argument is given. This can be used to
avoid the page number on the first page while setting new
width and length. (It seems as if this macro sometimes
doesn't work too well. Use the command line arguments to
change line length, page length, and page offset instead.)
PGNH No header is printed on the next page. Used to get rid of the
header in letters or other special texts. This macro must be
used before any text to inhibit the page header on the first
PIC [-B] [-L] [-C] [-R] [-I n] filename [width [height]]
Include a PostScript file in the document. The macro depends
on mmroff(1) and INITR. The arguments -L, -C, -R, and -I n
adjust the picture or indent it. With no flag the picture is
adjusted to the left. Adding -B draws a box around the
picture. The optional width and height can also be given to
resize the picture.
PE Picture end. Ends a picture for pic(@MAN1EXT).
Page footer. PF sets the line to be printed at the bottom of
each page. Empty by default. See PH for the argument
This macro defines string EOPf.
Page header, a line printed at the top of each page. The
argument should be specified as
where left-part, center-part, and right-part are printed left-
justified, centered, and right justified, respectively.
Within the argument to PH, the character ‘%’ is changed to the
current page number. The default argument is
"''- % -''"
which gives the page number between two dashes.
This macro defines string TPh.
PS Picture start (from pic). Begins a picture for pic(1).
PX Page header user-defined exit. This macro is called just
after the printing of the page header in no-space mode.
R Roman. Return to roman font, see also I.
RB [roman-text [bold-text [roman-text [...]]]]
Roman-bold. Even arguments are printed in roman, odd in
boldface. See I.
RD [prompt [diversion [string]]]
Read from standard input to diversion and/or string. The text
is saved in a diversion named diversion. Recall the text by
writing the name of the diversion after a dot on an empty
line. A string is also defined if string is given. Diversion
and/or prompt can be empty ("").
RF Reference end. Ends a reference definition and returns to
normal processing. See RS.
RI [roman-text [italic-text [roman-text [...]]]]
Print even arguments in roman, odd in italic. See I.
Reference list start. Begins a list where each item is
preceded with an automatically incremented number between
square brackets. text-indent changes the default indentation.
RP [arg1 [arg2]]
Produce reference page. This macro can be used if a reference
page is wanted somewhere in the document. It is not needed if
TC is used to produce a table of contents. The reference page
is then printed automatically.
The reference counter is not reset if arg1 is 1.
arg2 tells RP whether to eject a page or not.
0 The reference page is printed on a separate page.
1 Do not eject page after the list.
2 Do not eject page before the list.
3 Do not eject page before and after the list.
The reference items are separated by a blank line. Setting
number register Ls to 0 suppresses the line.
The string Rp contains the reference page title and is set to
‘REFERENCES’ by default. The number register Rpe holds the
default value for the second argument of RP; it is initially
set to 0.
Begin an automatically numbered reference definition. Put the
string \*(Rf where the reference mark should be and write the
reference between RS/RF at next new line after the reference
mark. The reference number is stored in number register :R.
If string-name is given, a string with that name is defined
and contains the current reference mark. The string can be
referenced as \*[string-name] later in the text.
S [size [spacing]]
Set point size and vertical spacing. If any argument is equal
to ‘P’, the previous value is used. A ‘C’ means current
value, and ‘D’ the default value. If ‘+’ or ‘-’ is used
before the value, the current value is incremented or
Set right-margin justification. Justification is turned on by
default. No argument or value ‘0’ turns off justification,
and ‘1’ turns on justification.
SETR refname [string]
Remember the current header and page number as refname. Saves
string if string is defined. string is retrieved with .GETST.
SG [arg ]
Signature line. Prints the authors name(s) after the formal
closing. The argument is appended to the reference data,
printed at either the first or last author. The reference
data is the location, department, and initials specified with
.AU. It is printed at the first author if the second argument
is given, otherwise at the last. No reference data is printed
if the author(s) is specified through .WA/.WE. See section
Skip pages. If pages is 0 or omitted, a skip to the next page
occurs unless it is already at the top of a page. Otherwise
it skips pages pages.
SM string1 [string2 [string3]]
Make a string smaller. If string2 is given, string1 is made
smaller and string2 stays at normal size, concatenated with
string1. With three arguments, everything is concatenated,
but only string2 is made smaller.
Space vertically. lines can have any scaling factor, like
‘3i’ or ‘8v’. Several SP calls in a line only produces the
maximum number of lines, not the sum. SP is ignored also
until the first text line in a page. Add \& before a call to
SP to avoid this.
