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GROFFER(1)							    GROFFER(1)

       groffer - display groff files and man pages on X and tty

       groffer [option ...] [--] [filespec ...]

       groffer -h|--help

       groffer -v|--version

       The groffer program is the easiest way to use groff(1).	It can display
       arbitrary documents written in the groff	 language,  see	 groff(7),  or
       other  roff languages, see roff(7), that are compatible to the original
       troff language.	It finds and runs all necessary	 groff	preprocessors,
       such as chem.

       The  groffer program also includes many of the features for finding and
       displaying the Unix manual pages (man pages), such that it can be  used
       as a replacement for a man(1) program.  Moreover, compressed files that
       can be handled by gzip(1) or bzip2(1) are decompressed on-the-fly.

       The normal usage is quite simple by supplying a file name or name of  a
       man  page  without  further  options.  But the option handling has many
       possibilities for creating special behaviors.  This can be done	either
       in   configuration   files,   with   the	  shell	 environment  variable
       $GROFFER_OPT, or on the command line.

       The output can be generated and viewed in several different ways avail‐
       able  for  groff.   This	 includes  the	groff  native  X Window viewer
       gxditview(1), each Postcript, pdf, or dvi display program, a web brows‐
       er by generating html in www mode, or several text modes in text termi‐

       Most of the options that must be named when running groff directly  are
       determined  automatically for groffer, due to the internal usage of the
       grog(1) program.	 But all parts can also be controlled manually by  ar‐

       Several	file  names  can  be  specified on the command line arguments.
       They are transformed into a single document in the normal way of groff.

       Option handling is done in GNU style.  Options and file	names  can  be
       mixed  freely.  The option `--' closes the option handling, all follow‐
       ing arguments are treated as file names.	 Long options can be  abbrevi‐
       ated in several ways.

       breaking options

	       [-h | --help] [-v | --version]

       groffer mode options

	       [--auto] [--default] [--default-modes mode1,mode2,...] [--dvi]
	       [--dvi-viewer prog] [--groff] [--html] [--html-viewer prog]
	       [--mode display_mode] [--pdf] [--pdf-viewer prog] [--ps]
	       [--ps-viewer prog] [--source] [--text] [--to-stdout] [--tty]
	       [--tty-viewer prog] [--www] [--www-viewer prog] [--x | --X]
	       [--x-viewer | --X-viewer prog]

       options related to groff

	       [-T | --device device] [-Z | --intermediate-output | --ditroff]

	      All further groff short options are accepted.

       options for man pages

	       [--apropos] [--apropos-data] [--apropos-devel]
	       [--apropos-progs] [--man] [--no-man] [--no-special] [--whatis]

       long options taken over from GNU man

	       [--all] [--ascii] [--ditroff] [--extension suffix]
	       [--locale language] [--local-file] [--location | --where]
	       [--manpath dir1:dir2:...] [--no-location] [--pager program]
	       [--sections sec1:sec2:...] [--systems sys1,sys2,...]
	       [--troff-device device]

	      Further long options of GNU man are accepted as well.

       X Window Toolkit options

	       [--bd | --bordercolor pixels] [--bg | --background color]
	       [--bw | --borderwidth pixels] [--display X-display]
	       [--fg | --foreground color] [--fn | --ft | --font font_name]
	       [--geometry size_pos] [--resolution value] [--rv]
	       [--title string] [--xrm X-resource]

       options for development

	       [--debug] [--debug-filenames] [--debug-grog] [--debug-keep]
	       [--debug-params] [--debug-tmpdir] [--do-nothing] [--print text]

       filespec arguments

	      The  filespec  parameters	 are all arguments that are neither an
	      option nor an option argument.  They usually mean a file name or
	      a man page searching scheme.

	      In  the following, the term section_extension is used.  It means
	      a word that consists of a man section that  is  optionally  fol‐
	      lowed  by	 an  extension.	 The name of a man section is a single
	      character from [1-9on], the extension is some word.  The	exten‐
	      sion is mostly lacking.

	      No filespec parameters means standard input.

	      -		stands for standard input (can occur several times).

	      filename	the path name of an existing file.

	      section_extension name
			search	the man page name in the section with optional
			extension section_extension.

	      man:name	man page in the lowest man section that has name.

	      name	if name	 is  not  an  existing	file  search  for  the
			man page name in the lowest man section.

       The  groffer program can usually be run with very few options.  But for
       special purposes, it supports many options.  These can be classified in
       5 option classes.

       All  short  options of groffer are compatible with the short options of
       groff(1).  All long options of groffer are  compatible  with  the  long
       options of man(1).

       Arguments  for  long  option  names can be abbreviated in several ways.
       First, the argument is checked whether it can be prolonged as is.  Fur‐
       thermore, each minus sign - is considered as a starting point for a new
       abbreviation.  This leads to a set of multiple abbreviations for a sin‐
       gle argument.  For example, --de-n-f can be used as an abbreviation for
       --debug-not-func, but --de-n works as well.  If the abbreviation of the
       argument leads to several resulting options an error is raised.

       These  abbreviations  are  only	allowed	 in  the  environment variable
       $GROFFER_OPT, but not in the configuration  files.   In	configuration,
       all long options must be exact.

   groffer breaking Options
       As soon as one of these options is found on the command line it is exe‐
       cuted, printed to standard output, and the running groffer is terminat‐
       ed thereafter.  All other arguments are ignored.

       -h | --help
	      Print  help  information	with a short explanation of options to
	      standard output.

       -v | --version
	      Print version information to standard output.

   groffer Mode Options
       The display mode and the viewer programs are determined	by  these  op‐
       tions.	If  none of these mode and viewer options is specified groffer
       tries to find a suitable display mode automatically.  The default modes
       are mode pdf, mode ps, mode html, mode x, and mode dvi in X Window with
       different viewers and mode tty with device latin1 under less on a  ter‐
       minal; other modes are tested if the programs for the main default mode
       do not exist.

       In X Window,  many  programs  create  their  own	 window	 when  called.
       groffer	can  run  these viewers as an independent program in the back‐
       ground.	As this does not work in text mode on a terminal  (tty)	 there
       must  be	 a  way to know which viewers are X Window graphical programs.
       The groffer script has a small set of information on some viewer names.
       If  a  viewer  argument	of the command-line chooses an element that is
       kept as X Window program in this list it is treated as  a  viewer  that
       can run in the background.  All other, unknown viewer calls are not run
       in the background.

