Mac Developer Library Developer


This manual page is for Mac OS X version 10.9

If you are running a different version of Mac OS X, view the documentation locally:

  • In Terminal, using the man(1) command

Reading manual pages

Manual pages are intended as a quick reference for people who already understand a technology.

  • To learn how the manual is organized or to learn about command syntax, read the manual page for manpages(5).

  • For more information about this technology, look for other documentation in the Apple Developer Library.

  • For general information about writing shell scripts, read Shell Scripting Primer.

REFER(1)                                                                                            REFER(1)

       refer - preprocess bibliographic references for groff

       refer [ -benvCPRS ] [ -an ] [ -cfields ] [ -fn ] [ -ifields ] [ -kfield ] [ -lm,n ] [ -pfilename ]
             [ -sfields ] [ -tn ] [ -Bfield.macro ] [ filename... ]

       It is possible to have whitespace between a command line option and its parameter.

       This file documents the GNU version of refer, which is part of the groff document formatting  system.
       refer  copies the contents of filename... to the standard output, except that lines between .[ and .]
       are interpreted as citations, and lines between .R1 and .R2 are interpreted  as  commands  about  how
       citations are to be processed.

       Each  citation  specifies  a  reference.  The citation can specify a reference that is contained in a
       bibliographic database by giving a set of keywords that only that reference contains.   Alternatively
       it  can  specify  a reference by supplying a database record in the citation.  A combination of these
       alternatives is also possible.

       For each citation, refer can produce a mark in the text.  This mark consists of some label which  can
       be separated from the text and from other labels in various ways.  For each reference it also outputs
       groff commands that can be used by a macro package to produce a formatted reference  for  each  cita-tion. citation.
       tion.   The  output of refer must therefore be processed using a suitable macro package.  The -ms and
       -me macros are both suitable.  The commands to format a citation's reference can  be  output  immedi-ately immediately
       ately after the citation, or the references may be accumulated, and the commands output at some later
       point.  If the references are accumulated, then multiple citations of the same reference will produce
       a single formatted reference.

       The interpretation of lines between .R1 and .R2 as commands is a new feature of GNU refer.  Documents
       making use of this feature can still be processed by Unix refer just by adding the lines

              .de R1
              .ig R2
       to the beginning of the document.  This will cause troff to ignore everything between  .R1  and  .R2.
       The  effect of some commands can also be achieved by options.  These options are supported mainly for
       compatibility with Unix refer.  It is usually more convenient to use commands.

       refer generates .lf lines so that filenames and line numbers in messages produced  by  commands  that
       read  refer output will be correct; it also interprets lines beginning with .lf so that filenames and
       line numbers in the messages and .lf lines that it produces will be accurate even if  the  input  has
       been preprocessed by a command such as soelim(1).

       Most options are equivalent to commands (for a description of these commands see the Commands subsec-tion): subsection):

       -b     no-label-in-text; no-label-in-reference

       -e     accumulate

       -n     no-default-database

       -C     compatible

       -P     move-punctuation

       -S     label "(A.n|Q) ', ' (D.y|D)"; bracket-label " (" ) "; "

       -an    reverse An

              capitalize fields

       -fn    label %n

              search-ignore fields

       -k     label L~%a

              label field~%a

       -l     label A.nD.y%a

       -lm    label A.n+mD.y%a

       -l,n   label A.nD.y-n%a

       -lm,n  label A.n+mD.y-n%a

              database filename

       -sspec sort spec

       -tn    search-truncate n

       These options are equivalent to the following commands with the addition that the filenames specified
       on the command line are processed as if they were arguments to the bibliography command instead of in
       the normal way:

       -B     annotate X AP; no-label-in-reference

              annotate field macro; no-label-in-reference

       The following options have no equivalent commands:

       -v     Print the version number.

       -R     Don't recognize lines beginning with .R1/.R2.

   Bibliographic databases
       The bibliographic database is a text file consisting of records separated by one or more blank lines.
       Within  each record fields start with a % at the beginning of a line.  Each field has a one character
       name that immediately follows the %.  It is best to use only upper and lower  case  letters  for  the
       names of fields.  The name of the field should be followed by exactly one space, and then by the con-tents contents
       tents of the field.  Empty fields are ignored.  The conventional meaning of each field is as follows:

       A      The name of an author.  If the name contains a title such as Jr. at the end, it should be sep-arated separated
              arated from the last name by a comma.  There can be multiple occurrences of the A field.   The
              order is significant.  It is a good idea always to supply an A field or a Q field.

