nroff - format text
nroff [options] file ...
nroff is a text formatting program that interprets source text
contained in file and prepares it for printing on typewriter-like
devices and line printers. If file name is - or not specified,
standard input is used as source text.
If the file contains plain text with no formatter requests, nroff uses
default line lengths and page dimensions to produce readable output,
outputting a blank line for each blank line encountered in the input,
and filling and adjusting text to both margins. nroff ignores any
lines in the source text that begin with a period (.) but are not
valid nroff formatter requests.
nroff formatting capabilities are described in the tutorial cited
Source File Preparation
Document source file preparation is usually easier when text is coded
using macro packages such as mm(1) which provide a high-level
interface for headings, page footers, lists, and other features,
rather than coding the file with inherently low-level nroff requests.
nroff recognizes the following command-line options, which can appear
in any order but must appear before the file argument:
-olist Print only pages whose page numbers appear in the
list of numbers and ranges, separated by commas.
A range n-m means pages n through m; an initial -n
means from the beginning to page n; and a final n-
means from n to the end. (See WARNINGS below.)
-nn Number first generated page n.
-sn Stop every n pages. nroff halts after every n
pages (default n=1) to allow paper loading or
changing, and resumes upon receipt of a line-feed
or new-line (new-lines do not work in pipelines,
such as with mm). When nroff halts between pages,
an ASCII BEL is sent to the terminal.
-raN Set register a (which must have a one-character
name) to N.
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-i Read standard input after files are exhausted.
-q Invoke the simultaneous input-output mode of the
-z Print only messages generated by .tm (terminal
-mname Precede the input files with the non-compiled (
ASCII text) macro file
where LANG is the value of the LANG environment
variable. If LANG is not set or
does not exist, the following file is used
-Tname Prepare output for specified terminal. Known
names are as follows:
37 for the (default) TELETYPE Model 37
tn300 for the GE TermiNet 300 (or any
terminal without half-line
300s for the DASI 300s
300 for the DASI 300
450 for the DASI 450
lp for a (generic) ASCII line printer
382 for the DTC-382
4000A for the Trendata 4000A
832 for the Anderson Jacobson 832
X for a (generic) EBCDIC printer
2631 for the Hewlett-Packard 2631 line
klp for a (generic) 16-bit character
printer having ratio of 2 to 3 in 8-
bit and 16-bit character width
lj for Hewlett-Packard PCL3 and newer
-e Produce equally-spaced words in adjusted lines,
using the full resolution of the particular
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-h Use output tabs during horizontal spacing to speed
output and reduce output character count. Tab
settings are assumed to be every eight nominal
-un Set the emboldening factor (number of character
overstrikes) for the third font position (bold) to
n, or to zero if n is missing.
-P If this option is specified on the command line,
it allows the use of the special feature provided
by some Asian printers which prints two column
wide characters in 3/2 column wide boxes.
LC_CTYPE determines the interpretation of text as single and/or
LANG is used to determine the search path for the -m option. LANG
also determines the language in which messages are displayed.
If LC_CTYPE is not specified in the environment or is set to the empty
string, the value of LANG is used as a default for each unspecified or
empty variable. If LANG is not specified or is set to the empty
string, a default of "C" (see lang(5)) is used instead of LANG. If
any internationalization variable contains an invalid setting, nroff
behaves as if all internationalization variables are set to "C". See
The following command prints the first five pages of the document
whose nroff source file is filename:
nroff -o-5 filename
Note that there should not be a space between the o and the - or the -
and the 5.
To print only pages 1, 3, and 4 type:
nroff -o1,3,4 filename
When nroff is used with the -olist option inside a pipeline, it may
cause a harmless "broken pipe" diagnostic if the last page of the
document is not specified in list.
/usr/share/lib/macros/* Standard macro files
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/usr/share/lib/term/* Terminal driving tables for
/usr/share/lib/suftab Suffix hyphenation tables
/usr/share/lib/tmac/tmac.* Standard macro files and
col(1), mm(1), neqn(1), soelim(1), ul(1), man(5).
nroff/troff tutorial in the Text Formatting Users Guide.
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