MDOC(7)             BSD Miscellaneous Information Manual             MDOC(7)

NAME         top

     mdoc — quick reference guide for the -mdoc macro package

SYNOPSIS         top

     groff -mdoc files ...

DESCRIPTION         top

     The -mdoc package is a set of content-based and domain-based macros
     used to format the BSD man pages.  The macro names and their meanings
     are listed below for quick reference; for a detailed explanation on
     using the package, see groff_mdoc(7) and the tutorial sampler

     Note that this is not the usual macro package for Linux documentation,
     although it is used for documentation of several widely used programs;
     see man(7).

     The macros are described in two groups, the first includes the struc‐
     tural and physical page layout macros.  The second contains the manual
     and general text domain macros which differentiate the -mdoc package
     from other troff formatting packages.


   Title Macros
     To create a valid manual page, these three macros, in this order, are

     .Dd   Month day, year                       Document date.
     .Dt   DOCUMENT_TITLE [section] [volume]     Title, in uppercase.
     .Os   OPERATING_SYSTEM [version/release]    Operating system (BSD).

   Page Layout Macros
     Section headers, paragraph breaks, lists and displays.

     .Sh   Section Headers.  Valid headers, in the order of presentation:
           NAME          Name section, should include the ‘.Nm’ or ‘.Fn’ and
                         the ‘.Nd’ macros.
           SYNOPSIS      Usage.
           DESCRIPTION   General description, should include options and
           RETURN VALUE  Sections two and three function calls.
           ENVIRONMENT   Describe environment variables.
           FILES         Files associated with the subject.
           EXAMPLES      Examples and suggestions.
           DIAGNOSTICS   Normally used for section four device interface
           ERRORS        Sections two and three error and signal handling.
           SEE ALSO      Cross references and citations.
           CONFORMING TO
                         Conformance to standards if applicable.
           HISTORY       If a standard is not applicable, the history of the
                         subject should be given.
           BUGS          Gotchas and caveats.
           other         Customized headers may be added at the authors dis‐
     .Ss   Subsection Headers.
     .Pp   Paragraph Break.  Vertical space (one line).
     .D1   (D-one) Display-one Indent and display one text line.
     .Dl   (D-ell) Display-one literal.  Indent and display one line of lit‐
           eral text.
     .Bd   Begin-display block.  Display options:
           -ragged          Unjustified (ragged edges).
           -filled          Justified.
           -literal         Literal text or code.
           -file name       Read in named file and display.
           -offset string   Offset display.  Acceptable string values:
                            left        Align block on left (default).
                            center      Approximate center margin.
                            indent      Six constant width spaces (a tab).
                            indent-two  Two tabs.
                            right       Left aligns block 2 inches from
                            xxn         Where xx is a number from 4n to 99n.
                            Aa          Where Aa is a callable macro name.
                            string      The width of string is used.
     .Ed   End-display (matches .Bd).
     .Bl   Begin-list.  Create lists or columns.  Options:
                 -bullet    Bullet Item List
                 -item      Unlabeled List
                 -enum      Enumerated List
                 -tag       Tag Labeled List
                 -diag      Diagnostic List
                 -hang      Hanging Labeled List
                 -ohang     Overhanging Labeled List
                 -inset     Inset or Run-on Labeled List
                 -offset    (All lists.) See ‘.Bd’ begin-display above.
                 -width     (-tag and -hang lists only.)  See ‘.Bd’.
                 -compact   (All lists.)  Suppresses blank lines.
     .El   End-list.
     .It   List item.


     The manual and general text domain macros are special in that most of
     them are parsed for callable macros for example:

           .Op Fl s Ar file
                       Produces [-s file]

     In this example, the option enclosure macro ‘.Op’ is parsed, and calls
     the callable content macro ‘Fl’ which operates on the argument ‘s’ and
     then calls the callable content macro ‘Ar’ which operates on the argu‐
     ment ‘file’.  Some macros may be callable, but are not parsed and vice
     versa.  These macros are indicated in the parsed and callable columns

     Unless stated, manual domain macros share a common syntax:

           .Va argument [ . , ; : ( ) [ ] argument ... ]

     Note: Opening and closing punctuation characters are recognized as such
     only if they are presented one at a time.  The string ‘),’ is not rec‐
     ognized as punctuation and will be output with a leading white space
     and in what ever font the calling macro uses.  The argument list ‘] )
     ,’ is recognized as three sequential closing punctuation characters and
     a leading white space is not output between the characters and the pre‐
     vious argument (if any).  The special meaning of a punctuation charac‐
     ter may be escaped with the string ‘\&’.  For example the following

           .Ar file1 , file2 , file3 ) .   Produces file1, file2, file3).

