groff_filenames(5) — Linux manual page

Name | Description | Compression of roff files | Man pages | Traditional troff extensions | New groff extensions | Authors | See also | COLOPHON

groff_filenames(5)         File Formats Manual        groff_filenames(5)

Name         top

       groff_filenames - filename conventions used in roff systems

Description         top

       Since the evolution of roff in the 1970s, a whole bunch of
       filename extensions for roff files were used.

       The roff extensions refer to preprocessors or macro packages.
       These extensions are fixed in all Unix-like operating systems.

       Later on, groff added some more extensions.  This man page is
       about these filename extensions.

Compression of roff files         top

       Each roff file can be optionally compressed.  That means that the
       total filename ends with a compressor name.  So the whole
       filename has the structure <name>.<extension>[.<compression>].

       Best-known are the compressor extensions .Z, .gz, and .bzip2.
       Relatively new is .xz.

       From now on, we will ignore the compressions and only comment the
       structure <name>.<extension>.

Man pages         top

       The Unix manual pages are widely called man pages.  The man page
       style is the best-known part of the roff language.

       The extensions for man should be better documented.  So this is
       documented here.

       Files written in the man language use the following extension:

   Man page sections
       The traditional man page <section> is a digit from 1 to 8.

              Classic man page sections.

       In older commercial Unix systems, the 3 characters l, n, and o
       were also used as section names.  This is today deprecated, but
       there are still documents in this format.

              Deprecated man page sections, which stood for “local”,
              “new”, and “old”, respectively.

   Man page group extensions
       The <group> extension in .<section>[<group>] is optional, but it
       can be any string of word characters.  Usually programmers use a
       group name that is already used, e.g., x for X Window System
       documents or tcl to refer to the Tcl programming language.


              is the man page for groff in section 1 without a group

              is the man page for the program xargs in section 1 and
              group posix; moreover it is compressed with gz (gzip).

              OpenSSL CONF library configuration files from section 5
              with group ssl.

              man page for the program dpkg-reconfigure in section 8 and
              group cdebconf.

   Source of man pages
       There are 2 roff languages for writing man pages: man and mdoc.

       The names of these 2 styles are taken as extensions for the
       source code files of man pages in the groff package.

              traditional Unix-like man page format within groff source

              A temporary man page file produced from a man
              page by a run of make within the groff source package.

              Man page format in BSD.

Traditional troff extensions         top

   Files using macro packages
       The classical roff languages were interpreted by the traditional
       troff and nroff programs.

       There were several roff languages, each represented by a macro-
       package.  Each of these provided a suitable file name extension:

              roff file using the me macro package.

              roff file using the mm macro package

              roff file using the ms macro package

       All of these classical roff languages and their extensions are
       still very active in groff.

   Source code for macro packages (tmac files)
       In traditional roff the source code for the macro packages was
       stored in TMAC files.  Their file names have the form:

              <package> is the name of the macro package without the
              leading m character, which is reintegrated by the option

       For example, is the source for the man macro package.

       In the groff source, more suitable file names were integrated;
       see later on.

       Moreover, the following preprocessors were used as filename

              for the integration of chemical formulas

              for the mathematical use of equations

              graphical tool

              for tables with tbl

              for files using the prefer preprocessor

   roff files
              for files using the roff language of any kind

New groff extensions         top

       GNU roff groff is the actual roff standard, both for classical
       roff and new extensions.  So even the used new extensions in the
       source code should be regarded as actual standard.  The following
       extensions are used instead of classical .t or .tr:

              general ending for files using the groff language

   Source code for macro packages (tmac files)
       As the classical form tmac.<package_without_m>, of the TMAC file
       names is quite strange, groff added the following structures:


   Files using new macro packages
       Groff uses the following new macro packages:

              file with swedish mm macros for groff

              files written in the groff macro package mom

              files written in HTML-like groff macros.

   Preprocessors and postprocessors
              Heidelberger tables, an alternative to the preprocessor
              tbl.  See groff_hdtbl(7).

              files written for the graphical grap processor.

              for including gremlin(1), pictures, see grn(1).

              transform this file with pdfroff of the groff system

Authors         top

       This document was written by Bernd Warken ⟨groff-bernd.warken-72@⟩.

See also         top

       History and future
              roff(7), man-pages(7), groff_diff(7), groff(7)

              uncompress(1posix), gzip2(1), bzip2(1), xz(1)

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 project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2023-12-22.  (At
       that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in
       the repository was 2023-12-08.)  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 1.23.0.rc1.1931-35c9b  30 January 2022          groff_filenames(5)