groff_tmac(5) — Linux manual page

Name | Description | groff Macro Packages | Naming | Inclusion | Writing Macros | Files | Environment | Authors | See also | COLOPHON

groff_tmac(5)              File Formats Manual             groff_tmac(5)

Name         top

       groff_tmac - macro files in the GNU roff typesetting system

Description         top

       The roff(7) typesetting system provides a set of macro packages
       suitable for special kinds of documents.  Each macro package
       stores its macros and definitions in a file called the package's
       tmac file.  The name is derived from ‘TroffMACros’.

       The tmac files are normal roff source documents, except that they
       usually contain only definitions and setup commands, but no text.
       All tmac files are kept in a single or a small number of
       directories, the tmac directories.

groff Macro Packages         top

       groff provides all classical macro packages, some more full
       packages, and some secondary packages for special purposes.
       Multiple primary macro packages cannot be used simultaneously;
       saying, e.g.,

              sh# groff -m man -m ms foo

       or

              sh# groff -m man foo -m ms bar

       fails.  An exception to this is the use of man pages written with
       either the mdoc or the man macro package.  See below the
       description of the andoc.tmac file.

   Man pages
       man    This is the classical macro package for Unix manual pages
              (man pages); it is quite handy and easy to use; see
              groff_man(7).

       doc
       mdoc   An alternative macro package for man pages mainly used in
              BSD systems; it provides many new features, but it is not
              the standard for man pages; see groff_mdoc(7).

       andoc
       mandoc Use this file if you don't know whether the man macros or
              the mdoc package should be used.  Multiple man pages (in
              either format) can be handled.

   Full packages
       The packages in this section provide a complete set of macros for
       writing documents of any kind, up to whole books.  They are
       similar in functionality; it is a matter of taste which one to
       use.

       me     The classical me macro package; see groff_me(7).

       mm     The semi-classical mm macro package; see groff_mm(7).

       mom    The mom macro package, only available in groff.  As this
              was not based on other packages, it was freely designed as
              quite a nice, modern macro package.  See groff_mom(7).

       ms     The classical ms macro package; see groff_ms(7).

   Language-specific packages
       cs     This file adds support for Czech localization, including
              the main macro packages (me, mom, mm, and ms).

              Note that cs.tmac sets the input encoding to latin-2.

       de
       den    German localization support, including the main macro
              packages (me, mom, mm, and ms).

              de.tmac selects hyphenation patterns for traditional
              orthography, and den.tmac does the same for the new
              orthography (‘Rechtschreibreform’).  It should be the last
              macro package on the command line.

       fr     This file adds support for French localization, including
              the main macro packages (me, mom, mm, and ms).  Example:

                     sh# groff -ms -mfr foo.ms > foo.ps

              Note that fr.tmac sets the input encoding to latin-9 to
              get proper support of the ‘oe’ ligature.

       sv     Swedish localization support, including the me, mom, and
              ms macro packages.  Swedish for the mm macros is handled
              separately; see groff_mmse(7).  It should be the last
              macro package on the command line.

   Input encodings
       latin1
       latin2
       latin5
       latin9 Various input encodings supported directly by groff.
              Normally, this macro is loaded at the very beginning of a
              document or specified as the first macro argument on the
              command line.  groff loads latin1 by default at start-up.
              These macro packages don't work on EBCDIC hosts.

       cp1047 Encoding support for EBCDIC.  On those platforms it is
              loaded automatically at start-up.  Due to different
              character ranges used in groff it doesn't work on
              architectures which are based on ASCII.

       Some input encoding characters may not be available for a
       particular output device.  For example, saying

       groff -Tlatin1 -mlatin9 ...

       fails if you use the Euro character in the input.  Usually, this
       limitation is present only for drivers which have a limited set
       of output glyphs (ascii, latin1); for other drivers it is usually
       sufficient to install proper fonts which contain the necessary
       glyphs.

   Special packages
       The macro packages in this section are not intended for stand-
       alone usage, but can add special functionality to any other macro
       package or to plain groff.

       62bit  Provides macros for addition, multiplication, and division
              of 62-bit integers (allowing safe multiplication of 31-bit
              integers, for example).

       ec     Switch to the EC and TC font families.  To be used with
              grodvi(1) — this man page also gives more details of how
              to use it.

       hdtbl  The Heidelberger table macros, contributed by Joachim
              Walsdorff, allow the generation of tables through a syntax
              similar to the HTML table model.  Note that hdtbl is a
              macro package, not a preprocessor like tbl(1).  hdtbl
              works only with the ps and pdf output drivers.  See
              groff_hdtbl(7).

       papersize
              This macro file is automatically loaded at start-up by
              troff so it isn't necessary to call it explicitly.  It
              provides an interface to set the paper size on the command
              line with the option -dpaper=size.  Possible values for
              size are the same as the predefined papersize values in
              the DESC file (only lowercase; see groff_font(5) for more)
              except a7d7.  An appended l (ell) character denotes
              landscape orientation.  Examples: a4, c3l, letterl.

