TROFF(1) General Commands Manual TROFF(1)
troff - typeset or format documents
troff [ -abfiqtwz ] [ -mpackage ] [ -nN ] [ -opagelist ]
[ -pN ] [ -raN ] [ -sN ] [ filenames ] ...
This command is available with the Text software installation option.
Refer to for information on how to install optional software.
troff formats text in the filenames. For historical reasons, output
goes to a CAT/4 phototypesetter attached to /dev/cat, but nobody uses a
CAT/4 anymore. Ordinarily, postprocessing software converts output to
a form that can be printed on newer typesetters or laser printers.
Default font width tables correspond to Times Roman on PostScript
printers. See also the nroff(1) manual page, which describes a format-
ter for typewriter-like devices.
Input to troff is expected to consist of text interspersed with format-
ting requests and macros. If no filename argument is present, troff
reads standard input. A `-' as a filename argument indicates that
standard input is to be read at that point in the list of input files;
troff reads the files named ahead of the `-' in the arguments list,
then text from the standard input, and then text from the files named
after the `-'.
If the file /etc/adm/tracct is writable, troff keeps printer accounting
records there. The integrity of that file may be secured by making
troff a "set-user-ID" program (see chmod(1V) for details on the setuid
Options may appear in any order, but they all must appear before the
-a Send a printable ASCII approximation of the results to
the standard output.
-i Read the standard input after the input files are
-q Disable echoing during a .rd request.
-t Direct output to the standard output instead of the
printer. Since this output is non-ASCII it is generally
redirected to lpr -t.
Prepend the macro file /usr/lib/tmac/tmac.package to the
input filenames. (Note that most references to macro
packages include the leading "m" as part of the name; the
man(7) macro package resides in /usr/lib/tmac/tmac.an).
-nN Number first generated page N.
-olist Print only pages whose page numbers appear in the comma-
separated list of numbers and ranges. 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.
-raN Set register a (one-character) to N.
Some options of troff only apply if you have a CAT/4 typesetter
attached to your system. These options remain present for backward
compatibility. However, this version of troff does not support this
typesetter by default.
-b Report whether the typesetter is busy or available. No
text processing is done.
-f Refrain from feeding paper out and stopping at the end of
the print job on the typesetter.
-w Wait until typesetter is available, if currently busy.
-z Suppress all formatted output. Display only terminal
messages produced by .tm requests and diagnostics.
-pN Print all characters in point size N while retaining all
prescribed spacings and motions, to reduce elapsed time
on the typesetter.
-sN Stop the phototypesetter every N pages. troff produces a
trailer so you can change cassettes; resume by pressing
the typesetter's start button.
/tmp/ta* temporary file
standard macro files
/usr/lib/term/* terminal driving tables for nroff
/usr/lib/font/* font width tables for alternate mounted troff fonts
/etc/adm/tracct accounting statistics for /dev/cat
checknr(1), chmod(1V), col(1V), eqn(1), lpr(1), nroff(1), tbl(1),
printcap(5), man(7), me(7), ms(7), lpd(8)
No /dev/cat: try -t or -a
The CAT/4 typesetter is not accessible from your machine. Com-
bine the -t option of troff with the -t option of lpr(1) to get
output on a laser printer or typesetter. For information on how
to inform lpd(8) of a PostScript printer attached to a remote
host, see printcap(5).
troff is not 8-bit clean because it is by design based on 7-bit ASCII.
21 December 1987 TROFF(1)