       B      For an article that is part of a book, the title of the book.

       C      The place (city) of publication.

       D      The  date  of  publication.  The year should be specified in full.  If the month is specified,
              the name rather than the number of the month should be used, but only the first three  letters
              are  required.   It is a good idea always to supply a D field; if the date is unknown, a value
              such as in press or unknown can be used.

       E      For an article that is part of a book, the name of an editor of the book.  Where the work  has
              editors  and  no  authors,  the names of the editors should be given as A fields and , (ed) or
              , (eds) should be appended to the last author.

       G      US Government ordering number.

       I      The publisher (issuer).

       J      For an article in a journal, the name of the journal.

       K      Keywords to be used for searching.

       L      Label.

       N      Journal issue number.

       O      Other information.  This is usually printed at the end of the reference.

       P      Page number.  A range of pages can be specified as m-n.

       Q      The name of the author, if the author is not a person.  This will only be used if there are no
              A fields.  There can only be one Q field.

       R      Technical report number.

       S      Series name.

       T      Title.  For an article in a book or journal, this should be the title of the article.

       V      Volume number of the journal or book.

       X      Annotation.

       For  all  fields  except  A  and  E,  if there is more than one occurrence of a particular field in a
       record, only the last such field will be used.

       If accent strings are used, they should follow the character to be accented.  This means that the  AM
       macro  must  be used with the -ms macros.  Accent strings should not be quoted: use one \ rather than

       The format of a citation is
              flags keywords

       The opening-text, closing-text and flags components are optional.   Only  one  of  the  keywords  and
       fields components need be specified.

       The  keywords  component says to search the bibliographic databases for a reference that contains all
       the words in keywords.  It is an error if more than one reference if found.

       The fields components specifies additional fields to replace or supplement  those  specified  in  the
       reference.  When references are being accumulated and the keywords component is non-empty, then addi-tional additional
       tional fields should be specified only on the first occasion that a particular  reference  is  cited,
       and will apply to all citations of that reference.

       The opening-text and closing-text component specifies strings to be used to bracket the label instead
       of the strings specified in the bracket-label command.  If either of these components  is  non-empty,
       the  strings  specified  in the bracket-label command will not be used; this behaviour can be altered
       using the [ and ] flags.  Note that leading and trailing spaces are significant for these components.

       The  flags component is a list of non-alphanumeric characters each of which modifies the treatment of
       this particular citation.  Unix refer will treat these flags as part of  the  keywords  and  so  will
       ignore them since they are non-alphanumeric.  The following flags are currently recognized:

       #      This  says to use the label specified by the short-label command, instead of that specified by
              the label command.  If no short label has been specified, the normal label will be used.  Typ-ically Typically
              ically  the short label is used with author-date labels and consists of only the date and pos-sibly possibly
              sibly a disambiguating letter; the # is supposed to be suggestive of a numeric type of  label.

       [      Precede opening-text with the first string specified in the bracket-label command.

       ]      Follow closing-text with the second string specified in the bracket-label command.

       One  advantages  of  using  the  [ and ] flags rather than including the brackets in opening-text and
       closing-text is that you can change the style of bracket used in the document just  by  changing  the
       bracket-label command.  Another advantage is that sorting and merging of citations will not necessar-ily necessarily
       ily be inhibited if the flags are used.

       If a label is to be inserted into the text, it will be attached to the line preceding  the  .[  line.
       If  there  is no such line, then an extra line will be inserted before the .[ line and a warning will
       be given.

       There is no special notation for making a citation to multiple references.  Just use  a  sequence  of
       citations, one for each reference.  Don't put anything between the citations.  The labels for all the
       citations will be attached to the line preceding the first citation.  The labels may also  be  sorted
       or  merged.   See  the  description  of  the <> label expression, and of the sort-adjacent-labels and
       abbreviate-label-ranges command.  A label will not be merged if its citation has a non-empty opening-text openingtext
       text  or  closing-text.  However, the labels for a citation using the ] flag and without any closing-text closingtext
       text immediately followed by a citation using the [ flag and without any opening-text may  be  sorted
       and  merged  even  though  the first citation's opening-text or the second citation's closing-text is
       non-empty.  (If you wish to prevent this just make the first citation's closing-text \&.)