              Most output drivers need additional command-line switches
              -p and -l to override the default paper length and
              orientation as set in the driver-specific DESC file.  For
              example, use the following for PS output on A4 paper in
              landscape orientation:

              sh# groff -Tps -dpaper=a4l -P-pa4 -P-l -ms foo.ms > foo.ps

       pdfpic A single macro is provided in this file, PDFPIC, to
              include a PDF graphic in a document, i.e., under the
              output driver pdf.  For all other drivers, pspic is used.
              So pdfpic is an extension of pspic.  This means you can
              safely replace all PSPIC with PDFPIC; nothing gets lost by
              that.  The options of PDFPIC are identical to the PSDIF
              options.

       pic    This file provides proper definitions for the macros PS
              and PE, needed for the pic(1) preprocessor.  They center
              each picture.  Use it only if your macro package doesn't
              provide proper definitions for those two macros (most of
              them already do).

       pspic  A single macro is provided in this file, PSPIC, to include
              a PostScript graphic in a document.  The ps, dvi, html,
              and xhtml output drivers support inclusion of PS images;
              for all other drivers the image is replaced with a hollow
              rectangle of the same size.  This macro file is
              automatically loaded at start-up by troff so it isn't
              necessary to call it explicitly.

              Syntax:

                     .PSPIC [-L|-R|-C|-I n] file [width [height]]

              file is the name of the PostScript file; width and height
              give the desired width and height of the image.  If
              neither a width nor a height argument is specified, the
              image's natural width (as given in the file's bounding
              box) or the current line length is used as the width,
              whatever is smaller.  The width and height arguments may
              have scaling indicators attached; the default scaling
              indicator is i.  This macro scales the graphic uniformly
              in the x and y directions so that it is no more than width
              wide and height high.  Option -C centers the graphic
              horizontally, which is the default.  The -L and -R options
              left-align and right-align the graphic, respectively.  The
              -I option indents the graphic by n (default scaling
              indicator is m).

              For use of .PSPIC within a diversion it is recommended to
              extend it with the following code, assuring that the
              diversion's width completely covers the image's width.

                     .am PSPIC
                     .  vpt 0
                     \h'(\\n[ps-offset]u + \\n[ps-deswid]u)'
                     .  sp -1
                     .  vpt 1
                     ..

       ptx    A single macro is provided in this file, xx, for
              formatting permuted index entries as produced by the GNU
              ptx(1) program.  If you need different formatting, copy
              the macro into your document and adapt it to your needs.

       rfc1345
              defines special character escape sequences based on the
              glyph mnemonics specified in RFC 1345 and the digraph
              table of the text editor Vim.  See groff_rfc1345(7).

       trace  Use this for tracing macro calls.  It is only useful for
              debugging.  See groff_trace(7).

       tty-char
              Defines fallback definitions of roff special characters
              for terminal devices.  These definitions more poorly
              optically approximate typeset output compared to those of
              the tty file in favor of communicating more semantic
              information, which can allow easier processing with
              critical equipment.

       www    Additions of elements known from the HTML format, as used
              in World Wide Web pages; this includes URL links and mail
              addresses.  See groff_www(7).

Naming         top

       Classical roff systems were designed before the conventions of
       the modern C getopt(3) call evolved, and used a naming scheme for
       macro packages that looks odd to modern eyes.  Macro packages
       were always included with the option -m; when this option was
       directly followed by its argument without an intervening space,
       this looked like a long option preceded by a single minus — a
       sensation in the computer stone age.  To make this invocation
       form work, classical troff macro packages used names that started
       with the letter ‘m’, which was omitted in the naming of the macro
       file.

       For example, the macro package for the man pages was called man,
       while its macro file tmac.an.  So it could be activated by the
       argument an to option -m, or -man for short.

       For similar reasons, macro packages that did not start with an
       ‘m’ had a leading ‘m’ added in the documentation and in speech;
       for example, the package corresponding to tmac.doc was called
       mdoc in the documentation, although a more suitable name would be
       doc.  For, when omitting the space between the option and its
       argument, the command-line option for activating this package
       reads -mdoc.

       To cope with all situations, actual versions of groff(1) are
       smart about both naming schemes by providing two macro files for
       the inflicted macro packages; one with a leading ‘m’ the other
       one without it.  So in groff, the man macro package may be
       specified as one of the following four methods:

              sh# groff -m man
              sh# groff -man
              sh# groff -mman
              sh# groff -m an

       Recent packages that do not start with ‘m’ do not use an
       additional ‘m’ in the documentation.  For example, the www macro
       package may be specified only as one of the two methods:

              sh# groff -m www
              sh# groff -mwww

       Obviously, variants like -mmwww would not make much sense.

