ms(7)ms(7)Namems - text formatting macros
nroff -ms [options] file ...
*roff -ms [options] file ...
This package of and macro definitions provides a formatting facility
for various styles of articles, theses, and books. When producing
2-column output on a terminal or lineprinter, or when reverse line
motions are needed, filter the output through All external macros are
defined in the following section. Many and requests are unsafe in con‐
junction with this package. However, the first four requests in the
list that follows can be used with impunity after initialization, and
the last two may be used even before initialization:
.bp Begin new page
.br Break output line
.sp n Insert n spacing lines
.ce n Center next n lines
.ls n Line spacing: n=1 single, n=2 double space
.na No alignment of right margin
Font and point size changes with \f and \s are also allowed; for exam‐
ple, \fIword\fR italicize word. Output of the and preprocessors for
equations, tables, and references is acceptable as input.
RequestsMacro Initial Break? Explanation
Name Value Reset?
.AB x - y Begin abstract; if x=no, do not label abstract.
.AE - y End abstract.
.AI - y Author's institution.
.AM - n Better accent mark definitions.
.AU - y Author's name.
.B x - n Embolden x; if no x, switch to boldface.
.B1 - y Begin text to be enclosed in a box.
.B2 - y End boxed text and print it.
.BT date n Bottom title, printed at foot of page.
.BX x - n Print word x in a box.
.CM if t n Cut mark between pages.
.CT - y,y Chapter title: page number moved to CF (TM only).
.DA x if n n Force date x at bottom of page; today if no x.
.DE - y End display (unfilled text) of any kind.
.DS x y I y Begin display with keep; x=I,L,C,B; y=indent .
.ID y 8n,.5i y Indented display with no keep; y=indent.
.LD - y Left display with no keep.
.CD - y Centered display with no keep.
.BD - y Block display; center entire block.
.EF x - n Even page footer x (3 part, as for .tl).
.EH x - n Even page header x (3 part, as for .tl).
.EN - y End displayed equation produced by *eqn.
.EQ x y - y Break out equation; x=L,I,C; y=equation number.
.FE - n End footnote to be placed at bottom of page.
.FP - n Numbered footnote paragraph; may be redefined.
.FS x - n Start footnote; x is optional footnote label.
.HD undef n Optional page header below header margin.
.I x - n Italicize x; if no x, switch to italics.
.IP x y - y,y Indented paragraph, with hanging tag x; y=indent.
.IX x y - y Index words x, y and so on (up to five levels).
.KE - n End keep of any kind.
.KF - n Begin floating keep; text fills remainder of page.
.KS - y Begin keep; unit kept together on a single page.
.LG - n Larger; increase point size by 2.
.LP - y,y Left (block) paragraph..
.MC x - y,y Multiple columns; x=column width.
.ND x if t n No date in page footer; x is date on cover.
.NH x y - y,y Numbered header; x=level, x=0 resets, x=S sets to y.
.NL 10p n Set point size back to normal.
.OF x - n Odd page footer x (3 part, as for .tl).
.OH x - n Odd page header x (3 part, as for .tl).
.P1 if TM n Print header on first page.
.PP - y,y Paragraph with first line indented.
.PT - % - n Page title, printed at head of page.
.PX x - y Print index (table of contents); x=no, suppresses title.
.QP - y,y Quote paragraph (indented and shorter).
.R on n Return to Roman font.
.RE 5n y,y Retreat: end level of relative indentation.
.RP x - n Released paper format; x=no, stops title on first page.
.RS 5n y,y Right shift: start level of relative indentation.
.SH - y,y Section header, in boldface.
.SM - n Smaller; decrease point size by two.
.TA 8n,5n n Set tabs to 8n 16n ... (nroff) 5n 10n ... (*roff).
.TC x - y Print table of contents at end; x=no, suppresses title.
.TE - y End of table processed by tbl.
.TH - y End multipage header of table.
.TL - y Title in boldface and two points larger.
.TM off n UC Berkeley thesis mode.
.TS x - y,y Begin table; if x=H, table has multipage header.
.UL x - n Underline x, even in *roff.
.UX x - n UNIX; trademark message first time; x appended.
.XA x y - y Another index entry; x=page or no for none; y=indent.
.XE - y End index entry (or series of .IX entries).
.XP - y,y Paragraph with first line exdented, others indented.
.XS x y - y Begin index entry; x=page or no for none; y=indent.
.1C on y,y One-column format, on a new page.
.2C - y,y Begin two-column format.
.]- - n Beginning of refer reference.
.[0 - n End of unclassifiable type of reference.
.[N - n N= 1:journal-article, 2:book, 3:book-article, 4:report.
Formatting distances can be controlled in by means of built-in number
registers. For example, this sets the line length to 6.5 inches:
.nr LL 6.5i
Here is a table of number registers and their default values:
Name Register Controls Takes Effect Default
PS Point size paragraph 10
VS Vertical spacing paragraph 12
LL Line length paragraph 6i
LT Title length next page same as LL
FL Footnote length next .FS 5.5i
PD Paragraph distance paragraph 1v (if n), .3v (if t)
DD Display distance displays 1v (if n), .5v (if t)
PI Paragraph indent paragraph 5n
QI Quote indent next .QP 5n
FI Footnote indent next .FS 2n
PO Page offset next page 0 (if n), ∼1i (if t)
HM Header margin next page 1i
FM Footer margin next page 1i
FF Footnote format next .FS 0 (1, 2, 3 available)
When resetting these values, make sure to specify the appropriate
units. Setting the line length to 7, for example, results in output
with one character per line. Setting FF to 1 suppresses footnote
superscripting; setting it to 2 also suppresses indentation of the
first line; and setting it to 3 produces an .IP-like footnote para‐
Here is a list of string registers available in they can be used any‐
where in the text:
Name String's Function
\*Q Quote (" in nroff, `` in *roff )
\*U Unquote (" in nroff, '' in *roff )
\*- Dash (-- in nroff, — in *roff )
\*(MO Month (month of the year)
\*(DY Day (current date)
\** Automatically numbered footnote
\*´ Acute accent (before letter)
\*` Grave accent (before letter)
\*^ Circumflex (before letter)
\*, Cedilla (before letter)
\*: Umlaut (before letter)
\*~ Tilde (before letter)
When using the extended accent mark definitions available with .AM,
these strings should come after, rather than before, the letter to be
Floating keeps and regular keeps are diverted to the same space, so
they cannot be mixed together with predictable results.
FilesSee Alsorefer(1), tbl(1)ms(7)