       For each mode, you are free to choose whatever viewer you  want.	  That
       need  not  be some graphical viewer suitable for this mode.  There is a
       chance to view the output source; for example, the combination  of  the
       options	--mode=ps  and --ps-viewer=less shows the content of the Post‐
       script output, the source code, with the pager less.

       --auto Equivalent to --mode=auto.

	      Reset all configuration from previously processed	 command  line
	      options  to  the default values.	This is useful to wipe out all
	      former  options  of  the	configuration,	in  $GROFFER_OPT,  and
	      restart  option  processing  using  only the rest of the command

       --default-modes mode1,mode2,...
	      Set the sequence of modes for auto mode to the  comma  separated
	      list  given  in  the argument.  See --mode for details on modes.
	      Display in the default manner; actually, this means to  try  the
	      modes x, ps, and tty in this sequence.

       --dvi  Equivalent to --mode=dvi.

       --dvi-viewer prog
	      Choose  a	 viewer program for dvi mode.  This can be a file name
	      or a program to be searched in $PATH.  Known X Window dvi	 view‐
	      ers  include  xdvi(1) and dvilx(1).  In each case, arguments can
	      be provided additionally.

	      Equivalent to --mode=groff.

       --html Equivalent to --mode=html.

	      Choose a web browser program for viewing in html mode.   It  can
	      be  the  path  name of an executable file or a program in $PATH.
	      In each case, arguments can be provided additionally.

       --mode value
	      Set the display mode.  The following mode values are recognized:

	      auto   Select the automatic determination of the	display	 mode.
		     The  sequence of modes that are tried can be set with the
		     --default-modes  option.	Useful	 for   restoring   the
		     default mode when a different mode was specified before.

	      dvi    Display  formatted input in a dvi viewer program.	By de‐
		     fault, the formatted input is displayed with the  xdvi(1)

	      groff  After  the	 file determination, switch groffer to process
		     the input like groff(1)  would  do.   This	 disables  the
		     groffer viewing features.

	      html   Translate	the input into html format and display the re‐
		     sult in a web browser program.  By default, the existence
		     of	 a sequence of standard web browsers is tested, start‐
		     ing with konqueror(1)  and	 mozilla(1).   The  text  html
		     viewer is lynx(1).

	      pdf    Display  formatted input in a PDF (Portable Document For‐
		     mat) viewer program.  By default, the input is  formatted
		     by	 groff	using the Postscript device, then it is trans‐
		     formed  into  the	PDF  file  format  using   gs(1),   or
		     ps2pdf(1).	  If  that's not possible, the Postscript mode
		     (ps) is used instead.  Finally it is displayed using dif‐
		     ferent  viewer programs.  pdf has a big advantage because
		     the text is displayed graphically and  is	searchable  as

	      ps     Display  formatted	 input in a Postscript viewer program.
		     By default, the formatted input is displayed  in  one  of
		     many viewer programs.

	      text   Format in a groff text mode and write the result to stan‐
		     dard output without a pager or viewer program.  The  text
		     device, latin1 by default, can be chosen with option -T.

	      tty    Format in a groff text mode and write the result to stan‐
		     dard output using a text  pager  program,	even  when  in
		     X Window.

	      www    Equivalent to --mode=html.

	      x	     Display  the formatted input in a native roff viewer.  By
		     default,  the  formatted  input  is  displayed  with  the
		     gxditview(1)  program  being  distributed	together  with
		     groff.  But the standard X Window	tool  xditview(1)  can
		     also  be  chosen with the option --x-viewer.  The default
		     resolution is 75dpi, but 100dpi are also  possible.   The
		     default  groff  device  for  the  resolution  of 75dpi is
		     X75-12, for 100dpi it is X100.  The  corresponding	 groff
		     intermediate  output  for	the actual device is generated
		     and the result is displayed.  For a resolution of 100dpi,
		     the  default width of the geometry of the display program
		     is chosen to 850dpi.

	      X	     Equivalent to --mode=x.

	      The following modes do not use  the  groffer  viewing  features.
	      They are only interesting for advanced applications.

	      groff  Generate device output with plain groff without using the
		     special viewing features of groffer.  If  no  device  was
		     specified by option -T the groff default ps is assumed.

	      source Output  the  roff	source code of the input files without
		     further processing.

       --pdf  Equivalent to --mode=pdf.

       --pdf-viewer prog
	      Choose a viewer program for pdf mode.  This can be a  file  name
	      or  a program to be searched in $PATH; arguments can be provided

       --ps   Equivalent to --mode=ps.

       --ps-viewer prog
	      Choose a viewer program for ps mode.  This can be a file name or
	      a	 program  to  be searched in $PATH.  Common Postscript viewers
	      include gv(1), ghostview(1), and gs(1), In each case,  arguments
	      can be provided additionally.

	      Equivalent to --mode=source.

       --text Equivalent to --mode=text.

	      The  file	 for  the  chosen mode is generated and its content is
	      printed to standard output.  It will not be displayed in graphi‐
	      cal mode.

       --tty  Equivalent to --mode=tty.

       --tty-viewer prog
	      Choose  a	 text  pager  for  mode	 tty.	The  standard pager is
	      less(1).	This option is equivalent to man option	 --pager=prog.
	      The  option  argument  can  be  a	 file  name or a program to be
	      searched in $PATH; arguments can be provided additionally.

       --www  Equivalent to --mode=html.

       --www-viewer prog
	      Equivalent to --html-viewer.

       --X | --x
	      Equivalent to --mode=x.

       --X-viewer | --x-viewer prog
	      Choose a viewer program for x mode.   Suitable  viewer  programs
	      are  gxditview(1) which is the default and xditview(1).  The ar‐
	      gument can be any executable file or a program in	 $PATH;	 argu‐
	      ments can be provided additionally.

       --     Signals  the  end	 of option processing; all remaining arguments
	      are interpreted as filespec parameters.

       Besides these, groffer accepts all short options that are valid for the
       groff(1) program.  All non-groffer options are sent unmodified via grog
       to groff.  So postprocessors, macro packages, compatibility with	 clas‐
       sical troff, and much more can be manually specified.

