GROPS(1)GROPS(1)NAMEgrops - PostScript driver for groff
SYNOPSISgrops [ -glmv ] [ -bn ] [ -cn ] [ -Fdir ] [ -ppapersize ]
[ -Pprologue ] [ -wn ] [ files... ]
It is possible to have whitespace between a command line option and its
DESCRIPTIONgrops translates the output of GNU troff to PostScript. Normally grops
should be invoked by using the groff command with a -Tps option.
(Actually, this is the default for groff.) If no files are given,
grops will read the standard input. A filename of - will also cause
grops to read the standard input. PostScript output is written to the
standard output. When grops is run by groff options can be passed to
grops using the groff -P option.
OPTIONS-bn Workaround broken spoolers and previewers. Normally grops pro‐
duces output that conforms the Document Structuring Conventions
version 3.0. Unfortunately some spoolers and previewers can't
handle such output. The value of n controls what grops does to
its output acceptable to such programs. A value of 0 will cause
grops not to employ any workarounds. Add 1 if no %%BeginDocu‐
mentSetup and %%EndDocumentSetup comments should be generated;
this is needed for early versions of TranScript that get con‐
fused by anything between the %%EndProlog comment and the first
%%Page comment. Add 2 if lines in included files beginning with
%! should be stripped out; this is needed for Sun's pageview
previewer. Add 4 if %%Page, %%Trailer and %%EndProlog comments
should be stripped out of included files; this is needed for
spoolers that don't understand the %%BeginDocument and %%EndDoc‐
ument comments. Add 8 if the first line of the PostScript out‐
put should be %!PS-Adobe-2.0 rather than %!PS-Adobe-3.0; this is
needed when using Sun's Newsprint with a printer that requires
page reversal. The default value can be specified by a
command in the DESC file. Otherwise the default value is 0.
-cn Print n copies of each page.
-Fdir Prepend directory dir/devname to the search path for prologue,
font, and device description files; name is the name of the
device, usually ps.
-g Guess the page length. This generates PostScript code that
guesses the page length. The guess will be correct only if the
imageable area is vertically centered on the page. This option
allows you to generate documents that can be printed both on
letter (8.5×11) paper and on A4 paper without change.
-l Print the document in landscape format.
-m Turn manual feed on for the document.
Set physical dimension of output medium. This overrides the
papersize and paperlength commands in the DESC file; it accepts
the same arguments as the papersize command.
Use the file prologue-file (in the font path) as the prologue
instead of the default prologue file prologue. This option
overrides the environment variable GROPS_PROLOGUE.
-wn Lines should be drawn using a thickness of n thousandths of an
em. If this option is not given, the line thickness defaults to
-v Print the version number.
There are styles called R, I, B, and BI mounted at font positions 1
to 4. The fonts are grouped into families A, BM, C, H, HN, N, P and T
having members in each of these styles:
There is also the following font which is not a member of a family:
There are also some special fonts called SS and S. Zapf Dingbats is
available as ZD and a reversed version of ZapfDingbats (with symbols
pointing in the opposite direction) is available as ZDR; most charac‐
ters in these fonts are unnamed and must be accessed using \N.
The default color for \m and \M is black; for colors defined in the
`rgb' color space, setrgbcolor is used, for `cmy' and `cmyk' setcmyk‐
color, and for `gray' setgray.
grops understands various X commands produced using the \X escape
sequence; grops will only interpret commands that begin with a ps: tag.
\X'ps: exec code'
This executes the arbitrary PostScript commands in code. The
PostScript currentpoint will be set to the position of the \X
command before executing code. The origin will be at the top
left corner of the page, and y coordinates will increase down
the page. A procedure u will be defined that converts groff
units to the coordinate system in effect. For example,
.nr x 1i
\X'ps: exec \nx u 0 rlineto stroke'
will draw a horizontal line one inch long. code may make
changes to the graphics state, but any changes will persist only
to the end of the page. A dictionary containing the definitions
specified by the def and mdef will be on top of the dictionary
stack. If your code adds definitions to this dictionary, you
should allocate space for them using \X'ps mdef n'. Any defini‐
tions will persist only until the end of the page. If you use
the \Y escape sequence with an argument that names a macro, code
can extend over multiple lines. For example,
.nr x 1i
\nx u 0 rlineto
is another way to draw a horizontal line one inch long.
\X'ps: file name'
This is the same as the exec command except that the PostScript
code is read from file name.
\X'ps: def code'
Place a PostScript definition contained in code in the prologue.
There should be at most one definition per \X command. Long
definitions can be split over several \X commands; all the code
arguments are simply joined together separated by newlines. The
definitions are placed in a dictionary which is automatically
pushed on the dictionary stack when an exec command is executed.
If you use the \Y escape sequence with an argument that names a
macro, code can extend over multiple lines.
\X'ps: mdef n code'
Like def, except that code may contain up to n definitions.
grops needs to know how many definitions code contains so that
it can create an appropriately sized PostScript dictionary to
\X'ps: import file llx lly urx ury width [ height ]'
Import a PostScript graphic from file. The arguments llx, lly,
urx, and ury give the bounding box of the graphic in the default
PostScript coordinate system; they should all be integers; llx
and lly are the x and y coordinates of the lower left corner of
the graphic; urx and ury are the x and y coordinates of the
upper right corner of the graphic; width and height are integers
that give the desired width and height in groff units of the
graphic. The graphic will be scaled so that it has this width
and height and translated so that the lower left corner of the
graphic is located at the position associated with \X command.
