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TBL(1)                                                                                                TBL(1)



NAME
       tbl - format tables for troff

SYNOPSIS
       tbl [ -Cv ] [ files... ]

DESCRIPTION
       This  manual  page  describes  the GNU version of tbl, which is part of the groff document formatting
       system.  tbl compiles descriptions of tables embedded within troff input files into commands that are
       understood by troff.  Normally, it should be invoked using the -t option of groff.  It is highly com-patible compatible
       patible with Unix tbl.  The output generated by GNU tbl cannot be processed with Unix troff; it  must
       be  processed  with GNU troff.  If no files are given on the command line, the standard input will be
       read.  A filename of - will cause the standard input to be read.

OPTIONS
       -C     Enable compatibility mode to recognize .TS and .TE even when followed  by  a  character  other
              than space or newline.  Leader characters (\a) are handled as interpreted.

       -v     Print the version number.

USAGE
       tbl  expects  to find table descriptions wrapped in the .TS (table start) and .TE (table end) macros.
       The line immediately following the .TS macro may contain any of the following global options  (ignor-ing (ignoring
       ing  the  case  of  characters  -- Unix tbl only accepts options with all characters lowercase or all
       characters uppercase):

       center Centers the table (default is left-justified).  The alternative keyword name  centre  is  also
              recognized (this is a GNU tbl extension).

       delim(xy)
              Use x and y as start and end delimiters for eqn(1).

       expand Makes the table as wide as the current line length.

       box    Encloses the table in a box.

       doublebox
              Encloses the table in a double box.

       allbox Encloses each item of the table in a box.

       frame  Same as box (GNU tbl only).

       doubleframe
              Same as doublebox (GNU tbl only).

       tab(x) Uses the character x instead of a tab to separate items in a line of input data.

       linesize(n)
              Sets lines or rules (e.g. from box) in n-point type.

       nokeep Don't  use diversions to prevent page breaks (GNU tbl only).  Normally tbl attempts to prevent
              undesirable breaks in the table by using diversions.  This can sometimes interact  badly  with
              macro packages' own use of diversions, when footnotes, for example, are used.

       decimalpoint(c)
              Set the character to be recognized as the decimal point in numeric columns (GNU tbl only).

       nospaces
              Ignore leading and trailing spaces in data items (GNU tbl only).

       The  global  options  must  end  with a semicolon.  There might be whitespace after an option and its
       argument in parentheses.

       After global options come lines describing the format of each line of the table.   Each  such  format
       line  describes  one  line  of the table itself, except that the last format line (which you must end
       with a period) describes all remaining lines of the table.  A single  key  character  describes  each
       column  of  each line of the table.  You may run format specs for multiple lines together on the same
       line by separating them with commas.

       You may follow each key character with specifiers that determine the font and point size of the  cor-responding corresponding
       responding item, that determine column width, inter-column spacing, etc.

       The longest format line defines the number of columns in the table; missing format descriptors at the
       end of format lines are assumed to be `L'.  Extra columns in the data (which  have  no  corresponding
       format entry) are ignored.

       The available key characters are:

       c,C    Centers item within the column.

       r,R    Right-justifies item within the column.

       l,L    Left-justifies item within the column.

       n,N    Numerically justifies item in the column: Units positions of numbers are aligned vertically.

       s,S    Spans previous item on the left into this column.

       a,A    Centers  longest  line  in  this column and then left-justifies all other lines in this column
              with respect to that centered line.

       ^      Spans down entry from previous row in this column.

       _,-    Replaces this entry with a horizontal line.

       =      Replaces this entry with a double horizontal line.

       |      The corresponding column becomes a vertical rule (if two of these are adjacent, a double  ver-tical vertical
              tical rule).

       A vertical bar to the left of the first key-letter or to the right of the last one produces a line at
       the edge of the table.

       Here are the specifiers that can appear in suffixes to column key letters:

       b,B    Short form of fB (make affected entries bold).

       i,I    Short form of fI (make affected entries italic).

       t,T    Start an item vertically spanning rows at the top of its range rather than vertically  center-ing centering
              ing it.

       d,D    Start  an item vertically spanning rows at the bottom of its range rather than vertically cen-tering centering
              tering it (GNU tbl only).

       v,V    Followed by a number, this indicates the vertical line spacing to be used in a multi-line  ta-ble table
              ble  entry.  If signed, the current vertical line spacing is incremented or decremented (using
              a signed number instead of a signed digit is a GNU tbl extension).  A  vertical  line  spacing
              specifier  followed by a column separation number must be separated by one or more blanks.  No
              effect if the corresponding table entry isn't a text block.

       f,F    Either of these specifiers may be followed by a font name (either one or two characters long),
              font  number  (a single digit), or long name in parentheses (the last form is a GNU tbl exten-sion). extension).
              sion).  A one-letter font name must be separated by one or more blanks from whatever  follows.

       p,P    Followed  by  a number, this does a point size change for the affected fields.  If signed, the
              current point size is incremented or decremented (using a signed number instead  of  a  signed
              digit  is a GNU tbl extension).  A point size specifier followed by a column separation number
              must be separated by one or more blanks.