   Options related to groff
       All  short  options of groffer are compatible with the short options of
       groff(1).  The following of groff options  have	either	an  additional
       special meaning within groffer or make sense for normal usage.

       Because	of  the	 special  outputting  behavior	of the groff option -Z
       groffer was designed to be switched into groff mode; the groffer	 view‐
       ing features are disabled there.	 The other groff options do not switch
       the mode, but allow to customize the formatting process.

       --a    This  generates  an  ascii  approximation	 of  output   in   the
	      text  modes.   That  could  be important when the text pager has
	      problems with control sequences in tty mode.

       --m file
	      Add file as a groff macro file.  This is useful in case it  can‐
	      not be recognized automatically.

       --P opt_or_arg
	      Send  the argument opt_or_arg as an option or option argument to
	      the actual groff postprocessor.

       --T devname | --device devname
	      This option determines groff's output device.  The  most	impor‐
	      tant  devices  are  the text output devices for referring to the
	      different character sets, such as ascii, utf8, latin1, and  oth‐
	      ers.   Each of these arguments switches groffer into a text mode
	      using this device, to mode tty if	 the  actual  mode  is	not  a
	      text  mode.   The	 following devname arguments are mapped to the
	      corresponding groffer --mode=devname option: dvi, html, and  ps.
	      All X* arguments are mapped to mode x.  Each other devname argu‐
	      ment switches to mode groff using this device.

       --X    is equivalent to groff -X.  It displays the  groff  intermediate
	      output  with  gxditview.	 As the quality is relatively bad this
	      option is deprecated; use --X instead because the x mode uses an
	      X* device for a better display.

       -Z | --intermediate-output | --ditroff
	      Switch  into  groff mode and format the input with the groff in‐
	      termediate  output  without  postprocessing;  see	 groff_out(5).
	      This is equivalent to option --ditroff of man, which can be used
	      as well.

       All other groff options are supported by groffer,  but  they  are  just
       transparently  transferred  to groff without any intervention.  The op‐
       tions that are not explicitly  handled  by  groffer  are	 transparently
       passed to groff.	 Therefore these transparent options are not document‐
       ed here, but in groff(1).  Due to the automatism in  groffer,  none  of
       these groff options should be needed, except for advanced usage.

   Options for man pages
	      Start the apropos(1) command or facility of man(1) for searching
	      the filespec arguments within all man page  descriptions.	  Each
	      filespec argument is taken for search as it is; section specific
	      parts are not handled, such that 7 groff searches	 for  the  two
	      arguments	 7  and	 groff,	 with a large result; for the filespec
	      groff.7 nothing will be found.  The language locale  is  handled
	      only  when  the called programs do support this; the GNU apropos
	      and man -k do not.  The display differs from the apropos program
	      by the following concepts:

	      · Construct a groff frame similar to a man page to the output of

	      · each filespec argument is searched on its own.

	      · The restriction by --sections is handled as well,

	      · wildcard characters are allowed and handled without a  further

	      Show only the apropos descriptions for data documents, these are
	      the man(7) sections 4, 5, and 7.	 Direct	 section  declarations
	      are ignored, wildcards are accepted.

	      Show  only  the  apropos descriptions for development documents,
	      these are the man(7) sections 2, 3, and 9.  Direct section  dec‐
	      larations are ignored, wildcards are accepted.

	      Show  only  the  apropos descriptions for documents on programs,
	      these are the man(7) sections 1, 6, and 8.  Direct section  dec‐
	      larations are ignored, wildcards are accepted.

	      For  each	 filespec  argument  search  all man pages and display
	      their description — or say that it is not a man page.   This  is
	      written from anew, so it differs from man's whatis output by the
	      following concepts

	      · each retrieved file name is added,

	      · local files are handled as well,

	      · the language and system locale is supported,

	      · the display is framed by a groff output format	similar	 to  a
		man page,

	      · wildcard characters are allowed without a further option.

       The  following  options	were added to groffer for choosing whether the
       file name arguments are interpreted as names for local files  or	 as  a
       search  pattern	for  man  pages.   The default is looking up for local

       --man  Check the non-option command line arguments (filespecs) first on
	      being  man  pages, then whether they represent an existing file.
	      By default, a filespec is first tested whether it is an existing

       --no-man | --local-file
	      Do  not  check for man pages.  --local-file is the corresponding
	      man option.

	      Disable former calls of --all, --apropos*, and --whatis.

   Long options taken over from GNU man
       The long options of groffer were synchronized with the long options  of
       GNU  man.   All	long options of GNU man are recognized, but not all of
       these options are important to groffer, so most of them	are  just  ig‐
       nored.  These ignored man options are --catman, --troff, and --update.

       In  the	following,  the	 man  options  that have a special meaning for
       groffer are documented.

       If your system has GNU man installed the full set of long and short op‐
       tions of the GNU man program can be passed via the environment variable
       $MANOPT; see man(1).

       --all  In searching man pages, retrieve all suitable documents  instead
	      of only one.

       -7 | --ascii
	      In  text	modes, display ASCII translation of special characters
	      for  critical  environment.   This  is   equivalent   to	 groff
	      -mtty_char; see groff_tmac(5).

	      Produce  groff  intermediate  output.   This  is	equivalent  to
	      groffer -Z.

       --extension suffix
	      Restrict man page search to file names that have suffix appended
	      to  their	 section  element.   For  example,  in	the  file name
	      /usr/share/man/man3/terminfo.3ncurses.gz the man page  extension
	      is ncurses.

       --locale language
	      Set  the	language for man pages.	 This has the same effect, but
	      overwrites $LANG.

	      Print the location of the retrieved files to standard error.

	      Do not display the location of retrieved files;  this  resets  a
	      former call to --location.  This was added by groffer.

       --manpath 'dir1:dir2:...'
	      Use  the	specified search path for retrieving man pages instead
	      of the program defaults.	If the argument is set	to  the	 empty
	      string "" the search for man page is disabled.

	      Set  the	pager  program	in tty mode; default is less.  This is
	      equivalent to --tty-viewer.

       --sections sec1:sec2:...
	      Restrict searching for man pages to the given sections, a colon-
	      separated list.

       --systems sys1,sys2,...
	      Search  for man pages for the given operating systems; the argu‐
	      ment systems is a comma-separated list.

	      Equivalent to --location.

