groff_tmac man page on Ultrix

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       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 `Troff MACros'.

       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.

       In  classical  roff  systems,  there was a funny naming scheme.	If the
       name of a macro package started with `m' this letter was omitted, e.g.,
       the  macro  package  for	 the man pages man was called an and its macro
       file (note that in recent versions of groff this file is called
       an.tmac instead).

       By  a  similar reasoning, macro packages that did not start with an `m'
       were often referred to by adding an `m', e.g., the package  correspond‐
       ing to tmac.doc was called mdoc because the command-line for activating
       it reads

	      troff -mdoc.

       Actual versions	of  groff(1)  provide  both  naming  schemes  for  the
       inflicted  macro	 packages,  with  and  without	the leading `m'. So in
       groff, the man macro package may be specified as

	      groff -m man,
	      groff -man,
	      groff -mman, or
	      groff -m an.

       The easiest way to find out which macro packages	 are  available	 on  a
       system  is to check the contents of the tmac directories.  For example,
       a file called tmac.anything or anything.tmac determines a macro package
       named anything.

       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	 documents.   At  run-
       time,  the groff option -m name makes the definitions in the macro file
       name.tmac available as described in the section NAMING.	If  this  file
       isn't found, will be searched.

       It  is  also  possible  to  include the macro file into the document by
       using the groff requests .so or .mso. For .so the full filename of  the
       macro  file  must  be  specified	 — including the directory where it is
       kept.  If the macro file is stored in one of the tmac directories it is
       more  convenient	 to use .mso instead because it searches the tmac path
       for the filename.  Additionally, if the file name to  be	 included  has
       the  form name.tmac and it isn't found, .mso will try to open
       instead and vice versa.

       Note that in order to resolve the .so and .mso requests the  roff  pre‐
       processor  soelim must be called if the files to be included needs pre‐
       processing.  This can be done either directly by a pipeline on the com‐
       mand line or by using the -s option of groff.

       You  can	 also  supply  the  letter  `s'	 in  the  preprocessor word as
       described in section CONVENTION.

       For  example,  suppose  a  macro	 file  is  stored  as	/freeware/gnu-
       tools/share/groff/1.17.2/tmac/macros.tmac  and is used in some document
       called docu.roff.

       At run-time, the formatter call for this is

	      groff -m macros docu.roff

       To include the macro file directly in the document either
	      .mso macros.tmac
       is used or
	      .so /freeware/gnu-tools/share/groff/1.17.2/tmac/macros.tmac

       In both cases, the formatter is called with
	      groff -s docu.roff

       There is a convention that is supported by many modern  roff  type-set‐
       ters: the preprocessor word described in the following.

       If the first line in a document is a comment, the first word (after the
       comment characters and a	 blank)	 constitutes  the  preprocessor	 word.
       That  means  that the letters of this word are interpreted as abbrevia‐
       tions for those preprocessor commands that should be run	 when  format‐
       ting  the  document.   Mostly,  only  the  letters corresponding to the
       options for the preprocessors are recognized, `e', `G', `g', `p',  `R',
       `s', and `t' (see roff(7)).

       Besides	being  a good reminder for the user, some formatters (like the
       man(1) program) are even able to automatically start the	 preprocessors
       specified in the preprocessor word, but do not bet on this.

       Writing	a  groff macro file is easy.  Design a set of macros, strings,
       registers, etc.	Store them in a single file.  Documents that  use  the
       macros include this macro file with the .so request as described in the
       INCLUSION section.

       To use the tmac functionality, call the macro  file  whatever.tmac  (or
       tmac.whatever)  and put it in some directory of the tmac path, cf. sec‐
       tion FILES.  Then documents can include it with the .mso request or the
       groff -m option as described in the INCLUSION section.

       If  your macros might be of general usage contact the groff maintainers
       to have them included in the groff contrib source directory.

       Some general guidelines might be helpful in writing macros.

       · Double all functional backslashes, `\' -> `\\'.

       · All printable backslashes must be written as `\e'.

       · Escape all dots, `.' -> `\.'.

       · Make ample use of the non-printable character	`\&'  in  text	parts,
	 esp.  before  `\'  and	 at  the beginning of a line, but not before a
	 delayed command.

       · Use the character `@' in temporary variable names.

       · Test your macros for text and graphical devices, e.g., latin1 and ps.

       All macro names must be named name.tmac or to	use  the  tmac

       The  macro files are kept in the tmac directories, all of which consti‐
       tute the tmac path.

       The elements of the search path for macro files are (in that order):

       ·   the directories specified with troff's  resp.  groff's  -M  command
	   line option

       ·   the directories given in the GROFF_TMAC_PATH environment variable

       ·   the	current directory (only if in unsafe mode using the -U command
	   line switch)

       ·   the home directory

       ·   a site-specific (platform-independent) directory,  a	 platform-spe‐
	   cific directory, and the main tmac directory:


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

       The  groff documentation is in evolution at the moment.	It is possible
       that small inconsistencies between different documents exist  temporar‐

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

       It 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 under


       The authoritative source of information for all details	of  the	 groff
       system is the groff info(1) file.

       For  a  groff  overview,	 see  roff(7) and the file README in the groff
       source package.

       The  groff  tmac	 macro	packages  are	groff_man(7),	groff_mwww(7),
       groff_mdoc(7),	 groff_mdoc.samples(7),	   groff_me(7),	  groff_mm(7),
       groff_mmroff(7), and groff_ms(7).

       The groff language is described	in  groff(7)  and  the	formatters  in
       groff(1), troff(1).

       The    Filesystem    Hierarchy	Standard   (FHS)   is	available   at

Groff Version 1.17.2		 27 June 2001			 GROFF_TMAC(5)

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