unixdev.net


Switch to SpeakEasy.net DSL

The Modular Manual Browser

Home Page
Manual: (NetBSD-6.1.5)
Page:
Section:
Apropos / Subsearch:
optional field

TBL(7)                 Miscellaneous Information Manual                 TBL(7)

NAME
     tbl -- tbl language reference for mandoc

DESCRIPTION
     The tbl language is a table-formatting language.  It is used within
     mdoc(7) and man(7) UNIX manual pages.  This manual describes the subset
     of the tbl language accepted by the mandoc(1) utility.

     Tables within mdoc(7) or man(7) are enclosed by the `TS' and `TE' macro
     tags, whose precise syntax is documented in roff(7).  Tables consist of a
     series of options on a single line, followed by the table layout,
     followed by data.

     For example, the following creates a boxed table with digits centred in
     the cells.

           .TS
           tab(:) box;
           c5 c5 c5.
           1:2:3
           4:5:6
           .TE

     When formatted, the following output is produced:

           +----------+
           |1   2   3 |
           |4   5   6 |
           +----------+

     The tbl implementation in mandoc(1) is currently under development.

TABLE STRUCTURE
     Tables are enclosed by the `TS' and `TE' roff(7) macros.  A table
     consists of an optional single line of table Options terminated by a
     semicolon, followed by one or more lines of Layout specifications
     terminated by a period, then Data.  All input must be 7-bit ASCII.
     Example:

           .TS
           box tab(:);
           c | c
           | c | c.
           1:2
           3:4
           .TE

     Table data is pre-processed, that is, data rows are parsed then inserted
     into the underlying stream of input data.  This allows data rows to be
     interspersed by arbitrary roff(7), mdoc(7), and man(7) macros such as

           .TS
           tab(:);
           c c c.
           1:2:3
           .Ao
           3:2:1
           .Ac
           .TE

     in the case of mdoc(7) or

           .TS
           tab(:);
           c c c.
           .ds ab 2
           1:\*(ab:3
           .I
           3:2:1
           .TE

     in the case of man(7).

   Options
     The first line of a table consists of space-separated option keys and
     modifiers terminated by a semicolon.  If the first line does not have a
     terminating semicolon, it is assumed that no options are specified and
     instead a Layout is processed.  Some options accept arguments enclosed by
     parenthesis.  The following case-insensitive options are available:

     center  This option is not supported by mandoc(1).  This may also be
             invoked with centre.

     delim   Accepts a two-character argument.  This option is not supported
             by mandoc(1).

     expand  This option is not supported by mandoc(1).

     box     Draw a single-line box around the table.  This may also be
             invoked with frame.

     doublebox
             Draw a double-line box around the table.  This may also be
             invoked with doubleframe.

     allbox  This option is not supported by mandoc(1).

     tab     Accepts a single-character argument.  This character is used as a
             delimiter between data cells, which otherwise defaults to the tab
             character.

     linesize
             Accepts a natural number (all digits).  This option is not
             supported by mandoc(1).

     nokeep  This option is not supported by mandoc(1).

     decimalpoint
             Accepts a single-character argument.  This character will be used
             as the decimal point with the n layout key.

     nospaces
             This option is not supported by mandoc(1).

   Layout
     The table layout follows Options or a `T&' macro invocation.  Layout
     specifies how data rows are displayed on output.  Each layout line
     corresponds to a line of data; the last layout line applies to all
     remaining data lines.  Layout lines may also be separated by a comma.
     Each layout cell consists of one of the following case-insensitive keys:

     c       Centre a literal string within its column.

     r       Right-justify a literal string within its column.

     l       Left-justify a literal string within its column.

     n       Justify a number around its last decimal point.  If the decimal
             point is not found on the number, it's assumed to trail the
             number.

     s       Horizontally span columns from the last non-s data cell.  It is
             an error if spanning columns follow a - or | cell, or come first.
             This option is not supported by mandoc(1).

     a       Left-justify a literal string and pad with one space.

     ^       Vertically span rows from the last non-^ data cell.  It is an
             error to invoke a vertical span on the first layout row.  Unlike
             a horizontal spanner, you must specify an empty cell (if it not
             empty, the data is discarded) in the corresponding data cell.

     -       Replace the data cell (its contents will be lost) with a single
             horizontal line.  This may also be invoked with _.

     =       Replace the data cell (its contents will be lost) with a double
             horizontal line.

     |       Emit a vertical bar instead of data.

     ||      Emit a double-vertical bar instead of data.

     Keys may be followed by a set of modifiers.  A modifier is either a
     modifier key or a natural number for specifying the minimum width of a
     column.  The following case-insensitive modifier keys are available: z,
     u, e, t, d, b, i, r, and f (followed by b, i, r, 3, 2, or 1).  All of
     these are ignored by mandoc(1).

     For example, the following layout specifies a centre-justified column of
     minimum width 10, followed by vertical bar, followed by a left-justified
     column of minimum width 10, another vertical bar, then a column justified
     about the decimal point in numbers:

           c10 | l10 | n

   Data
     The data section follows the last layout row.  By default, cells in a
     data section are delimited by a tab.  This behaviour may be changed with
     the tab option.  If _ or = is specified, a single or double line,
     respectively, is drawn across the data field.  If \- or \= is specified,
     a line is drawn within the data field (i.e. terminating within the cell
     and not draw to the border).  If the last cell of a line is T{, all
     subsequent lines are included as part of the cell until T} is specified
     as its own data cell.  It may then be followed by a tab (or as designated
     by tab) or an end-of-line to terminate the row.

COMPATIBILITY
     This section documents compatibility between mandoc and other tbl
     implementations, at this time limited to GNU tbl.

     -   In GNU tbl, comments and macros are disallowed prior to the data
         block of a table.  The mandoc(1) implementation allows them.

SEE ALSO
     mandoc(1), man(7), mandoc_char(7), mdoc(7), roff(7)

     M. E. Lesk, Tbl--A Program to Format Tables, June 11, 1976.

HISTORY
     The tbl utility, a preprocessor for troff, was originally written by M.
     E. Lesk at Bell Labs in 1975.  The GNU reimplementation of tbl, part of
     the groff package, was released in 1990 by James Clark.  A standalone tbl
     implementation was written by Kristaps Dzonsons in 2010.  This formed the
     basis of the implementation that is part of the mandoc(1) utility.

AUTHORS
     This tbl reference was written by Kristaps Dzonsons, kristaps@bsd.lv.

NetBSD 6.1.5                   September 3, 2011                  NetBSD 6.1.5