       Commands are contained between lines starting with .R1 and .R2.  Recognition of these  lines  can  be
       prevented  by  the  -R  option.  When a .R1 line is recognized any accumulated references are flushed
       out.  Neither .R1 nor .R2 lines, nor anything between them is output.

       Commands are separated by newlines or ;s.  # introduces a comment that extends to the end of the line
       (but  does  not  conceal the newline).  Each command is broken up into words.  Words are separated by
       spaces or tabs.  A word that begins with " extends to the next " that is not followed by  another  ".
       If there is no such " the word extends to the end of the line.  Pairs of " in a word beginning with "
       collapse to a single ".  Neither # nor ; are recognized inside "s.  A line can be continued by ending
       it with \; this works everywhere except after a #.

       Each  command  name  that is marked with * has an associated negative command no-name that undoes the
       effect of name.  For example, the no-sort command specifies that references  should  not  be  sorted.
       The negative commands take no arguments.

       In the following description each argument must be a single word; field is used for a single upper or
       lower case letter naming a field; fields is used for a sequence of such letters; m and n are used for
       a  non-negative  numbers;  string is used for an arbitrary string; filename is used for the name of a

       abbreviate* fields string1 string2 string3 string4
                                Abbreviate the first names of fields.  An initial letter will  be  separated
                                from  another  initial letter by string1, from the last name by string2, and
                                from anything else (such as a von or de) by string3.   These  default  to  a
                                period  followed by a space.  In a hyphenated first name, the initial of the
                                first part of the name will be separated from the hyphen  by  string4;  this
                                defaults  to  a  period.   No attempt is made to handle any ambiguities that
                                might result from abbreviation.  Names are abbreviated  before  sorting  and
                                before label construction.

       abbreviate-label-ranges* string
                                Three  or  more adjacent labels that refer to consecutive references will be
                                abbreviated to a label consisting of the first  label,  followed  by  string
                                followed  by the last label.  This is mainly useful with numeric labels.  If
                                string is omitted it defaults to -.

       accumulate*              Accumulate references instead of writing out each reference as it is encoun-tered. encountered.
                                tered.   Accumulated  references will be written out whenever a reference of
                                the form


                                is encountered, after all input files hve been processed, and  whenever  .R1
                                line is recognized.

       annotate* field string   field  is an annotation; print it at the end of the reference as a paragraph
                                preceded by the line


                                If macro is omitted it will default to AP; if field is also omitted it  will
                                default to X.  Only one field can be an annotation.

       articles string...       string...  are definite or indefinite articles, and should be ignored at the
                                beginning of T fields when sorting.  Initially, the, a and an are recognized
                                as articles.

       bibliography filename... Write  out all the references contained in the bibliographic databases file-name... filename...
                                name...  This command should come last in a .R1/.R2 block.

       bracket-label string1 string2 string3
                                In the text, bracket each label with string1 and string2.  An occurrence  of
                                string2  immediately  followed  by string1 will be turned into string3.  The
                                default behaviour is

                                       bracket-label \*([. \*(.] ", "

       capitalize fields        Convert fields to caps and small caps.

       compatible*              Recognize .R1 and .R2 even when followed by a character other than space  or

       database filename...     Search  the  bibliographic  databases  filename...   For each filename if an
                                index filename.i created by indxbib(1) exists,  then  it  will  be  searched
                                instead; each index can cover multiple databases.

       date-as-label* string    string  is  a label expression that specifies a string with which to replace
                                the D field after constructing the label.  See the Label expressions subsec-tion subsection
                                tion  for a description of label expressions.  This command is useful if you
                                do not want explicit labels in the reference list, but instead want to  han-dle handle
                                dle  any  necessary  disambiguation by qualifying the date in some way.  The
                                label used in the text would typically be some combination of the author and
                                date.   In most cases you should also use the no-label-in-reference command.
                                For example,

                                       date-as-label D.+yD.y%a*D.-y

                                would attach a disambiguating letter to the year part of the D field in  the

       default-database*        The  default database should be searched.  This is the default behaviour, so
                                the negative version of this  command  is  more  useful.   refer  determines
                                whether  the  default database should be searched on the first occasion that
                                it needs to do a search.  Thus a no-default-database command must  be  given
                                before then, in order to be effective.

       discard* fields          When  the  reference  is read, fields should be discarded; no string defini-tions definitions
                                tions for fields will be output.  Initially, fields are XYZ.