   Manual Domain Macros
     Name    Parsed    Callable     Description
     Ad      Yes       Yes          Address. (This macro may be deprecated.)
     An      Yes       Yes          Author name.
     Ar      Yes       Yes          Command-line argument.
     Cd      No        No           Configuration declaration (section four
     Cm      Yes       Yes          Command-line argument modifier.
     Dv      Yes       Yes          Defined variable (source code).
     Er      Yes       Yes          Error number (source code).
     Ev      Yes       Yes          Environment variable.
     Fa      Yes       Yes          Function argument.
     Fd      Yes       Yes          Function declaration.
     Fn      Yes       Yes          Function call (also .Fo and .Fc).
     Ic      Yes       Yes          Interactive command.
     Li      Yes       Yes          Literal text.
     Nm      Yes       Yes          Command name.
     Op      Yes       Yes          Option (also .Oo and .Oc).
     Ot      Yes       Yes          Old style function type (Fortran only).
     Pa      Yes       Yes          Pathname or filename.
     St      Yes       Yes          Standards (-p1003.2, -p1003.1 or -ansiC)
     Va      Yes       Yes          Variable name.
     Vt      Yes       Yes          Variable type (Fortran only).
     Xr      Yes       Yes          Manual Page Cross Reference.

   General Text Domain Macros
     Name    Parsed    Callable     Description
     %A      Yes       No           Reference author.
     %B      Yes       Yes          Reference book title.
     %C      No        No           Reference place of publishing (city).
     %D      No        No           Reference date.
     %J      Yes       Yes          Reference journal title.
     %N      No        No           Reference issue number.
     %O      No        No           Reference optional information.
     %P      No        No           Reference page number(s).
     %R      No        No           Reference report Name.
     %T      Yes       Yes          Reference article title.
     %V      No        No           Reference volume.
     Ac      Yes       Yes          Angle close quote.
     Ao      Yes       Yes          Angle open quote.
     Ap      Yes       Yes          Apostrophe.
     Aq      Yes       Yes          Angle quote.
     At      No        No           AT&T UNIX
     Bc      Yes       Yes          Bracket close quote.
     Bf      No        No           Begin font mode.
     Bo      Yes       Yes          Bracket open quote.
     Bq      Yes       Yes          Bracket quote.
     Bx      Yes       Yes          BSD.
     Db      No        No           Debug (default is "off")
     Dc      Yes       Yes          Double close quote.
     Do      Yes       Yes          Double open quote.
     Dq      Yes       Yes          Double quote.
     Ec      Yes       Yes          Enclose string close quote.
     Ef      No        No           End font mode.
     Em      Yes       Yes          Emphasis (traditional English).
     Eo      Yes       Yes          Enclose string open quote.
     Fx      No        No           FreeBSD operating system
     No      Yes       Yes          Normal text (no-op).
     Ns      Yes       Yes          No space.
     Pc      Yes       Yes          Parenthesis close quote.
     Pf      Yes       No           Prefix string.
     Po      Yes       Yes          Parenthesis open quote.
     Pq      Yes       Yes          Parentheses quote.
     Qc      Yes       Yes          Straight Double close quote.
     Ql      Yes       Yes          Quoted literal.
     Qo      Yes       Yes          Straight Double open quote.
     Qq      Yes       Yes          Straight Double quote.
     Re      No        No           Reference end.
     Rs      No        No           Reference start.
     Rv      No        No           Return values (sections two and three
     Sc      Yes       Yes          Single close quote.
     So      Yes       Yes          Single open quote.
     Sq      Yes       Yes          Single quote.
     Sm      No        No           Space mode (default is "on")
     Sx      Yes       Yes          Section Cross Reference.
     Sy      Yes       Yes          Symbolic (traditional English).
     Tn      Yes       Yes          Trade or type name (small Caps).
     Ux      Yes       Yes          UNIX
     Xc      Yes       Yes          Extend argument list close.
     Xo      Yes       Yes          Extend argument list open.

     Macro names ending in ‘q’ quote remaining items on the argument list.
     Macro names ending in ‘o’ begin a quote which may span more than one
     line of input and are close quoted with the matching macro name ending
     in ‘c’.  Enclosure macros may be nested and are limited to eight argu‐

     Note: the extended argument list macros (‘.Xo’, ‘.Xc’) and the function
     enclosure macros (‘.Fo’, ‘.Fc’) are irregular.  The extended list
     macros are used when the number of macro arguments would exceed the
     troff limitation of nine arguments.

     The macros UR (starting a URI/URL hypertext reference), UE (ending
     one), and UN (identifying a target for a reference) are also available.
     See man(7) for more information on these macros.

FILES         top

     doc.tmac          Manual and general text domain macros.
     tmac/doc-common   Common structural macros and definitions.
     tmac/doc-nroff    Site dependent nroff style file.
     tmac/doc-ditroff  Site dependent troff style file.
     tmac/doc-syms     Special defines (such as the standards macro).

SEE ALSO         top

     groff_mdoc(7), man(7), man-pages(7), mdoc.samples(7)

COLOPHON         top

     This page is part of release 4.16 of the Linux man-pages project.  A
     description of the project, information about reporting bugs, and the
     latest version of this page, can be found at

Linux                           July 11, 1999                          Linux

Pages that refer to this page: man(7)man-pages(7)