If the height argument is omitted it will be scaled uniformly in
the x and y directions so that it has the specified width. Note
that the contents of the \X command are not interpreted by
troff; so vertical space for the graphic is not automatically
added, and the width and height arguments are not allowed to
have attached scaling indicators. If the PostScript file com‐
plies with the Adobe Document Structuring Conventions and con‐
tains a %%BoundingBox comment, then the bounding box can be
automatically extracted from within groff by using the psbb
The -mps macros (which are automatically loaded when grops is
run by the groff command) include a PSPIC macro which allows a
picture to be easily imported. This has the format
.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 cause the
graphic to be left-aligned and right-aligned respectively. The
-I option causes the graphic to be indented by n.
No output will be generated for text and drawing commands that
are bracketed with these \X commands. These commands are
intended for use when output from troff will be previewed before
being processed with grops; if the previewer is unable to dis‐
play certain characters or other constructs, then other substi‐
tute characters or constructs can be used for previewing by
bracketing them with these \X commands.
For example, gxditview is not able to display a proper \(em
character because the standard X11 fonts do not provide it; this
problem can be overcome by executing the following request
.char \(em \X'ps: invis'\
\Z'\v'-.25m'\h'.05m'\D'l .9m 0'\h'.05m''\
In this case, gxditview will be unable to display the \(em char‐
acter and will draw the line, whereas grops will print the \(em
character and ignore the line.
The input to grops must be in the format output by troff(1). This is
described in groff_out(5). In addition the device and font description
files for the device used must meet certain requirements. The device
and font description files supplied for ps device meet all these
requirements. afmtodit(1) can be used to create font files from AFM
files. The resolution must be an integer multiple of 72 times the
sizescale. The ps device uses a resolution of 72000 and a sizescale of
1000. The device description file should contain a command
which says that output should be generated which is suitable for print‐
ing on a page whose length is n machine units. Common values are
792000 for letter paper and 841890 for paper in A4 format. Alterna‐
tively, it can contain
to specify a paper size; see groff_font(5) for more information. Each
font description file must contain a command
which says that the PostScript name of the font is psname. It may also
contain a command
which says that the PostScript font should be reencoded using the
encoding described in enc_file; this file should consist of a sequence
of lines of the form:
where pschar is the PostScript name of the character, and code is its
position in the encoding expressed as a decimal integer. Lines start‐
ing with # and blank lines are ignored. The code for each character
given in the font file must correspond to the code for the character in
encoding file, or to the code in the default encoding for the font if
the PostScript font is not to be reencoded. This code can be used with
the \N escape sequence in troff to select the character, even if the
character does not have a groff name. Every character in the font file
must exist in the PostScript font, and the widths given in the font
file must match the widths used in the PostScript font. grops will
assume that a character with a groff name of space is blank (makes no
marks on the page); it can make use of such a character to generate
more efficient and compact PostScript output.
grops can automatically include the downloadable fonts necessary to
print the document. Any downloadable fonts which should, when
required, be included by grops must be listed in the file
/usr/share/groff/1.18.1/font/devps/download; this should consist of
lines of the form
where font is the PostScript name of the font, and filename is the name
of the file containing the font; lines beginning with # and blank lines
are ignored; fields may be separated by tabs or spaces; filename will
be searched for using the same mechanism that is used for groff font
metric files. The download file itself will also be searched for using
this mechanism; currently, only the first found file in the font path
If the file containing a downloadable font or imported document con‐
forms to the Adobe Document Structuring Conventions, then grops will
interpret any comments in the files sufficiently to ensure that its own
output is conforming. It will also supply any needed font resources
that are listed in the download file as well as any needed file
resources. It is also able to handle inter-resource dependencies. For
example, suppose that you have a downloadable font called Garamond, and
also a downloadable font called Garamond-Outline which depends on Gara‐
mond (typically it would be defined to copy Garamond's font dictionary,
and change the PaintType), then it is necessary for Garamond to be
appear before Garamond-Outline in the PostScript document. grops will
handle this automatically provided that the downloadable font file for
Garamond-Outline indicates its dependence on Garamond by means of the
Document Structuring Conventions, for example by beginning with the
%%DocumentNeededResources: font Garamond
%%IncludeResource: font Garamond
In this case both Garamond and Garamond-Outline would need to be listed
in the download file. A downloadable font should not include its own
name in a %%DocumentSuppliedResources comment.
grops will not interpret %%DocumentFonts comments. The %%DocumentNeed‐
edResources, %%DocumentSuppliedResources, %%IncludeResource, %%BeginRe‐
source and %%EndResource comments (or possibly the old %%DocumentNeed‐
edFonts, %%DocumentSuppliedFonts, %%IncludeFont, %%BeginFont and %%End‐
Font comments) should be used.
TrueType fonts can be used with grops if converted first to Type 42
format, an especial PostScript wrapper equivalent to the PFA format
mentioned in pfbtops(1). There are several different methods to gener‐
ate a type42 wrapper and most of them involve the use of a PostScript
interpreter such as Ghostscript — see gs(1). Yet, the easiest method
involves the use of the application ttftot42. This program uses
freetype(3) (version 1.3.1) to generate type42 font wrappers and well-
formed AFM files that can be fed to the afmtodit(1) script to create
appropriate metric files. The resulting font wrappers should be added
to the download file. ttftot42 source code can be downloaded from
If this is set to foo, then grops will use the file foo (in the
font path) instead of the default prologue file prologue. The
option -P overrides this environment variable.
Device description file.
Font description file for font F.
List of downloadable fonts.
Encoding used for text fonts.
Macros for use with grops; automatically loaded by troffrc
Definition of PSPIC macro, automatically loaded by ps.tmac.
Macros to disable use of characters not present in older Post‐
Script printers (e.g. `eth' or `thorn').
SEE ALSOafmtodit(1), groff(1), troff(1), psbb(1), groff_out(5), groff_font(5),
groff_char(7)Groff Version 1.18.1 Nov 2003 GROPS(1)