   X Window Toolkit Options
       The  following  long  options  were  adapted  from  the	 corresponding
       X  Window Toolkit options.  groffer will pass them to the actual viewer
       program if it is an X Window program.  Otherwise these options are  ig‐

       Unfortunately  these  options  use  the old style of a single minus for
       long options.  For groffer that was changed to the standard with	 using
       a  double  minus for long options, for example, groffer uses the option
       --font for the X Window option -font.

       See X(7) and the documentation on the X Window Toolkit options for more
       details on these options and their arguments.

       --background color
	      Set the background color of the viewer window.

       --bd pixels
	      This is equivalent to --bordercolor.

       --bg color
	      This is equivalent to --background.

       --bw pixels
	      This is equivalent to --borderwidth.

       --bordercolor pixels
	      Specifies the color of the border surrounding the viewer window.

       --borderwidth pixels
	      Specifies	 the  width  in	 pixels	 of the border surrounding the
	      viewer window.

       --display X-display
	      Set the X Window display on which the viewer  program  shall  be
	      started,	see  the  X Window documentation for the syntax of the

       --foreground color
	      Set the foreground color of the viewer window.

       --fg color
	      This is equivalent to -foreground.

       --fn font_name
	      This is equivalent to --font.

       --font font_name
	      Set the font used by the viewer  window.	 The  argument	is  an
	      X Window font name.

       --ft font_name
	      This is equivalent to --font.

       --geometry size_pos
	      Set  the geometry of the display window, that means its size and
	      its starting position.  See X(7) for the syntax of the argument.

       --resolution value
	      Set X Window resolution in dpi (dots per inch)  in  some	viewer
	      programs.	  The only supported dpi values are 75 and 100.	 Actu‐
	      ally, the default resolution for groffer is set to  75dpi.   The
	      resolution also sets the default device in mode x.

       --rv   Reverse foreground and background color of the viewer window.

       --title 'some text'
	      Set the title for the viewer window.

       --xrm 'resource'
	      Set X Window resource.

   Options for Development
	      Enable  all debugging options --debug-type.  The temporary files
	      are kept and not deleted, the grog output is printed,  the  name
	      of  the temporary directory is printed, the displayed file names
	      are printed, and the parameters are printed.

	      Print the names of the files and man pages that are displayed by

	      Print the output of all grog commands.

	      Enable two debugging informations.  Print the name of the tempo‐
	      rary directory and keep the temporary files, do not delete  them
	      during the run of groffer.

	      Print  the parameters, as obtained from the configuration files,
	      from GROFFER_OPT, and the command line arguments.

	      Print the name of the temporary directory.

	      This is like --version, but without the  output;	no  viewer  is
	      started.	This makes only sense in development.

	      Just print the argument to standard error.  This is good for pa‐
	      rameter check.

       -V     This is an advanced option for debugging only.  Instead of  dis‐
	      playing  the formatted input, a lot of groffer specific informa‐
	      tion is printed to standard output:

	      · the output file name in the temporary directory,

	      · the display mode of the actual groffer run,

	      · the display program for viewing the output with its arguments,

	      · the active parameters from the config files, the arguments  in
		$GROFFER_OPT, and the arguments of the command line,

	      · the pipeline that would be run by the groff program, but with‐
		out executing it.

       Other  useful  debugging	 options  are  the   groff   option   -Z   and

   Filespec Arguments
       A filespec parameter is an argument that is not an option or option ar‐
       gument.	In groffer, filespec parameters are a file name or a  template
       for  searching  man  pages.  These input sources are collected and com‐
       posed into a single output file such as groff does.

       The strange POSIX behavior to regard all	 arguments  behind  the	 first
       non-option argument as filespec arguments is ignored.  The GNU behavior
       to recognize options even when mixed with filespec  arguments  is  used
       throughout.   But,  as usual, the double minus argument -- ends the op‐
       tion handling and interprets all following arguments as filespec	 argu‐
       ments; so the POSIX behavior can be easily adopted.

       The  options  --apropos* have a special handling of filespec arguments.
       Each argument is taken as a search scheme of its own.   Also  a	regexp
       (regular expression) can be used in the filespec.  For example, groffer
       --apropos '^gro.f$' searches groff in the man page name, while  groffer
       --apropos  groff searches groff somewhere in the name or description of
       the man pages.

       All other parts of groffer, such as the normal display  or  the	output
       with  --whatis  have  a different scheme for filespecs.	No regular ex‐
       pressions are used for the arguments.  The filespec arguments are  han‐
       dled by the following scheme.

       It  is  necessary  to know that on each system the man pages are sorted
       according to their content into several sections.   The	classical  man
       sections	 have  a  single-character name, either a digit from 1 to 9 or
       one of the characters n or o.

       This can optionally be followed by a string, the	 so-called  extension.
       The  extension  allows to store several man pages with the same name in
       the same section.  But the extension is only rarely used, usually it is
       omitted.	 Then the extensions are searched automatically by alphabet.

       In  the	following,  we	use the name section_extension for a word that
       consists of a single character section name or a section character that
       is  followed  by an extension.  Each filespec parameter can have one of
       the following forms in decreasing sequence.

       · No filespec parameters means that groffer waits for  standard	input.
	 The  minus  option  -	always stands for standard input; it can occur
	 several times.	 If you want to look up a man page called  -  use  the
	 argument man:-.

       · Next  a filespec is tested whether it is the path name of an existing
	 file.	Otherwise it is assumed	 to  be	 a  searching  pattern	for  a
	 man page.

       · man:name(section_extension),		   man:name.section_extension,
	 name(section_extension),   or	 name.section_extension	  search   the
	 man   page   name   in	  man	section	  and  possibly	 extension  of

       · Now man:name searches for a man page in the lowest man	 section  that
	 has a document called name.

       · section_extension  name  is  a pattern of 2 arguments that originates
	 from a strange argument parsing of  the  man  program.	  Again,  this
	 searches the man page name with section_extension, a combination of a
	 section character optionally followed by an extension.

       · We are left with the argument name which is not an existing file.  So
	 this  searches for the man page called name in the lowest man section
	 that has a document for this name.

       Several file name arguments can be supplied.  They are mixed  by	 groff
       into a single document.	Note that the set of option arguments must fit
       to all of these file arguments.	So they should have at least the  same
       style of the groff language.

