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Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022

grops (1)


grops - PostScript driver for groff


grops [-glmv] [-b n] [-c n] [-F dir] [-I dir] [-p papersize]
[-P prologue] [-w n] [files ...]


GROPS(1)                    General Commands Manual                   GROPS(1)

       grops - PostScript driver for groff

       grops [-glmv] [-b n] [-c n] [-F dir] [-I dir] [-p papersize]
             [-P prologue] [-w n] [files ...]

       grops 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  reads  the standard input.  A filename of - also causes 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 groff's -P option.

       Note that grops doesn't produce a valid document structure  (conforming
       to  the  Document  Structuring Convention) if called with multiple file
       arguments.  To print such concatenated output it is necessary to  deac-
       tivate  DSC handling in the printing program or previewer.  See section
       FONT INSTALLATION below for a guide how to install fonts for grops.

       It is possible to have whitespace between a command line option and its

       -bn    Provide  workarounds  for  older  printers, broken spoolers, and
              previewers.  Normally grops produces output at  PostScript  Lan-
              guageLevel  2  that conforms to the Document Structuring Conven-
              tions version 3.0.  Some older printers, spoolers, and  preview-
              ers  can't  handle  such  output.   The value of n controls what
              grops does to make its output acceptable to  such  programs.   A
              value of 0 causes grops not to employ any workarounds.

              Add 1 if no %%BeginDocumentSetup and %%EndDocumentSetup comments
              should be generated; this is needed for early versions of  Tran-
              Script  that  get  confused  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 %%EndDocument comments.

              Add 8 if the first line of the PostScript output 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.

              Add  16  if  no media size information should be included in the
              document (this is, neither  use  %%DocumentMedia  nor  the  set-
              pagedevice PostScript command).  This was the behaviour of groff
              version 1.18.1 and earlier; it  is  needed  for  older  printers
              which  don't  understand PostScript LanguageLevel 2.  It is also
              necessary if the output is further processed to get an  encapsu-
              lated PS (EPS) file - see below.

              The default value can be specified by a

                     broken n

              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  is  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 (8.5x11) paper and on A4 paper without change.

       -Idir  This  option  may  be used to add a directory to the search path
              for files on the command line and files named in \X'ps:  import'
              and  \X'ps:  file' escapes.  The search path is initialized with
              the current directory.  This option may be specified  more  than
              once;  the  directories are then searched in the order specified
              (but before the current directory).  If you  want  to  make  the
              current  directory  be read before other directories, add -I. at
              the appropriate place.

              No directory search is performed for files with an absolute file

       -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, paperlength, and  paperwidth  commands  in  the  DESC
              file;  it  accepts  the same arguments as the papersize command.
              See groff_font (5) for details.

              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
              0.04 em.

       -v     Print the version number.

       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 resolution must be an integer  mul-
       tiple  of  72  times the sizescale.  The ps device uses a resolution of
       72000 and a sizescale of 1000.

       The device description file  must  contain  a  valid  paper  size;  see
       groff_font(5) for more information.

       Each font description file must contain a command

              internalname psname

       which says that the PostScript name of the font is psname.  It may also
       contain a command

              encoding enc_file

       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:

              pschar code

       where pschar is the PostScript name of the character, and code  is  its
       position  in  the encoding expressed as a decimal integer; valid values
       are in the range 0 to 255.  Lines starting with # and blank  lines  are
       ignored.   The code for each character given in the font file must cor-
       respond 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  Post-
       Script  font,  and  the  widths  given  in the font file must match the
       widths used in the PostScript font.  grops  assumes  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.