TAB Reset tabs to every 5n. Normally used to reset any previous
TB [title [override [flag [refname]]]]
Table title. The arguments are the same as for EC. TB uses
the number register Tb as a counter. The string Lt controls
the title of the List of Tables; default value is ‘LIST OF
TABLES’. The List of Tables is only printed if number
register Lt is 1, which is the default. The string Litb
contains the word ‘TABLE’, which is printed before the number.
Special handling of the title occurs if TB is used inside
DS/DE, it is not affected by the format of DS.
TC [slevel [spacing [tlevel [tab [h1 [h2 [h3 [h4 [h5]]]]]]]]]
Table of contents. This macro is normally used as the last
line of the document. It generates a table of contents with
headings up to the level controlled by number register Cl.
Note that Cl controls the saving of headings, it has nothing
to do with TC. Headings with a level less than or equal to
slevel get spacing number of lines before them. Headings with
a level less than or equal to tlevel have their page numbers
right-justified with dots or spaces separating the text and
the page number. Spaces are used if tab is greater than zero,
dots otherwise. Other headings have the page number directly
at the end of the heading text (ragged-right).
The rest of the arguments is printed, centered, before the
table of contents.
The user-defined macros TX and TY are used if TC is called
with at most four arguments. TX is called before the printing
of the string ‘CONTENTS’, and TY is called instead of printing
Equivalent macros can be defined for list of figures, tables,
equations and exhibits by defining TXxx or TYxx, where xx is
‘Fg’, ‘TB’, ‘EC’, or ‘EX’, respectively.
String Ci can be set to control the indentations for each
heading-level. It must be scaled, like
.ds Ci .25i .5i .75i 1i 1i
By default, the indentation is controlled by the maximum
length of headings in each level.
The string variables Lifg, Litb, Liex, Liec, and Licon contain
‘Figure’, ‘TABLE’, ‘Exhibit’, ‘Equation’, and ‘CONTENTS’,
respectively. These can be redefined to other languages.
TE Table end. See TS.
TH [N] Table header. See TS. TH ends the header of the table. This
header is printed again if a page break occurs. Argument ‘N’
isn't implemented yet.
TL [charging-case-number [filing-case-number]]
Begin title of memorandum. All text up to the next AU is
included in the title. charging-case-number and filing-case-number are saved for use in the front page processing.
TM [num1 [num2 [...]]]
Technical memorandum numbers used in .MT. An unlimited number
of arguments may be given.
TP Top-of-page user-defined macro. This macro is called instead
of the normal page header. It is possible to get complete
control over the header. Note that the header and the footer
are printed in a separate environment. Line length is
preserved, though. See EOP.
strings available to TP
TPh argument of PH
TPeh argument of EH
TPoh argument of OHTS [H] Table start. This is the start of a table specification to
tbl(1). TS ends with TE. Argument ‘H’ tells mm that the
table has a header. See TH.
TX User-defined table of contents exit. This macro is called
just before TC prints the word ‘CONTENTS’. See TC.
TY User-defined table of contents exit. This macro is called
instead of printing ‘CONTENTS’. See TC.
VERBON [flag [point-size [font]]]
Begin verbatim output using Courier font. Usually for
printing programs. All characters have equal width. The
point size can be changed with the second argument. By
specifying a third argument it is possible to use another font
instead of Courier. flag controls several special features.
Its value is the sum of all wanted features.
1 Disable the escape character (\). This is
normally turned on during verbose output.
2 Add an empty line before the verbose text.
4 Add an empty line after the verbose text.
8 Print the verbose text with numbered lines. This
adds four digit-sized spaces in the beginning of
each line. Finer control is available with the
string variable Verbnm. It contains all
arguments to the troff(1) command .nm, normally
16 Indent the verbose text by ‘5n’. This is
controlled by the number-variable Verbin (in
End verbatim output.
VL text-indent [mark-indent ]
Variable-item list. It has no fixed mark, it assumes that
every LI has a mark instead. text-indent sets the indent to
the text, and mark-indent the distance from the current
indentation to the mark. A third argument prohibits printing
of a blank line before each item.
VM [-T] [top [bottom]]
Vertical margin. Increase the top and bottom margin by top
and bottom, respectively. If option -T is specified, set
those margins to top and bottom. If no argument is given,
reset the margin to zero, or to the default (‘7v 5v’) if -T is
used. It is highly recommended that macros TP and/or EOP are
defined if using -T and setting top and/or bottom margin to
less than the default.
WA [writer-name [title]]
Begin specification of the writer and writer's address.
Several names can be specified with empty WA/WE pairs, but
only one address.
WE End the address specification after .WA.
WC [format1] [format2] [...]
Footnote and display width control.
N Set default mode which is equal to using the options
-WF, -FF, -WD, and FB.