       A second strange feature of classical troff was to name macro
       files in the form tmac.name.  In modern operating systems, the
       type of a file is specified as a postfix, the file name
       extension.  Again, groff copes with this situation by searching
       both anything.tmac and tmac.anything if only anything is
       specified.

       The easiest way to find out which macro packages are available on
       a system is to check the man page groff(1), or the contents of
       the tmac directories.

       In groff, most macro packages are described in man pages called
       groff_name(7), with a leading ‘m’ for the classical packages.

Inclusion         top

       There are several ways to use a macro package in a document.  The
       classical way is to specify the troff/groff option -m name at run
       time; this makes the contents of the macro package name
       available.  In groff, the file name.tmac is searched within the
       tmac path; if not found, tmac.name is searched for instead.

       Alternatively, it is also possible to include a macro file by
       adding the request .so filename to the document; the argument
       must be the full file name of an existing file, possibly with the
       directory where it is kept.  In groff, this was improved by the
       similar request .mso package, which added searching in the tmac
       path, just like option -m does.

       In order to resolve the .so and .mso requests, the roff
       preprocessor soelim(1) must be called if the files to be included
       need preprocessing.  This can be done either directly by a
       pipeline on the command line or by using the troff/groff option
       -s.  man calls soelim automatically.

       For example, suppose a macro file is stored as

              /usr/local/share/groff/1.23.0/tmac/macros.tmac

       and is used in some document called docu.roff.

       At run time, the formatter call for this is

              sh# groff -m macros docu.roff

       To include the macro file directly in the document, use either

              .mso macros.tmac

       or

              .so /usr/local/share/groff/1.23.0/tmac/macros.tmac

       In both cases, the formatter should be called with option -s to
       invoke soelim.

              sh# groff -s docu.roff

       If you want to write your own groff macro file, call it
       whatever.tmac and put it in a directory in the tmac path; see
       section “Files” below.  Then documents can include it with the
       .mso request or the option -m.

Writing Macros         top

       A roff(7) document is a text file that is enriched by predefined
       formatting constructs, such as requests, escape sequences,
       strings, numeric registers, and macros from a macro package.
       These elements are described in roff(7).

       To give a document a personal style, it is most useful to extend
       the existing elements by defining some macros for repeating
       tasks; the best place for this is near the beginning of the
       document or in a separate file.

       Macros without arguments are just like strings.  But the full
       power of macros occurs when arguments are passed with a macro
       call.  Within the macro definition, the arguments are available
       as the escape sequences \$1, ..., \$9, \$[...], \$*, and \$@, the
       name under which the macro was called is in \$0, and the number
       of arguments is in register \n[.$]; see groff(7).

   Copy-in mode
       The phase when groff reads a macro is called copy-in mode or copy
       mode in roff-talk.  This is comparable to the C preprocessing
       phase during the development of a program written in the
       C language.

       In this phase, groff interprets all backslashes; that means that
       all escape sequences in the macro body are interpreted and
       replaced by their value.  For constant expressions, this is
       wanted, but strings and registers that might change between calls
       of the macro must be protected from being evaluated.  This is
       most easily done by doubling the backslash that introduces the
       escape sequence.  This doubling is most important for the
       positional parameters.  For example, the following macro prints
       information on its arguments:

              .ds midpart was called with the following
              .de print_args
              \f[I]\\$0\f[] \*[midpart] \\n[.$] arguments:
              \\$*
              ..

       When calling this macro by

              .print_args arg1 arg2

       the following text is printed:

              print_args was called with the following 2 arguments: arg1 arg2

       Let's analyze each backslash in the macro definition.  As the
       positional parameters and the number of arguments change with
       each call of the macro their leading backslash must be doubled,
       which results in \\$* and \\[.$].  The same applies to the macro
       name because it could be called with an alias, so \\$0.

       On the other hand, midpart is a constant string, it does not
       change, so no doubling for \*[midpart].  The \f escape sequences
       are predefined groff elements for setting the font within the
       text.  Of course, this behavior does not change, so no doubling
       with \f[I] and \f[].