       et-al* string m n        Control use of et al in the evaluation of @  expressions  in  label  expres-sions. expressions.
                                sions.   If  the  number of authors needed to make the author sequence unam-biguous unambiguous
                                biguous is u and the total number of authors is t then the last t-u  authors
                                will be replaced by string provided that t-u is not less than m and t is not
                                less than n.  The default behaviour is

                                       et-al " et al" 2 3

       include filename         Include filename and interpret the contents as commands.

       join-authors string1 string2 string3
                                This says how authors should be joined together.  When there are exactly two
                                authors,  they  will  be  joined with string1.  When there are more than two
                                authors, all but the last two will be joined with string2, and the last  two
                                authors will be joined with string3.  If string3 is omitted, it will default
                                to string1; if string2 is also omitted it will also default to string1.  For

                                       join-authors " and " ", " ", and "

                                will restore the default method for joining authors.

       label-in-reference*      When  outputting  the  reference, define the string [F to be the reference's
                                label.  This is the default behaviour; so the negative version of this  com-mand command
                                mand is more useful.

       label-in-text*           For  each reference output a label in the text.  The label will be separated
                                from the surrounding text as described in the bracket-label  command.   This
                                is  the  default  behaviour; so the negative version of this command is more

       label string             string is a label expression describing how to label each reference.

       separate-label-second-parts string
                                When merging two-part labels, separate the second part of the  second  label
                                from  the  first  label  with  string.   See the description of the <> label

       move-punctuation*        In the text, move any punctuation at the end of line past the label.  It  is
                                usually  a good idea to give this command unless you are using superscripted
                                numbers as labels.

       reverse* string          Reverse the fields whose names are in string.  Each field name can  be  fol-lowed followed
                                lowed by a number which says how many such fields should be reversed.  If no
                                number is given for a field, all such fields will be reversed.

       search-ignore* fields    While searching for keys in databases for which no index exists, ignore  the
                                contents of fields.  Initially, fields XYZ are ignored.

       search-truncate* n       Only  require  the  first  n characters of keys to be given.  In effect when
                                searching for a given key words in the database are truncated to the maximum
                                of n and the length of the key.  Initially n is 6.

       short-label* string      string is a label expression that specifies an alternative (usually shorter)
                                style of label.  This is used when the # flag  is  given  in  the  citation.
                                When  using  author-date style labels, the identity of the author or authors
                                is sometimes clear from the context, and so it may be desirable to omit  the
                                author or authors from the label.  The short-label command will typically be
                                used to specify a label containing just a date and possibly a disambiguating

       sort* string             Sort references according to string.  References will automatically be accu-mulated. accumulated.
                                mulated.  string should be a list of field names, each followed by a number,
                                indicating  how many fields with the name should be used for sorting.  + can
                                be used to indicate that all the fields with the name should be used.   Also
                                .  can be used to indicate the references should be sorted using the (tenta-tive) (tentative)
                                tive) label.  (The Label expressions subsection describes the concept  of  a
                                tentative label.)

       sort-adjacent-labels*    Sort labels that are adjacent in the text according to their position in the
                                reference list.  This command should usually be  given  if  the  abbreviate-label-ranges abbreviatelabel-ranges
                                label-ranges  command  has been given, or if the label expression contains a
                                <> expression.  This will have no effect unless references are being accumu-lated. accumulated.

   Label expressions
       Label expressions can be evaluated both normally and tentatively.  The result of normal evaluation is
       used for output.  The result of tentative evaluation, called the tentative label, is used  to  gather
       the  information that normal evaluation needs to disambiguate the label.  Label expressions specified
       by the date-as-label and short-label commands are not evaluated tentatively.   Normal  and  tentative
       evaluation are the same for all types of expression other than @, *, and % expressions.  The descrip-tion description
       tion below applies to normal evaluation, except where otherwise specified.

       field n
              The n-th part of field.  If n is omitted, it defaults to 1.

              The characters in string literally.

       @      All the authors joined as specified by the join-authors command.  The whole of  each  author's
              name will be used.  However, if the references are sorted by author (that is the sort specifi-cation specification
              cation starts with A+), then authors' last names will be used instead, provided that this does
              not introduce ambiguity, and also an initial subsequence of the authors may be used instead of
              all the authors, again provided that this does not introduce ambiguity.  The use of  only  the
              last name for the i-th author of some reference is considered to be ambiguous if there is some
              other reference, such that the first i-1 authors of the references  are  the  same,  the  i-th
              authors  are  not  the  same, but the i-th authors' last names are the same.  A proper initial
              subsequence of the sequence of authors for some reference is considered  to  be  ambiguous  if
              there  is a reference with some other sequence of authors which also has that subsequence as a
              proper initial subsequence.  When an initial subsequence of authors  is  used,  the  remaining
              authors are replaced by the string specified by the et-al command; this command may also spec-ify specify
              ify additional requirements that must be met before an initial subsequence  can  be  used.   @
              tentatively  evaluates  to  a  canonical representation of the authors, such that authors that
              compare equally for sorting purpose will have the same representation.