       Note that grops is able to display all glyphs in a PostScript font, not
       only 256.  enc_file (or the default encoding if no encoding file speci-
       fied)  just  defines  the order of glyphs for the first 256 characters;
       all other glyphs are accessed with additional  encoding  vectors  which
       grops produces on the fly.

       grops  can  automatically  include  the downloadable fonts necessary to
       print the document.  Such fonts must be in PFA format.  Use  pfbtops(1)
       to  convert  a Type 1 font in PFB format.  Any downloadable fonts which
       should, when required, be included by grops must be listed in the  file
       /usr/share/groff/1.22.3/font/devps/download;  this  should  consist  of
       lines of the form

              font filename

       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  is
       searched  for using the same mechanism that is used for groff font met-
       ric files.  The download file itself is also searched  for  using  this
       mechanism;  currently,  only  the  first found file in the font path is

       If the file containing a downloadable font or  imported  document  con-
       forms  to the Adobe Document Structuring Conventions, then grops inter-
       prets any comments in the files sufficiently to  ensure  that  its  own
       output  is conforming.  It also supplies 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 Garamond
       (typically it would be defined to copy Garamond's font dictionary,  and
       change  the  PaintType),  then  it  is necessary for Garamond to appear
       before Garamond-Outline in the PostScript document.  grops handles 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 following

              %!PS-Adobe-3.0 Resource-Font
              %%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 does not interpret  %%DocumentFonts  comments.   The  %%Document-
       NeededResources,     %%DocumentSuppliedResources,    %%IncludeResource,
       %%BeginResource,  and  %%EndResource  comments  (or  possibly  the  old
       %%DocumentNeededFonts, %%DocumentSuppliedFonts, %%IncludeFont, %%Begin-
       Font, and %%EndFont comments) should be used.

       In the default setup 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:

              AR     AvantGarde-Book
              AI     AvantGarde-BookOblique
              AB     AvantGarde-Demi
              ABI    AvantGarde-DemiOblique
              BMR    Bookman-Light
              BMI    Bookman-LightItalic
              BMB    Bookman-Demi
              BMBI   Bookman-DemiItalic
              CR     Courier
              CI     Courier-Oblique
              CB     Courier-Bold
              CBI    Courier-BoldOblique
              HR     Helvetica
              HI     Helvetica-Oblique
              HB     Helvetica-Bold
              HBI    Helvetica-BoldOblique
              HNR    Helvetica-Narrow
              HNI    Helvetica-Narrow-Oblique
              HNB    Helvetica-Narrow-Bold
              HNBI   Helvetica-Narrow-BoldOblique
              NR     NewCenturySchlbk-Roman
              NI     NewCenturySchlbk-Italic
              NB     NewCenturySchlbk-Bold
              NBI    NewCenturySchlbk-BoldItalic
              PR     Palatino-Roman
              PI     Palatino-Italic
              PB     Palatino-Bold
              PBI    Palatino-BoldItalic
              TR     Times-Roman
              TI     Times-Italic
              TB     Times-Bold
              TBI    Times-BoldItalic

       There is also the following font which is not a member of a family:

              ZCMI   ZapfChancery-MediumItalic

       There are also some special fonts called S for the PS Symbol font,  and
       SS,  containing  slanted  lowercase Greek letters taken from PS Symbol.
       Zapf Dingbats is available as ZD, and a reversed version  of  ZapfDing-
       bats  (with symbols pointing in the opposite direction) is available as
       ZDR; most characters 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.  Note that setcmykcolor is a PostScript
       LanguageLevel 2 command and thus not available on some older printers.

       grops understands various X  commands  produced  using  the  \X  escape
       sequence; grops only interprets commands that begin with a ps: tag.

       \X'ps: exec code'
              This  executes  the  arbitrary PostScript commands in code.  The
              PostScript currentpoint is set to the position of the \X command
              before  executing code.  The origin is at the top left corner of
              the page, and y coordinates increase down the  page.   A  proce-
              dure  u  is  defined that converts groff units to the coordinate
              system in effect (provided the user doesn't change  the  scale).
              For example,

                     .nr x 1i
                     \X'ps: exec \nx u 0 rlineto stroke'

              draws a horizontal line one inch long.  code may make changes to
              the graphics state, but any changes persist only to the  end  of
              the  page.  A dictionary containing the definitions specified by
              the def and mdef is 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  definitions  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
                     .de y
                     ps: exec
                     \nx u 0 rlineto

              is  another  way  to draw a horizontal line one inch long.  Note
              the single backslash before `nx' - the only reason to use a num-
              ber  register while defining the macro `y' is to convert a user-
              specified dimension `1i' to internal groff units  which  are  in
              turn converted to PS units with the u procedure.

              grops  wraps  user-specified  PostScript code into a dictionary,
              nothing more.  In particular,  it  doesn't  start  and  end  the
              inserted code with save and restore, respectively.  This must be
              supplied by the user, if necessary.