       w,W    Minimal column width value.  Must be followed either by a troff(1) width expression in  paren-theses parentheses
              theses  or  a  unitless  integer.   If  no unit is given, en units are used.  Also used as the
              default line length for included text blocks.  If used multiple times to specify the width for
              a particular column, the last entry takes effect.

       x,X    This  is  a  GNU  tbl  extension.   Either of these specifiers may be followed by a macro name
              (either one or two characters long), or long name in parentheses.   A  one-letter  macro  name
              must  be  separated  by one or more blanks from whatever follows.  The macro which name can be
              specified here must be defined before creating the table.  It is called just  before  the  ta-ble's table's
              ble's cell text is output.  As implemented currently, this macro is only called if block input
              is used, that is, text between `T{' and `T}'.  The macro  should  contain  only  simple  troff
              requests  to  change  the  text  block formatting, like text adjustment, hyphenation, size, or
              font.  The macro is called after other cell modifications like b, f or v are output.  Thus the
              macro can overwrite other modification specifiers.

       e,E    Make equally-spaced columns.

       u,U    Move the corresponding column up one half-line.

       z,Z    Ignore the corresponding column for width-calculation purposes.

       A  number  suffix on a key character is interpreted as a column separation in ens (multiplied in pro-portion proportion
       portion if the expand option is on).  Default separation is 3n.

       The format lines are followed by lines containing the actual data for the table, followed finally  by
       .TE.  Within such data lines, items are normally separated by tab characters (or the character speci-fied specified
       fied with the tab option).  Long input lines can be broken across multiple lines if the last  charac-ter character
       ter on the line is `\' (which vanishes after concatenation).

       A dot starting a line, followed by anything but a digit is handled as a troff command, passed through
       without changes.  The table position is unchanged in this case.

       If a data line consists of only `_' or `=', a single or double line, respectively,  is  drawn  across
       the  table at that point; if a single item in a data line consists of only `_' or `=', then that item
       is replaced by a single or double line, joining its neighbours.  If a data item consists only of `\_'
       or  `\=',  a  single or double line, respectively, is drawn across the field at that point which does
       not join its neighbours.

       A data item consisting only of `\Rx' (`x' any character) is replaced by repetitions of character  `x'
       as wide as the column (not joining its neighbours).

       A  data  item  consisting only of `\^' indicates that the field immediately above spans downward over
       this row.

       A text block can be used to enter data as a single entry which would be too long as a  simple  string
       between  tabs.   It  is  started with `T{' and closed with `T}'.  The former must end a line, and the
       latter must start a line, probably followed by other data columns (separated with tabs).  By default,
       the  text  block is formatted with the settings which were active before entering the table, possibly
       overridden by the v and w tbl specifiers.  For example, to make all text blocks ragged-right,  insert
       .na right before the starting .TS (and .ad after the table).

       To  change  the data format within a table, use the .T& command (at the start of a line).  It is fol-lowed followed
       lowed by format and data lines (but no global options) similar to the .TS request.

INTERACTION WITH EQN
       tbl(1) should always be called before eqn(1) (groff(1) automatically takes care of the correct  order
       of preprocessors).

GNU TBL ENHANCEMENTS
       There  is  no  limit on the number of columns in a table, nor any limit on the number of text blocks.
       All the lines of a table are considered in deciding column widths, not just  the  first  200.   Table
       continuation (.T&) lines are not restricted to the first 200 lines.

       Numeric and alphabetic items may appear in the same column.

       Numeric and alphabetic items may span horizontally.

       tbl  uses register, string, macro and diversion names beginning with the digit 3.  When using tbl you
       should avoid using any names beginning with a 3.

BUGS
       You should use .TS H/.TH in conjunction with a supporting macro  package  for  all  multi-page  boxed
       tables.   If  there  is no header that you wish to appear at the top of each page of the table, place
       the .TH line immediately after the  format  section.   Do  not  enclose  a  multi-page  table  within
       keep/release macros, or divert it in any other way.

       A text block within a table must be able to fit on one page.

       The  bp  request  cannot  be used to force a page-break in a multi-page table.  Instead, define BP as
       follows

              .de BP
              .ie '\\n(.z'' .bp \\$1
              .el \!.BP \\$1
              ..

       and use BP instead of bp.

       Using \a directly in a table to get leaders will not work (except in compatibility  mode).   This  is
       correct  behaviour: \a is an uninterpreted leader.  To get leaders use a real leader, either by using
       a control A or like this:

              .ds a \a
              .TS
              tab(;);
              lw(1i) l.
              A\*a;B
              .TE

REFERENCE
       Lesk, M.E.: "TBL -- A Program to Format Tables".  For copyright reasons it cannot be included in  the
       groff distribution, but copies can be found with a title search on the World Wide Web.

SEE ALSO
       groff(1), troff(1)



Groff Version 1.19.2                          11 September 2004                                       TBL(1)

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