       By  default, the groffer program collects all input into a single file,
       formats it with the groff program for a certain device, and then choos‐
       es a suitable viewer program.  The device and viewer process in groffer
       is called a mode.  The mode and viewer of a running groffer program  is
       selected	 automatically,	 but the user can also choose it with options.
       The modes are selected by option the arguments of --mode=anymode.   Ad‐
       ditionally,  each of this argument can be specified as an option of its
       own, such as anymode.  Most of these modes have a viewer program, which
       can be chosen by an option that is constructed like --anymode-viewer.

       Several	different  modes  are  offered,	 graphical modes for X Window,
       text modes, and some direct groff modes for debugging and development.

       By default, groffer first  tries	 whether  x  mode  is  possible,  then
       ps  mode,  and  finally	tty  mode.   This  mode	 testing  sequence for
       auto mode can be changed by specifying a comma separated list of	 modes
       with the option --default-modes.

       The  searching for man pages and the decompression of the input are ac‐
       tive in every mode.

   Graphical Display Modes
       The graphical display modes work mostly in the X Window environment (or
       similar	implementations within other windowing environments).  The en‐
       vironment variable $DISPLAY and the option --display are used for spec‐
       ifying  the  X Window display to be used.  If this environment variable
       is empty groffer assumes that no X Window is running and changes	 to  a
       text  mode.  You can change this automatic behavior by the option --de‐

       Known viewers for  the  graphical  display  modes  and  their  standard
       X Window viewer programs are

       · in a PDF viewer (pdf mode)

       · in a web browser (html or www mode)

       · in a Postscript viewer (ps mode)

       · X Window roff viewers such as gxditview(1) or xditview(1) (in x mode)

       · in a dvi viewer program (dvi mode)

       The  pdf	 mode has a major advantage — it is the only graphical display
       mode that allows to search for text within the viewer; this  can	 be  a
       really  important feature.  Unfortunately, it takes some time to trans‐
       form the input into the PDF format, so it was not chosen as  the	 major

       These   graphical   viewers   can  be  customized  by  options  of  the
       X Window Toolkit.  But the groffer options use a leading	 double	 minus
       instead of the single minus used by the X Window Toolkit.

   Text modes
       There are two modes for text output, mode text for plain output without
       a pager and mode tty for a text output on a text	 terminal  using  some
       pager program.

       If  the	variable $DISPLAY is not set or empty, groffer assumes that it
       should use tty mode.

       In the actual implementation, the groff output device latin1 is	chosen
       for  text  modes.   This	 can  be  changed  by  specifying option -T or

       The pager to be used can be specified by one of the options --pager and
       --tty-viewer, or by the environment variable $PAGER.  If all of this is
       not used the less(1) program with the option -r for correctly  display‐
       ing control sequences is used as the default pager.

   Special Modes for Debugging and Development
       These modes use the groffer file determination and decompression.  This
       is combined into a single input file that is fed	 directly  into	 groff
       with  different strategy without the groffer viewing facilities.	 These
       modes are regarded as advanced, they are useful for debugging  and  de‐
       velopment purposes.

       The source mode with option --source just displays the decompressed in‐

       Otion --to-stdout does not display in a graphical mode.	It just gener‐
       ates  the file for the chosen mode and then prints its content to stan‐
       dard output.

       The groff mode passes the input to groff using only some	 suitable  op‐
       tions provided to groffer.  This enables the user to save the generated
       output into a file or pipe it into another program.

       In groff mode, the option -Z disables post-processing,  thus  producing
       the  groff  intermediate output.	 In this mode, the input is formatted,
       but not postprocessed; see groff_out(5) for details.

       All groff short options are supported by groffer.

       The default behavior of groffer is to first test whether a file parame‐
       ter  represents a local file; if it is not an existing file name, it is
       assumed to represent the name of a man page.  The following options can
       be  used	 to  determine whether the arguments should be handled as file
       name or man page arguments.

       --man  forces to interpret all file parameters as filespecs for search‐
	      ing man pages.

	      disable the man searching; so only local files are displayed.

       If  neither a local file nor a man page was retrieved for some file pa‐
       rameter a warning is issued on standard error, but processing  is  con‐

   Search Algorithm
       Let us now assume that a man page should be searched.  The groffer pro‐
       gram provides a search facility for man pages.  All long	 options,  all
       environment  variables, and most of the functionality of the GNU man(1)
       program were implemented.  The search algorithm shall  determine	 which
       file is displayed for a given man page.	The process can be modified by
       options and environment variables.

       The only man action that is omitted in  groffer	are  the  preformatted
       man  pages,  also  called cat pages.  With the excellent performance of
       the actual computers, the preformatted man pages aren't	necessary  any
       longer.	Additionally, groffer is a roff program; it wants to read roff
       source files and format them itself.

       The algorithm for retrieving the file for a man page needs first a  set
       of  directories.	  This	set starts with the so-called man path that is
       modified later on by adding names of  operating	system	and  language.
       This  arising set is used for adding the section directories which con‐
       tain the man page files.

       The man path is a list of directories that are separated by colon.   It
       is generated by the following methods.

       · The environment variable $MANPATH can be set.

       · It  can  be  read  from  the  arguments  of  the environment variable

       · The man path can be manually specified by using the option --manpath.
	 An empty argument disables the man page searching.

       · When no man path was set the manpath(1) program is tried to determine

       · If this does not work a reasonable default path from $PATH is	deter‐

       We  now	have  a	 starting set of directories.  The first way to change
       this set is by adding names of operating systems.   This	 assumes  that
       man pages for several operating systems are installed.  This is not al‐
       ways true.  The names of such operating systems can be  provided	 by  3

       · The environment variable $SYSTEM has the lowest precedence.

       · This can be overridden by an option in $MANOPT.

       · This again is overridden by the command line option --systems.

       Several	names  of  operating  systems  can be given by appending their
       names, separated by a comma.

       The man path is changed by appending each system name  as  subdirectory
       at  the end of each directory of the set.  No directory of the man path
       set is kept.  But if no system name is specified the man path  is  left

       After  this,  the  actual set of directories can be changed by language
       information.  This assumes that there exist man pages in different lan‐
       guages.	The wanted language can be chosen by several methods.

       · Environment variable $LANG.

       · This is overridden by $LC_MESSAGES.

       · This is overridden by $LC_ALL.

