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GROFF_TMAC(5)		      File Formats Manual		 GROFF_TMAC(5)

       groff_tmac - macro files	in the roff typesetting	system

       The  roff(7) type-setting system	provides a set of macro	packages suit-
       able 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 deduced from `TroffMACros'.

       The tmac	files are normal roff source documents,	except that they  usu-
       ally  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  provides	all classical macro packages, some more	full packages,
       and some	secondary packages for special purposes.  Note that it is  not
       possible	 to use	multiple primary macro packages	at the same time; say-
       ing e.g.

	      sh# groff	-m man -m ms foo


	      sh# groff	-m man foo -m ms bar

       will fail.

   Man Pages
       man    This is the  classical  macro  package  for  UNIX	 manual	 pages
	      (man   pages);   it   is	quite  handy  and  easy	 to  use;  see

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

   Full	Packages
       The packages in this section provide a complete set of macros for writ-
       ing  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 new mom macro	package, only available	in groff.  As this  is
	      not  based  on other packages, it	can be freely designed.	 So it
	      is expected to become quite a nice, modern macro	package.   See

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

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

	      This  macro  file	 is  already 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 pre-
	      defined  papersize  values in the	DESC file (only	lowercase; see
	      groff_font(5) for	more) except a7-d7.  An	appended l (ell) char-
	      acter  denotes  landscape	 orientation.  Examples: a4, c3l, let-

	      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  follow-
	      ing for PS output	on A4 paper in landscape orientation:

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

       pspic  A	 single	 macro	is  provided in	this file, PSPIC, to include a
	      PostScript graphic in a document.	 It makes only sense for  out-
	      put  devices  which support inclusion of PS images: -Tps,	-Tdvi,
	      and -Thtml; the file is then loaded automatically.  Syntax:

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

	      file is the name of the file containing the illustration;	 width
	      and  height  give	 the  desired width and	height of the graphic.
	      The width	and height arguments may have scaling  indicators  at-
	      tached;  the  default  scaling  indicator	is i.  This macro will
	      scale the	graphic	uniformly in the x and y directions so that it
	      is  no  more  than  width	wide and height	high.  By default, the
	      graphic will be horizontally centered.  The -L  and  -R  options
	      cause  the graphic to be left-aligned and	right-aligned, respec-
	      tively.  The -I option causes the	graphic	to be  indented	 by  n
	      (default scaling indicator is m).

	      Overrides	 the  definition of standard troff characters and some
	      groff characters for tty devices.	 The optical appearance	is in-
	      tentionally  inferior  compared to that of normal	tty formatting
	      to allow processing with critical	equipment.

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

       In classical roff systems, there	was a funny naming  scheme  for	 macro
       packages, due to	a simplistic design in option parsing.	Macro packages
       were always included by option -m; when this option was	directly  fol-
       lowed  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	optically working for macro package names, all
       classical macro packages	choose a name 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	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 talking;	 for  example,
       the package corresponding to tmac.doc was called	mdoc in	the documenta-
       tion, 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 inflict-
       ed macro	packages; one with a leading `m', the other  one  without  it.
       So  in  groff, the man macro package may	be specified as	on of the fol-
       lowing 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	speci-
       fied 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 ac-
       cording	to  In modern operating systems, the	type of	a file
       is specified as 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

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

       There are several ways to use a macro package in	a document.  The clas-
       sical 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, will be searched for instead.

       Alternatively,  it  is  also possible to	include	a macro	file by	adding
       the request .so filename	into 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

       Note that in order to resolve the .so and .mso requests,	the roff  pre-
       processor  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

       For    example,	  suppose    a	  macro	   file	   is	 stored	    as
       /usr/share/tmac/macros.tmac   and  is  used  in	some  document	called

       At run-time, the	formatter call for this	is

	      sh# groff	-m macrofile document.roff

       To include the macro file directly in the document either

	      .mso macrofile.tmac

       is used or

	      .so /usr/share/tmac/macros.tmac

       In both cases, the formatter is called with

	      sh# groff	-s docu.roff

       If you want to write your own groff macro file, call  it	 whatever.tmac
       and put it in some directory of the tmac	path, see section FILES.  Then
       documents can include it	with the .mso request or the option -m.