WF Wide footnotes, wide also in two-column mode.
-WF Normal footnote width, follow column mode.
FF All footnotes gets the same width as the first footnote
-FF Normal footnotes, width follows WF and -WF.
WD Wide displays, wide also in two-column mode.
-WD Normal display width, follow column mode.
FB Floating displays generates a line break when printed on
the current page.
-FB Floating displays does not generate line break.
Strings used in mmApp A string containing the word ‘APPENDIX’.
Apptxt The current appendix text.
EM Em dash string
H1txt Updated by .H and .HU to the current heading text. Also
updated in table of contents & friends.
HF Font list for headings, ‘2 2 2 2 2 2 2’ by default. Non-
numeric font names may also be used.
HP Point size list for headings. By default, this is ’0 0 0 0 0
0 0’ which is the same as ‘10 10 10 10 10 10 10’.
Index Contains the string ‘INDEX’.
Indcmd Contains the index command. Default value is ‘sort -t\t’.
Lifg String containing ‘Figure’.
Litb String containing ‘TABLE’.
Liex String containing ‘Exhibit’.
Liec String containing ‘Equation’.
Licon String containing ‘CONTENTS’.
Lf Contains the string ‘LIST OF FIGURES’.
Lt Contains the string ‘LIST OF TABLES’.
Lx Contains the string ‘LIST OF EXHIBITS’.
Le Contains the string ‘LIST OF EQUATIONS’.
Letfc Contains the string ‘Yours very truly,’, used in .FC.
Letapp Contains the string ‘APPROVED:’, used in .AV.
Contains the string ‘Date’, used in .AV.
LetCN Contains the string ‘CONFIDENTIAL’, used in .LO CN.
LetSA Contains the string ‘To Whom It May Concern:’, used in .LO SA.
LetAT Contains the string ‘ATTENTION:’, used in .LO AT.
LetSJ Contains the string ‘SUBJECT:’, used in .LO SJ.
LetRN Contains the string ‘In reference to:’, used in .LO RN.
Letns is an array containing the different strings used in .NS. It
is really a number of string variables prefixed with Letns!.
If the argument doesn't exist, it is included between () with
Letns!copy as a prefix and Letns!to as a suffix. Observe the
space after ‘Copy’ and before ‘to’.
Letns!0 Copy to
Letns!1 Copy (with att.) to
Letns!2 Copy (without att.) to
Letns!7 Under separate cover
Letns!8 Letter to
Letns!9 Memorandum to
Letns!10 Copy (with atts.) to
Letns!11 Copy (without atts.) to
Letns!12 Abstract Only to
Letns!13 Complete Memorandum to
Letns!copy Copy \"
Letns!to " to
Define the standard notation used when no argument is given to
.NS. Default is 0.
MO1 – MO12
Strings containing the month names ‘January’ through
Qrf String containing ‘See chapter \\*[Qrfh], page \\n[Qrfp].’.
Rp Contains the string ‘REFERENCES’.
Tcst Contains the current status of the table of contents and list
of figures, etc. Empty outside of .TC. Useful in user-
defined macros like .TP.
co Table of contents
fg List of figures
tb List of tables
ec List of equations
ex List of exhibits
Tm Contains the string ‘\(tm’, the trade mark symbol.
Verbnm Argument to .nm in the .VERBON command. Default is 1.
Number variables used in mmAph Print an appendix page for every new appendix if this number
variable is non-zero. No output occurs if Aph is zero, but
there is always an appendix entry in the ‘List of contents’.
Cl Contents level (in the range 0 to 14). The contents is saved
if a heading level is lower than or equal to the value of Cl.
Default is 2.
Cp Eject page between list of table, list of figure, etc., if the
value of Cp is zero. Default is 0.
D Debug flag. Values greater than zero produce debug
information of increasing verbosity. A value of 1 gives
information about the progress of formatting. Default is 0.
De If set to 1, eject after floating display is output. Default
Dsp If defined, it controls the space output before and after
static displays. Otherwise the value of Lsp is used.
Df Control floating keep output. This is a number in the range 0
to 5, with a default value of 5. See .DF.
Ds If set to 1, use the amount of space stored in register Lsp
before and after display. Default is 1.
Ej If set to 1, eject page before each first-level heading.
Default is 0.
Eq Equation labels are left-adjusted if set to 0 and right-
adjusted if set to 1. Default is 0.
Fs Footnote spacing. Default is 1.
H1 – H7
H1dot Append a dot after the level-one heading number if value is
greater than zero. Default is 1.
H1h A copy of number register H1, but it is incremented just
before the page break. Useful in user-defined header macros.