       · This can be overridden by providing an option in $MANOPT.

       · All  these  environment  variables are overridden by the command line
	 option --locale.

       The default language can be specified by specifying one of the  pseudo-
       language parameters C or POSIX.	This is like deleting a formerly given
       language information.  The man pages in the default language are usual‐
       ly in English.

       Of  course,  the language name is determined by man.  In GNU man, it is
       specified in the POSIX 1003.1 based format:


       but the two-letter code in <language> is sufficient for most  purposes.
       If  for	a  complicated	language  formulation  no  man pages are found
       groffer searches the country part consisting of these first two charac‐
       ters as well.

       The  actual  directory  set is copied thrice.  The language name is ap‐
       pended as subdirectory to each directory in the first copy of the actu‐
       al directory set (this is only done when a language information is giv‐
       en).  Then the 2-letter abbreviation of the language name  is  appended
       as subdirectories to the second copy of the directory set (this is only
       done when the given language name has more than 2 letters).  The	 third
       copy of the directory set is kept unchanged (if no language information
       is given this is the kept directory set).  These maximally 3 copies are
       appended to get the new directory set.

       We  now	have  a	 complete set of directories to work with.  In each of
       these directories, the man files are separated in sections.   The  name
       of  a  section  is represented by a single character, a digit between 1
       and 9, or the character o or n, in this order.

       For each available section, a subdirectory man<section> exists contain‐
       ing all man files for this section, where <section> is a single charac‐
       ter as described before.	 Each man file in a section directory has  the
       form  man<section>/<name>.<section>[<extension>][.<compression>], where
       <extension> and <compression> are optional.  <name> is the name of  the
       man  page  that	is  also specified as filespec argument on the command

       The extension is an addition to the section.  This postfix acts like  a
       subsection.   An extension occurs only in the file name, not in name of
       the section subdirectory.  It can be specified on the command line.

       On the other hand, the compression is just an information  on  how  the
       file  is	 compressed.  This is not important for the user, such that it
       cannot be specified on the command line.

       There are 4 methods to specify a section on the command line:

       · Environment variable $MANSECT

       · Command line option --sections

       · Appendix to the name argument in the form <name>.<section>

       · Preargument before the name argument in the form <section> <name>

       It is also possible to specify several sections by appending the single
       characters separated by colons.	One can imagine that this means to re‐
       strict the man page search to only some sections.   The	multiple  sec‐
       tions are only possible for $MANSECT and --sections.

       If no section is specified all sections are searched one after the oth‐
       er in the given order, starting with section 1, until a	suitable  file
       is found.

       There  are  4 methods to specify an extension on the command line.  But
       it is not necessary to provide the whole extension name, some abbrevia‐
       tion is good enough in most cases.

       · Environment variable $EXTENSION

       · Command line option --extension

       · Appendix  to  the  <name>.<section> argument in the form <name>.<sec‐

       · Preargument before the name argument in the form <section><extension>

       For further details on man page searching, see man(1).

   Examples of man files
	      This  is	an  uncompressed  file	for the man page groff in sec‐
	      tion 1.  It can be called by
	      sh# groffer groff
	      No  section  is  specified  here,	 so  all  sections  should  be
	      searched,	 but  as section 1 is searched first this file will be
	      found first.  The file name is composed of the following	compo‐
	      nents.   /usr/share/man must be part of the man path; the subdi‐
	      rectory man1/ and the part .1 stand for the  section;  groff  is
	      the name of the man page.

	      The   file   name	 is  composed  of  the	following  components.
	      /usr/local/share/man must be part of the man path; the subdirec‐
	      tory  man7/  and the part .7 stand for the section; groff is the
	      name of the man page; the final part .gz stands for  a  compres‐
	      sion  with gzip(1).  As the section is not the first one it must
	      be specified as well.  This can be done by one of the  following
	      sh# groffer groff.7
	      sh# groffer 7 groff
	      sh# groffer --sections=7 groff

	      Here  /usr/local/man must be in man path; the subdirectory man1/
	      and the file name part .1 stand for section 1; the name  of  the
	      man page is ctags; the section has an extension emacs21; and the
	      file is compressed as .bz2  with	bzip2(1).   The	 file  can  be
	      viewed with one of the following commands
	      sh# groffer ctags.1e
	      sh# groffer 1e ctags
	      sh# groffer --extension=e --sections=1 ctags
	      where e works as an abbreviation for the extension emacs21.

	      The  directory  /usr/man is now part of the man path; then there
	      is a subdirectory for an	operating  system  name	 linux/;  next
	      comes   a	 subdirectory de/ for the German language; the section
	      names man7 and .7 are known so far;  man	is  the	 name  of  the
	      man  page;  and .Z signifies the compression that can be handled
	      by gzip(1).  We want now show how to provide several values  for
	      some  options.  That is possible for sections and operating sys‐
	      tem names.  So we use as sections 5 and 7 and  as	 system	 names
	      linux and aix.  The command is then

	      sh# groffer --locale=de --sections=5:7 --systems=linux,aix man
	      sh# LANG=de MANSECT=5:7 SYSTEM=linux,aix groffer man

       The  program has a decompression facility.  If standard input or a file
       that was retrieved from the command line parameters is compressed  with
       a  format  that is supported by either gzip(1) or bzip2(1) it is decom‐
       pressed on-the-fly.  This includes the GNU .gz, .bz2,  and  the	tradi‐
       tional  .Z  compression.	 The program displays the concatenation of all
       decompressed input in the sequence that was specified  on  the  command

       The  groffer  program  supports	many system variables, most of them by
       courtesy of other programs.  All environment variables of groff(1)  and
       GNU man(1) and some standard system variables are honored.

   Native groffer Variables
	      Store  options  for  a run of groffer.  The options specified in
	      this variable are overridden by the options given on the command
	      line.   The  content  of	this variable is run through the shell
	      builtin `eval'; so arguments containing white-space  or  special
	      shell characters should be quoted.  Do not forget to export this
	      variable, otherwise it does not exist during the run of groffer.

   System Variables
       The following variables have a special meaning for groffer.