       %I     The serial number of the reference formatted according to the character following the %.   The
              serial  number  of  a reference is 1 plus the number of earlier references with same tentative
              label as this reference.  These expressions tentatively evaluate to an empty string.

       expr*  If there is another reference with the same tentative label as this reference, then expr, oth-erwise otherwise
              erwise an empty string.  It tentatively evaluates to an empty string.

       expr-n The  first  (+)  or  last  (-) n upper or lower case letters or digits of expr.  Troff special
              characters (such as \('a) count as a single letter.  Accent strings are retained  but  do  not
              count towards the total.

       expr.l expr converted to lowercase.

       expr.u expr converted to uppercase.

       expr.c expr converted to caps and small caps.

       expr.r expr reversed so that the last name is first.

       expr.a expr  with  first names abbreviated.  Note that fields specified in the abbreviate command are
              abbreviated before any labels are evaluated.  Thus .a is useful only when you want a field  to
              be abbreviated in a label but not in a reference.

       expr.y The year part of expr.

              The part of expr before the year, or the whole of expr if it does not contain a year.

              The part of expr after the year, or an empty string if expr does not contain a year.

       expr.n The last name part of expr.

              expr1 except that if the last character of expr1 is - then it will be replaced by expr2.

       expr1 expr2
              The concatenation of expr1 and expr2.

              If expr1 is non-empty then expr1 otherwise expr2.

              If expr1 is non-empty then expr2 otherwise an empty string.

              If expr1 is non-empty then expr2 otherwise expr3.

       <expr> The  label  is  in two parts, which are separated by expr.  Two adjacent two-part labels which
              have the same first part will be merged by appending the second part of the second label  onto
              the  first  label separated by the string specified in the separate-label-second-parts command
              (initially, a comma followed by a space); the resulting label will also be  a  two-part  label
              with  the  same  first part as before merging, and so additional labels can be merged into it.
              Note that it is permissible for the first part to be empty; this maybe desirable  for  expres-sions expressions
              sions used in the short-label command.

       (expr) The same as expr.  Used for grouping.

       The above expressions are listed in order of precedence (highest first); & and | have the same prece-dence. precedence.

   Macro interface
       Each reference starts with a call to the macro ]-.  The string [F will be defined to be the label for
       this reference, unless the no-label-in-reference command has been given.  There then follows a series
       of string definitions, one for each field: string [X corresponds to field X.  The number register  [P
       is  set  to 1  if  the P field contains a range of pages.  The [T, [A and [O number registers are set
       to 1 according as the T, A and O fields end with one of the characters .?!.  The [E  number  register
       will  be  set to 1 if the [E string contains more than one name.  The reference is followed by a call
       to the ][ macro.  The first argument to this macro gives a number representing the type of the refer-ence. reference.
       ence.  If a reference contains a J field, it will be classified as type 1, otherwise if it contains a
       B field, it will type 3, otherwise if it contains a G or R field it will be type 4, otherwise if con-tains contains
       tains  a  I  field it will be type 2, otherwise it will be type 0.  The second argument is a symbolic
       name for the type: other, journal-article, book, article-in-book or tech-report.   Groups  of  refer-ences references
       ences  that  have been accumulated or are produced by the bibliography command are preceded by a call
       to the ]< macro and followed by a call to the ]> macro.

       /usr/dict/papers/Ind  Default database.

       file.i                Index files.

       REFER  If set, overrides the default database.

       indxbib(1), lookbib(1), lkbib(1)

       In label expressions, <> expressions are ignored inside .char expressions.

Groff Version 1.19.2                             6 May 2005                                         REFER(1)

Reporting Problems

The way to report a problem with this manual page depends on the type of problem:

Content errors
Report errors in the content of this documentation with the feedback links below.
Bug reports
Report bugs in the functionality of the described tool or API through Bug Reporter.
Formatting problems
Report formatting mistakes in the online version of these pages with the feedback links below.