Hb Heading break level. A number in the range 0 to 14, with a
default value of 2. See .H.
Hc Heading centering level. A number in the range 0 to 14, with
a default value value of 0. See .H.
Hi Heading temporary indent. A number in the range 0 to 2, with
a default value of 1.
0 no indentation, left margin
1 indent to the right, similar to ‘.P 1’
2 indent to line up with text part of preceding
Hps Heading pre-space level. If the heading level is less than or
equal to Hps, two lines precede the section heading instead of
one. Default is first level only. The real amount of lines
is controlled by the variables Hps1 and Hps2.
Hps1 Number of lines preceding .H if the heading level is greater
than Hps. Value is in units, default is 0.5.
Hps2 Number of lines preceding .H if the heading level is less than
or equal to Hps. Value is in units, default is 1.
Hs Heading space level. A number in the range 0 to 14, with a
default value of 2. See .H.
Hss Number of lines following .H if the heading level is less than
or equal to Hs. Value is in units, default is 1.
Ht Heading numbering type.
0 multiple levels (1.1.1, 1.1.2, etc.)
1 single level
Default is 0.
Hu Unnumbered heading level. Default is 2.
Hy Hyphenation status of text body.
0 no hyphenation
1 hyphenation on, set to value 14
Default is 0.
Iso Set this variable to 1 on the command line to get an ISO-
formatted date string (-rIso=1). Useless inside of a
L Page length, only for command line settings.
Letwam Maximum lines in return-address, used in .WA/.WE. Default
Lf, Lt, Lx, Le
Enable (1) or disable (0) the printing of List of figures,
List of tables, List of exhibits and List of equations,
respectively. Default values are Lf=1, Lt=1, Lx=1, and Le=0.
Li List indentation, used by .AL. Default is 6.
Limsp A flag controlling the insertion of space between prefix and
mark in automatic lists (.AL).
0 no space
1 emit space
Ls List space threshold. If current list level is greater than
Ls no spacing occurs around lists. Default is 99.
Lsp The vertical space used by an empty line. The default is 0.5v
in troff mode and 1v in nroff mode.
N Page numbering style.
0 normal header for all pages.
1 header replaces footer on first page, header is
2 page header is removed on the first page.
3 ‘section-page’ numbering style enabled.
4 page header is removed on the first page.
5 ‘section-page’ and ‘section-figure’ numbering style
Default is 0. See also the number registers Sectf and Sectp.
Np A flag to control whether paragraphs are numbered.
0 not numbered
1 numbered in first-level headings.
Default is 0.
O Page offset, only for command line settings.
Of Format of figure, table, exhibit, and equation titles.
0 ". "
1 " - "
Default is 0.
P Current page-number, normally the same as ‘%’ unless ‘section-
page’ numbering style is enabled.
Pi Paragraph indentation. Default is 5.
Pgps A flag to control whether header and footer point size should
follow the current settings or just change when the header and
footer are defined.
0 Point size only changes to the current setting when
.PH, .PF, .OH, .EH, .OF, or .OE is executed.
1 Point size changes after every .S. This is the
Ps Paragraph spacing. Default is 1.
Pt Paragraph type.
1 indented paragraphs
2 indented paragraphs except after .H, .DE, or .LE.
Default is 0.
Rpe Set default value for second argument of .RP. Default is 0.
Sectf A flag controlling ‘section-figures’ numbering style. A non-
zero value enables this. See also register N.
Sectp A flag controlling ’section-page’ numbering style. A non-zero
value enables this. See also register N.
Si Display indentation. Default is 5.
Verbin Indentation for .VERBON. Default is 5n.
W Line length, only for command line settings.
.mgm Always 1.
The letter macros are using different submacros depending on the
letter type. The name of the submacro has the letter type as suffix.
It is therefore possible to define other letter types, either in the
national macro-file, or as local additions. .LT sets the number
variables Pt and Pi to 0 and 5, respectively. The following strings
and macros must be defined for a new letter type.
This macro is called directly by .LT. It is supposed to
initialize variables and other stuff.
This macro prints the letter head, and is called instead of
the normal page header. It is supposed to remove the alias
let@header, otherwise it is called for all pages.
let@sg_type name title n flag [arg1 [arg2 [...]]]
.SG is calling this macro only for letters; memorandums have
its own processing. name and title are specified through
.WA/.WB. n is the counter, 1-max, and flag is true for the
last name. Any other argument to .SG is appended.
This macro is called by .FC, and has the formal closing as the
.LO is implemented as a general option-macro. It demands that a
string named Lettype is defined, where type is the letter type. .LO
then assigns the argument to the string variable let*lo-type.
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