       A roff(7) document is a text file that is enriched by  predefined  for-
       matting constructs, such	as requests, escape sequences, strings,	numer-
       ic registers, and macros	from a macro package.  These elements are  de-
       scribed 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

       Macros without arguments	are just like strings.	But the	full power  of
       macros reveals 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  0;  see

   Copy-in Mode
       The phase when groff reads a macro is called copy-in 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 expression, this is wanted, but strings and
       registers that might change between calls of the	macro must be protect-
       ed  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, to print	infor-
       mation on the arguments that were passed	to the macro to	the  terminal,
       define a	macro named `.print_args', say.

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

       When calling this macro by

	      .print_args arg1 arg2

       the following text is printed to	the terminal:

	      print_args was called with the following 2 arguments:
	      arg1 arg2

       Let's analyze each backslash in the macro definition.  As the position-
       al parameters and the number of arguments will 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 name, so	\\$0.

       On the other hand, midpart is a constant	string,	it will	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	will 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)
       into a pair of .eo and .ec requests.  Then the body in the macro	 defi-
       nition  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

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

       Unfortunately,  draft  mode cannot be used universally.	Although it is
       good enough for defining	normal macros, draft mode will fail  with  ad-
       vanced  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
       o 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 \)\\$*[rs]

       o 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.

       o In  long  macro definitions, make ample use of	comment	lines or empty
	 lines for a better structuring.

       o To increase readability, use groff's  indentation  facility  for  re-
	 quests	and macro calls	(arbitrary whitespace after the	leading	dot).

       Diversions  can	be  used  to  realize  quite advanced programming con-
       structs.	 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 they get
       their power when	diversions are used dynamically	 within	 macros.   The
       information  stored  in a diversion can be retrieved by calling the di-
       version just like a macro.

       Most of the problems arising with diversions can	be avoided if you  are
       conscious  about	 the  fact  that  diversions always deal with complete
       lines.  If diversions are used  when  the  line	buffer	has  not  been
       flashed,	 strange  results  are produced; not knowing this, many	people
       get desperate about diversions.	To ensure that a diversion works, line
       breaks  should be added at the right places.  To	be on the secure side,
       enclose everything that has to do with diversions into a	pair  of  line
       breaks;	for example, by	amply 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	every-
       thing  between each call	of this	macro pair is stored within the	diver-
       sion and	can be manipulated from	within the macros.

       All macro names must be named name.tmac to fully	use  the  tmac	mecha-
       nism.  as  with classical packages is possible as well, but

       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 that order):

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

       o the directories given in the $GROFF_TMAC_PATH environment variable

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

       o the home directory

       o a platform-specific directory,	being /usr/share/tmac in this  instal-

       o a     site-specific	 (platform-independent)	   directory,	 being
	 /usr/share/tmac in this installation

       o the main tmac directory, being	/usr/share/tmac	in this	installation

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

       Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This document is	distributed under the terms of the FDL (GNU Free Docu-
       mentation  License)  version  1.1 or later.  You	should have received a
       copy of the FDL on your system, it is also available on-line at the GNU
       copyleft	site <>.

       This  document  is  part	 of  groff, the	GNU roff distribution.	It was
       written by Bernd	Warken <>; it is	maintained  by	Werner
       Lemberg <>.

       A  complete reference for all parts of the groff	system is found	in the
       groff info(1) file.

	      an overview of the groff system.

	      the groff	tmac macro packages.

	      the groff	language.

       The Filesystem Hierarchy	Standard is available at the FHS web site

Groff Version 1.19		 26 June 2003			 GROFF_TMAC(5)


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