	      If this variable is set this indicates that the X Window	system
	      is  running.  Testing this variable decides on whether graphical
	      or text output  is  generated.   This  variable  should  not  be
	      changed  by the user carelessly, but it can be used to start the
	      graphical groffer on a remote X Window terminal.	 For  example,
	      depending	 on  your system, groffer can be started on the second
	      monitor by the command

	      sh# DISPLAY=:0.1 groffer what.ever &

       $LANG  If one of these variables is set (in the	above  sequence),  its
	      content  is  interpreted as the locale, the language to be used,
	      especially when retrieving man pages.  A locale name is typical‐
	      ly  of the form language[_territory[.codeset[@modifier]]], where
	      language is an ISO 639 language code, territory is an  ISO  3166
	      country code, and codeset is a character set or encoding identi‐
	      fier like ISO-8859-1 or UTF-8;  see  setlocale(3).   The	locale
	      values  C and POSIX stand for the default, i.e. the man page di‐
	      rectories without a language prefix.  This is the same  behavior
	      as when all 3 variables are unset.

       $PAGER This  variable  can be used to set the pager for the tty output.
	      For example, to disable the use of a pager completely  set  this
	      variable to the cat(1) program

	      sh# PAGER=cat groffer anything

       $PATH  All  programs  within  the  groffer  script are called without a
	      fixed path.  Thus this environment variable determines  the  set
	      of programs used within the run of groffer.

   Groff Variables
       The  groffer  program  internally calls groff, so all environment vari‐
       ables documented in groff(1) are	 internally  used  within  groffer  as
       well.  The following variable has a direct meaning for the groffer pro‐

	      If the value of this variable is an existing, writable  directo‐
	      ry,  groffer  uses  it  for storing its temporary files, just as
	      groff does.  See the groff(1) man page for more details  on  the
	      location of temporary files.

   Man Variables
       Parts  of  the  functionality  of  the  man program were implemented in
       groffer; support for all environment variables documented in man(1) was
       added to groffer, but the meaning was slightly modified due to the dif‐
       ferent approach in groffer; but the user interface is  the  same.   The
       man  environment	 variables can be overwritten by options provided with
       $MANOPT, which in turn is overwritten by the command line.

	      Restrict the search for man pages to files  having  this	exten‐
	      sion.   This  is overridden by option --extension; see there for

	      This variable contains options as a preset for man(1).   As  not
	      all  of  these are relevant for groffer only the essential parts
	      of its value are extracted.  The options specified in this vari‐
	      able  overwrite  the  values  of the other environment variables
	      that are specific to man.	 All options specified in  this	 vari‐
	      able are overridden by the options given on the command line.

	      If  set,	this  variable	contains  the directories in which the
	      man page	trees  are  stored.   This  is	overridden  by	option

	      If  this	is a colon separated list of section names, the search
	      for man pages is restricted to those manual sections in that or‐
	      der.  This is overridden by option --sections.

	      If  this is set to a comma separated list of names these are in‐
	      terpreted as man page trees  for	different  operating  systems.
	      This  variable can be overwritten by option --systems; see there
	      for details.

       The environment variable $MANROFFSEQ is ignored by groffer because  the
       necessary preprocessors are determined automatically.

       The groffer program can be preconfigured by two configuration files.

	      System-wide configuration file for groffer.

	      User-specific  configuration  file  for groffer, where $HOME de‐
	      notes the user's home directory.	This file is called after  the
	      system-wide configuration file to enable overriding by the user.

       Both  files  are	 handled  for the configuration, but the configuration
       file in /etc comes first; it is overwritten by the  configuration  file
       in  the home directory; both configuration files are overwritten by the
       environment variable $GROFFER_OPT; everything  is  overwritten  by  the
       command line arguments.

       The  configuration  files  contain options that should be called as de‐
       fault for every groffer run.  These options are written in  lines  such
       that each contains either a long option, a short option, or a short op‐
       tion cluster; each with or without an argument.	So each line with con‐
       figuration information starts with a minus character `-'; a line with a
       long option starts with two minus characters `--', a line with a	 short
       option or short option cluster starts with a single minus `-'.

       The  option  names  in  the configuration files may not be abbreviated,
       they must be exact.

       The argument for a long option can be separated from  the  option  name
       either by an equal sign `=' or by whitespace, i.e. one or several space
       or tab characters.  An argument for a  short  option  or	 short	option
       cluster	can  be	 directly  appended to the option name or separated by
       whitespace.  The end of an argument is the end of the line.  It is  not
       allowed	to use a shell environment variable in an option name or argu‐

       It is not necessary to use quotes in an option or argument, except  for
       empty arguments.	 An empty argument can be provided by appending a pair
       of quotes to the separating equal sign or whitespace; with a short  op‐
       tion,  the  separator can be omitted as well.  For a long option with a
       separating equal sign `=', the pair of quotes can be omitted, thus end‐
       ing  the	 line with the separating equal sign.  All other quote charac‐
       ters are cancelled internally.

       In the configuration files, arbitrary whitespace is allowed at the  be‐
       ginning	of  each  line,	 it is just ignored.  Each whitespace within a
       line is replaced by a single space character ` ' internally.

       All lines of the configuration lines that do not	 start	with  a	 minus
       character  are ignored, such that comments starting with `#' are possi‐
       ble.  So there are no shell commands in the configuration files.

       As an example, consider the following configuration file	 that  can  be
       used either in /etc/groff/groffer.conf or ~/.groff/groffer.conf.

       # groffer configuration file
       # groffer options that are used in each call of groffer
       --x-viewer=gxditview -geometry 900x1200
       --pdf-viewer xpdf -Z 150

       The  lines  starting  with  #  are just ignored, so they act as command
       lines.  This configuration sets four groffer options (the lines	start‐
       ing with `-').  This has the following effects:

       · Use  a	 text color of DarkBlue in all viewers that support this, such
	 as gxditview.

       · Use a resolution of 100dpi in all viewers that support this, such  as
	 gxditview.  By this, the default device in x mode is set to X100.

       · Force gxditview(1) as the x-mode viewer using the geometry option for
	 setting the width to 900px and the height to 1200px.	This  geometry
	 is suitable for a resolution of 100dpi.

       · Use xpdf(1) as the pdf-mode viewer with the argument -Z 150.