       \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
              contain them.

       \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

              The graphic is 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 is 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 complies with the Adobe Document Struc-
              turing Conventions and contains a  %%BoundingBox  comment,  then
              the  bounding  box  can  be  automatically extracted from within
              groff by using the psbb request.

              See groff_tmac(5) for a description of  the  PSPIC  macro  which
              provides  a  convenient  high-level  interface  for inclusion of
              PostScript graphics.

       \X'ps: invis'
       \X'ps: endinvis'
              No output is generated for text and drawing  commands  that  are
              bracketed  with  these \X commands.  These commands are intended
              for use when output from troff is previewed  before  being  pro-
              cessed with grops; if the previewer is unable to display certain
              characters or other constructs, then other substitute 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''\
                     \X'ps: endinvis'\(em

              In this case, gxditview is unable to display the \(em  character
              and  draws the line, whereas grops prints the \(em character and
              ignores the line (this code is already in file Xps.tmac which is
              loaded  if  a  document  intended  for  grops  is previewed with

       If a PostScript procedure BPhook has been defined via  a  `ps: def'  or
       `ps: mdef'  device  command,  it  is executed at the beginning of every
       page (before anything is drawn or written by groff).  For  example,  to
       underlay  the  page  contents  with the word `DRAFT' in light gray, you
       might use

              .de XX
              ps: def
              { gsave .9 setgray clippath pathbbox exch 2 copy
                .5 mul exch .5 mul translate atan rotate pop pop
                /NewCenturySchlbk-Roman findfont 200 scalefont setfont
                (DRAFT) dup stringwidth pop -.5 mul -70 moveto show
                grestore }
              .devicem XX

       Or, to cause lines and polygons to be drawn with  square  linecaps  and
       mitered  linejoins instead of the round linecaps and linejoins normally
       used by grops, use

              .de XX
              ps: def
              /BPhook { 2 setlinecap 0 setlinejoin } def
              .devicem XX

       (square linecaps, as opposed to butt linecaps (0 setlinecap), give true
       corners in boxed tables even though the lines are drawn unconnected).

   Encapsulated PostScript
       grops  itself  doesn't emit bounding box information.  With the help of
       Ghostscript the following simple script, groff2eps, produces an  encap-
       sulated PS file.

              #! /bin/sh
              groff -P-b16 $1 > $1.ps
              gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=bbox -- $1.ps 2> $1.bbox
              sed -e "/^%%Orientation/r $1.bbox" \
                  -e "/^%!PS-Adobe-3.0/s/$/ EPSF-3.0/" $1.ps > $1.eps
              rm $1.ps $1.bbox

       Just say

              groff2eps foo

       to convert file foo to foo.eps.

   TrueType and other font formats
       TrueType  fonts  can  be  used with grops if converted first to Type 42
       format, a special PostScript wrapper equivalent to the PFA format  men-
       tioned  in pfbtops(1).  There are several different methods to generate
       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(1).  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  ftp://www.giga.or.at/pub/nih/ttftot42/

       Another  solution  for  creating  type42  wrappers is to use FontForge,
       available from http://fontforge.sf.net <http://fontforge.sf.net>.  This
       font editor can convert most outline font formats.

       This section gives a summary of the above explanations; it can serve as
       a step-by-step font installation guide for grops.

        o  Convert your font to something groff understands.  This is either a
           PostScript  Type 1 font in PFA format or a PostScript Type 42 font,
           together with an AFM file.

           The very first characters in a PFA file look like this:


           A PFB file has this also in the first line, but the string is  pre-
           ceded with some binary bytes.