   Draft mode
       Writing groff macros is easy when the escaping mechanism is
       temporarily disabled.  In groff, this is done by enclosing the
       macro definition(s) within a pair of .eo and .ec requests.  Then
       the body in the macro definition is just like a normal part of
       the document — text enhanced by calls of requests, macros,
       strings, registers, etc.  For example, the code above can be
       written in a simpler way by

              .eo
              .ds midpart was called with the following
              .de print_args
              \f[I]\$0\f[] \*[midpart] \n[.$] arguments:
              \$*
              ..
              .ec

       Unfortunately, draft mode cannot be used universally.  Although
       it is good enough for defining normal macros, draft mode fails
       with advanced applications, such as indirectly defined strings,
       registers, etc.  An optimal way is to define and test all macros
       in draft mode and then do the backslash doubling as a final step;
       do not forget to remove the .eo request.

   Tips for macro definitions
       •      Start every line with a dot, for example, by using the
              groff request .nop for text lines, or write your own macro
              that handles also text lines with a leading dot.

                     .de Text
                     .  if (\\n[.$] == 0) \
                     .    return
                     .  nop \)\\$*\)
                     ..

       •      Write a comment macro that works both for copy-in and
              draft mode; for as escaping is off in draft mode, trouble
              might occur when normal comments are used.  For example,
              the following macro just ignores its arguments, so it acts
              like a comment line:

                     .de c
                     ..
                     .c This is like a comment line.

       •      In long macro definitions, make ample use of comment lines
              or almost-empty lines (this is, lines which have a leading
              dot and nothing else) for a better structuring.

       •      To increase readability, use groff's indentation facility
              for requests and macro calls (arbitrary whitespace after
              the leading dot).

   Diversions
       Diversions can be used to implement quite advanced programming
       constructs.  They are comparable to pointers to large data
       structures in the C programming language, but their usage is
       quite different.

       In their simplest form, diversions are multi-line strings, but
       diversions get their power when used dynamically within macros.
       The (formatted) information stored in a diversion can be
       retrieved by calling the diversion just like a macro.

       Most of the problems arising with diversions can be avoided if
       you remember that diversions always store complete lines.  Using
       diversions when the line buffer has not been flushed produces
       strange results; not knowing this, many people get desperate
       about diversions.  To ensure that a diversion works, add line
       breaks at the right places.  To be safe, enclose everything that
       has to do with diversions within a pair of line breaks; for
       example, by explicitly using .br requests.  This rule should be
       applied to diversion definition, both inside and outside, and to
       all calls of diversions.  This is a bit of overkill, but it works
       nicely.

       (If you really need diversions which should ignore the current
       partial line, use environments to save the current partial line
       and/or use the .box request.)

       The most powerful feature using diversions is to start a
       diversion within a macro definition and end it within another
       macro.  Then everything between each call of this macro pair is
       stored within the diversion and can be manipulated from within
       the macros.

Files         top

       All macro package files must be named name.tmac to fully use the
       tmac mechanism.  tmac.name as with classical packages is possible
       as well, but deprecated.

       The macro files are kept in the tmac directories; a colon-
       separated list of these constitutes the tmac path.

       The search sequence for macro files is (in this order):

       •      the directories specified with troff/groff's -M command-
              line option

       •      the directories given in the GROFF_TMAC_PATH environment
              variable

       •      the current directory (only if in unsafe mode, which is
              enabled by the -U command-line switch)

       •      the home directory

       •      a platform-specific directory, being

                     /usr/local/lib/groff/site-tmac

              in this installation

       •      a site-specific (platform-independent) directory, being

                     /usr/local/share/groff/site-tmac

              in this installation

       •      the main tmac directory, being

                     /usr/local/share/groff/1.23.0/tmac

              in this installation

Environment         top

       GROFF_TMAC_PATH
              A colon-separated list of additional directories in which
              to search for macro files.  See the previous section for a
              detailed description.

Authors         top

       This document was written by Bernd Warken ⟨groff-bernd.warken-72@
       web.de⟩ and Werner Lemberg ⟨wl@gnu.org⟩.

See also         top

       Groff: The GNU Implementation of troff, by Trent A. Fisher and
       Werner Lemberg, is the primary groff manual.  You can browse it
       interactively with “info groff”.

       The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard 
       ⟨https://wiki.linuxfoundation.org/lsb/fhs⟩ is maintained by the
       Linux Foundation.

       groff(1)
              is an overview of the groff system.

       groff_man(7),
       groff_mdoc(7),
       groff_me(7),
       groff_mm(7),
       groff_mom(7),
       groff_ms(7),
       groff_rfc1345(7),
       groff_trace(7),
               and
       groff_www(7)
              are groff macro packages.

       groff(7)
              summarizes the language recognized by GNU troff.

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 project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨https://git.savannah.gnu.org/git/groff.git⟩ on 2021-04-01.  (At
       that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in
       the repository was 2021-03-29.)  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
       man-pages@man7.org

groff 1.23.0.rc1.259-531129-dir2t1yMarch 2021                groff_tmac(5)

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