       The  usage  of groffer is very easy.  Usually, it is just called with a
       file name or man page.  The  following  examples,  however,  show  that
       groffer has much more fancy capabilities.

       sh# groffer /usr/local/share/doc/groff/

       Decompress, format and display the compressed file in the
       directory  /usr/local/share/doc/groff,  using   the   standard	viewer
       gxditview  as  graphical	 viewer when in X Window, or the less(1) pager
       program when not in X Window.

       sh# groffer groff

       If the file ./groff exists use it as input.   Otherwise	interpret  the
       argument	 as a search for the man page named groff in the smallest pos‐
       sible man section, being section 1 in this case.

       sh# groffer man:groff

       search for the man page of groff even when the file ./groff exists.

       sh# groffer groff.7
       sh# groffer 7 groff

       search the man page of groff in man section  7.	 This  section	search
       works only for a digit or a single character from a small set.

       sh# groffer fb.modes

       If  the	file  ./fb.modes does not exist interpret this as a search for
       the man page of fb.modes.  As the extension modes is not a single char‐
       acter  in classical section style the argument is not split to a search
       for fb.

       sh# groffer groff ’troff(1)’ man:roff

       The arguments that are not existing files are looked-up as the  follow‐
       ing  man	 pages:	 groff	(automatic search, should be found in man sec‐
       tion 1), troff (in section 1), and roff (in the section with the lowest
       number, being 7 in this case).  The quotes around ’troff(1)’ are neces‐
       sary because the parentheses are	 special  shell	 characters;  escaping
       them  with a backslash character \( and \) would be possible, too.  The
       formatted files are concatenated and displayed in one piece.

       sh# LANG=de groffer --man --www --www-viewer=galeon ls

       Retrieve the German man page (language de) for the ls  program,	decom‐
       press  it,  format  it to html format (www mode) and view the result in
       the web browser galeon.	The option --man guarantees that the man  page
       is retrieved, even when a local file ls exists in the actual directory.

       sh# groffer --source 'man:roff(7)'

       Get the man page called roff in man section 7, decompress it, and print
       its unformatted content, its source code.

       sh# groffer --de-p --in --ap

       This is a set of abbreviated arguments, it is determined as

       sh# groffer --debug-params --intermediate-output --apropos

       sh# cat file.gz | groffer -Z -mfoo

       The file file.gz is sent to standard input, this is  decompressed,  and
       then  this is transported to the groff intermediate output mode without
       post-processing (groff option -Z), using macro package foo  (groff  op‐
       tion -m).

       sh# echo '\f[CB]WOW!' |
       > groffer --x --bg red --fg yellow --geometry 200x100 -

       Display the word WOW! in a small window in constant-width
       bold font, using color yellow on red background.

       The groffer program is written in Perl, the Perl version during writing
       was v5.8.8.

       groffer provides its own parser for  command  line  arguments  that  is
       compatible  to  both POSIX getopts(1) and GNU getopt(1).	 It can handle
       option arguments and file names containing white space and a large  set
       of  special  characters.	  The  following standard types of options are

       · The option consisting of a single minus - refers to standard input.

       · A single minus followed by characters refers to  a  single  character
	 option	 or  a	combination  thereof;  for  example, the groffer short
	 option combination -Qmfoo is equivalent to -Q -m foo.

       · Long options are options with names longer than one  character;  they
	 are always preceded by a double minus.	 An option argument can either
	 go to the next command line argument or be  appended  with  an	 equal
	 sign  to  the	argument;  for	example,  --long=arg  is equivalent to
	 --long arg.

       · An argument of -- ends	 option	 parsing;  all	further	 command  line
	 arguments  are interpreted as filespec parameters, i.e. file names or
	 constructs for searching man pages).

       · All command line  arguments  that  are	 neither  options  nor	option
	 arguments  are	 interpreted  as  filespec parameters and stored until
	 option parsing has finished.  For example, the command line

	 sh# groffer file1 -a -o arg file2

	 is equivalent to

	 sh# groffer -a -o arg -- file1 file2

       The free mixing of options and  filespec	 parameters  follows  the  GNU
       principle.   That does not fulfill the strange option behavior of POSIX
       that ends option processing as soon as the  first  non-option  argument
       has  been  reached.   The end of option processing can be forced by the
       option `--' anyway.

       Report bugs to the bug-groff mailing list ⟨⟩.  Include
       a complete, self-contained example that will allow the bug to be repro‐
       duced, and say which version of groffer you are using.

       You can also use the groff mailing list ⟨⟩, but  you  must
       first  subscribe	 to  this list.	 You can do that by visiting the groff
       mailing list web page ⟨⟩.

       See groff(1) for information on availability.

       groff(1), troff(1)
	      Details on the options and environment  variables	 available  in
	      groff; all of them can be used with groffer.

	      Documentation of the groff language.

	      Internally,  groffer  tries  to  guess  the  groff  command line
	      options from the input using this program.

	      Documentation on the groff intermediate output (ditroff output).

	      Documentation on the groff macro files.

       man(1) The standard program to  display	man  pages.   The  information
	      there is only useful if it is the man page for GNU man.  Then it
	      documents the options and environment variables  that  are  sup‐
	      ported by groffer.

       gxditview(1), xditview(1x)
	      Viewers for groffer's x mode.

       kpdf(1), kghostview(1), evince(1), ggv(1), gv(1), ghostview(1), gs(1)
	      Viewers for groffer's ps mode.

       kpdf(1),	  acroread(1),	evince(1),  xpdf(1),  gpdf(1),	kghostview(1),
	      Viewers for groffer's pdf mode.

       kdvi(1), xdvi(1), dvilx(1)
	      Viewers for groffer's dvi mode.

       konqueror(1), epiphany(1), firefox(1), mozilla(1), netscape(1), lynx(1)
	      Web-browsers for groffer's html or www mode.

	      Standard pager program for the tty mode.

       gzip(1), bzip2(1)
	      The decompression programs supported by groffer.

       This file was written by Bernd Warken <>.

       Copyright (C) 2001, 2002, 2004-2006, 2009-2012
	 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       This file is part of groffer, which is part of groff, a	free  software
       project.	  You  can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of
       the GNU General Public  License	as  published  by  the	Free  Software
       Foundation,  either  version  3 of the License, or (at your option) any
       later version.

       You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
       with  groff,  see the files COPYING and LICENSE in the top directory of
       the groff source package.  Or read the man page gpl(1).	You  can  also
       visit <>.

Groff Version 1.22.2		  1 May 2014			    GROFFER(1)

List of man pages available for Gentoo

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