           The very first characters in a Type 42 font file look like this:


           This is a wrapper format for TrueType fonts.  Old PS printers might
           not support it (this is, they don't have a built-in  TrueType  font

           If  your  font is in PFB format (such fonts normally have `.pfb' as
           the file extension), you might use groff's  pfbtops(1)  program  to
           convert  it to PFA.  For TrueType fonts, try ttftot42 or fontforge.
           For all other font formats use fontforge  which  can  convert  most
           outline font formats.

        o  Convert  the  AFM  file  to  a groff font description file with the
           afmtodit(1) program.  An example call is

                  afmtodit Foo-Bar-Bold.afm textmap FBB

           which converts the metric file `Foo-Bar-Bold.afm' to the groff font
           `FBB'.   If  you  have a font family which comes with normal, bold,
           italic, and bold italic faces, it is recommended to use the letters
           R, B, I, and BI, respectively, as postfixes in the groff font names
           to make groff's `.fam' request work.  An example is groff's  built-
           in  Times-Roman font: The font family name is T, and the groff font
           names are TR, TB, TI, and TBI.

        o  Install both the groff font description files and the  fonts  in  a
           `devps'  subdirectory  of the font path which groff finds.  See the
           ENVIRONMENT section in the troff(1) man page which lists the actual
           value  of the font path.  Note that groff doesn't use the AFM files
           (but it is a good idea to store them anyway).

        o  Register all fonts which must be downloaded to the printer  in  the
           `devps/download'  file.   Only the first occurrence of this file in
           the font path is read.  This means that you should copy the default
           `download'  file  to  the first directory in your font path and add
           your fonts there.  To continue the above example we assume that the
           PS font name for Foo-Bar-Bold.pfa is `XY-Foo-Bar-Bold' (the PS font
           name is stored in the internalname field in the `FBB'  file),  thus
           the following line should be added to 'download'.

                  XY-Foo-Bar-Bold Foo-Bar-Bold.pfa

       groff  versions  1.19.2 and earlier contain a slightly different set of
       the 35 Adobe core fonts; the difference  is  mainly  the  lack  of  the
       `Euro' glyph and a reduced set of kerning pairs.  For backwards compat-
       ibility, these old fonts are installed also in the



       To use them, make sure that grops finds the fonts  before  the  default
       system  fonts  (with the same names): Either add command line option -F
       to grops

              groff -Tps -P-F -P/usr/share/groff/1.22.3/oldfont ...

       or add the directory to groff's font path environment variable


              If this is set to foo, then grops uses the file foo (in the font
              path) instead of the default prologue file prologue.  The option
              -P overrides this environment variable.

              A list of directories in which to search for the devname  direc-
              tory  in  addition  to  the  default  ones.   See  troff(1)  and
              groff_font(5) for more details.

              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').

              Temporary  file.   See  groff(1)  for details on the location of
              temporary files.

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | text/groff/groff-core |
       |Stability      | Uncommitted           |

       afmtodit(1),    groff(1),    troff(1),    pfbtops(1),     groff_out(5),
       groff_font(5), groff_char(7), groff_tmac(5)

       PostScript  Language  Document  Structuring  Conventions  Specification

       Copyright (C) 1989-2014 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim  copies  of  this
       manual  provided  the  copyright  notice and this permission notice are
       preserved on all copies.

       Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of  this
       manual  under  the  conditions  for verbatim copying, provided that the
       entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a  per-
       mission notice identical to this one.

       Permission  is granted to copy and distribute translations of this man-
       ual into another language, under the above conditions for modified ver-
       sions,  except  that this permission notice may be included in transla-
       tions approved by the Free Software Foundation instead of in the origi-
       nal English.

       Source  code  for open source software components in Oracle Solaris can
       be found at https://www.oracle.com/downloads/opensource/solaris-source-

       This     software     was    built    from    source    available    at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.   The  original   community
       source                was                downloaded                from

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at https://www.gnu.org/software/groff.

Groff Version 1.22.3            4 November 2014                       GROPS(1)