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GROFF_TMAC(5)                                                                                  GROFF_TMAC(5)

       groff_tmac - macro files in the roff typesetting system

       The  roff(7) type-setting system provides a set of macro packages suitable for special kinds of docu-ments. documents.
       ments.  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 usually contain only definitions
       and setup commands, but no text.  All tmac files are kept in a single or a small number  of  directo-ries, directories,
       ries, 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; saying 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 groff_man(7).

       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).

   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 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 groff_mom(7).

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

   Special Packages
       The macro packages in this section are not intended for stand-alone usage, 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 ex-plicitly. explicitly.
              plicitly.  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  a7-d7.   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 >

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

       pspic  A single macro is provided in this file, PSPIC, to include a PostScript graphic in a document.
              It makes only sense for output 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
              attached;  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 leftaligned
              aligned and right-aligned, respectively.  The -I option causes the graphic to be indented by n
              (default scaling indicator is m).

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

              Overrides  the  definition  of standard troff characters and some groff characters for tty de-vices. devices.
              vices.  The optical appearance is intentionally inferior compared to that of normal  tty  for-matting formatting
              matting 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 di-rectly directly
       rectly 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 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 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 pro-viding providing
       viding two macro files for the inflicted macro packages; one with a leading `m', the other one  with-out without
       out it.  So in groff, the man macro package may be specified as on 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 according to  In  mod-ern modern
       ern  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

       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.

       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, 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 directo-ry directory
       ry 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.

       Note  that  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  pipe-line pipeline
       line 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/share/groff/1.19.2/tmac/macros.tmac and is used
       in some document called docu.roff.

       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/groff/1.19.2/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

       A roff(7) document is a text file that is enriched by predefined formatting constructs, such  as  re-quests, requests,
       quests,  escape  sequences,  strings, numeric registers, and macros from a macro package.  These ele-ments elements
       ments 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 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 groff(7).

   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 protected from being eval-uated. evaluated.
       uated.  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 information  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 positional parameters and the number of
       arguments will change with each call of the macro their leading backslash must be doubled, which  re-sults results
       sults  in  \\$*  and  \\[.$].   The same applies to the macro name because it could be called with an
       alias name, so \\$_.

       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 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

              .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 advanced applications, such as indirectly defined  strings,  regis-ters, registers,
       ters,  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 \)\\$*[rs]

        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 ig-nores ignores
         nores 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 empty lines for a better structuring.

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

       Diversions  can  be  used  to  realize 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 they get their power when diversions
       are used dynamically within macros.  The information stored in a diversion can be retrieved by  call-ing calling
       ing the diversion 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  se-cure secure
       cure 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 everything between each call of this macro pair is stored within the
       diversion and can be manipulated from within the macros.

       All macro names must be named name.tmac to fully use the tmac mechanism. 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 that 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/lib/groff/site-tmac in this installation

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

        the main tmac directory, being /usr/share/groff/1.19.2/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 detailed description.

       Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This document is distributed under the terms of the FDL (GNU Free Documentation 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 1.19.2                            28 July 2004                                   GROFF_TMAC(5)

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