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groff_ms (7)


groff_ms - groff ms macros


groff -ms [ options... ] [ files... ]
groff -m ms [ options... ] [ files... ]


Miscellaneous Information Manual                                   GROFF_MS(7)

       groff_ms - groff ms macros

       groff -ms [ options... ] [ files... ]
       groff -m ms [ options... ] [ files... ]

       This  manual  page  describes the GNU version of the ms macros, part of
       the groff typesetting system.  The ms macros are mostly compatible with
       the  documented behavior of the 4.3 BSD Unix ms macros (see Differences
       from troff ms below for details).   The  ms  macros  are  suitable  for
       reports, letters, books, and technical documentation.

       The  ms  macro package expects files to have a certain amount of struc-
       ture.  The simplest documents can begin with a paragraph macro and con-
       sist of text separated by paragraph macros or even blank lines.  Longer
       documents have a structure as follows:

       Document type
              If you use the RP (report) macro at the beginning of  the  docu-
              ment,  groff  prints the cover page information on its own page;
              otherwise it prints the information on the first page with  your
              document  text  immediately  following.   Other document formats
              found in AT&T troff are specific to AT&T or  Berkeley,  and  are
              not supported in groff ms.

       Format and layout
              By setting number registers, you can change your document's type
              (font and size), margins,  spacing,  headers  and  footers,  and
              footnotes.   See  Document  control  registers  below  for  more

       Cover page
              A cover page consists of a title, and  optionally  the  author's
              name and institution, an abstract, and the date.  See Cover page
              macros below for more details.

       Body   Following the cover page is your document.  It consists of para-
              graphs, headings, and lists.

       Table of contents
              Longer  documents usually include a table of contents, which you
              can add by placing the TC macro at the end of your document.

   Document control registers
       The following table lists the document control number  registers.   For
       the sake of consistency, set registers related to margins at the begin-
       ning of your document, or just after the RP macro.

       Margin settings

              Reg.          Definition             Effective      Default
              PO     Page offset (left margin)   next page        1i
              LL     Line length                 next paragraph   6i
              LT     Header/footer length        next paragraph   6i
              HM     Top (header) margin         next page        1i
              FM     Bottom (footer) margin      next page        1i

       Text settings

               Reg.             Definition              Effective      Default
              PS       Point size                     next paragraph   10p
              VS       Line spacing (leading)         next paragraph   12p
              PSINCR   Point size increment for       next heading     1p
                       section headings of increas-
                       ing importance
              GROWPS   Heading level beyond which     next heading     0
                       PSINCR is ignored

       Paragraph settings

                Reg.             Definition             Effective      Default
              PI         Initial indent               next paragraph   5n
              PD         Space between paragraphs     next paragraph   0.3v
              QI         Quoted paragraph indent      next paragraph   5n
              PORPHANS   Number of initial lines to   next paragraph   1
                         be kept together
              HORPHANS   Number of initial lines to   next heading     1
                         be kept with heading

       Footnote settings

              Reg.     Definition        Effective      Default
              FL     Footnote length   next footnote   \n[LL]*5/6
              FI     Footnote indent   next footnote   2n
              FF     Footnote format   next footnote   0
              FPS    Point size        next footnote   \n[PS]-2
              FVS    Vert. spacing     next footnote   \n[FPS]+2
              FPD    Para. spacing     next footnote   \n[PD]/2

       Other settings

              Reg.               Definition              Effective    Default
              DD      Display, table, eqn, pic spacing   next para.   0.5v
              MINGW   Minimum width between columns      next page    2n

   Cover page macros
       Use  the  following  macros to create a cover page for your document in
       the order shown.

       .RP [no]
              Specifies the report format for your document.  The report  for-
              mat  creates  a  separate  cover  page.  With no RP macro, groff
              prints a subset of the cover page on page 1 of your document.

              If you use the optional no argument, groff prints a  title  page
              but  does  not  repeat any of the title page information (title,
              author, abstract, etc.) on page 1 of the document.

       .P1    (P-one) Prints the header on page 1.  The default is to suppress
              the header.

       .DA [xxx]
              (optional) Print the current date, or the arguments to the macro
              if any, on the title page (if specified)  and  in  the  footers.
              This is the default for nroff.

       .ND [xxx]
              (optional) Print the current date, or the arguments to the macro
              if any, on the title page (if specified) but not in the footers.
              This is the default for troff.

       .TL    Specifies the document title.  Groff collects text following the
              TL macro into the title,  until  reaching  the  author  name  or

       .AU    Specifies  the  author's name.  You can specify multiple authors
              by using an AU macro for each author.

       .AI    Specifies the author's institution.  You  can  specify  multiple

       .AB [no]
              Begins the abstract.  The default is to print the word ABSTRACT,
              centered and in italics, above the text of  the  abstract.   The
              option no suppresses this heading.

       .AE    End the abstract.

       Use  the  PP  macro  to create indented paragraphs, and the LP macro to
       create paragraphs with no initial indent.

       The QP macro indents all text at both  left  and  right  margins.   The
       effect  is  identical  to  the  HTML <BLOCKQUOTE> The next paragraph or
       heading returns margins to normal.

       The XP macro produces an exdented paragraph.  The  first  line  of  the
       paragraph  begins at the left margin, and subsequent lines are indented
       (the opposite of PP).

       For each of the above paragraph types, and  also  for  any  list  entry
       introduced by the IP macro (described later), the document control reg-
       ister PORPHANS, sets the minimum number of lines which must be printed,
       after the start of the paragraph, and before any page break occurs.  If
       there is insufficient space remaining on the current page  to  accommo-
       date this number of lines, then a page break is forced before the first
       line of the paragraph is printed.

       Similarly, when a section heading (see subsection Headings below)  pre-
       cedes  any of these paragraph types, the HORPHANS document control reg-
       ister specifies the minimum number of lines of the paragraph which must
       be kept on the same page as the heading.  If insufficient space remains
       on the current page to accommodate the heading and this number of lines
       of  paragraph  text,  then a page break is forced before the heading is

       Use headings to create a hierarchical structure for your document.   By
       default,  the ms macros print headings in bold using the same font fam-
       ily and point size as the body text.  For output devices which  support
       scalable  fonts,  this behaviour may be modified, by defining the docu-
       ment control registers, GROWPS and PSINCR.

       The following heading macros are available:

       .NH xx Numbered heading.  The argument xx is either a numeric  argument
              to  indicate  the level of the heading, or S xx xx "..."  to set
              the section number explicitly.  If you  specify  heading  levels
              out  of  sequence,  such  as  invoking  .NH 3 after .NH 1, groff
              prints a warning on standard error.

              If the GROWPS register is set to a value greater than the  level
              of  the  heading,  then  the  point  size of the heading will be
              increased by PSINCR units over the text size specified by the PS
              register, for each level by which the heading level is less than
              the value of GROWPS.  For example, the sequence:

                     .nr PS 10
                     .nr GROWPS 3
                     .nr PSINCR 1.5p
                     .NH 1
                     Top Level Heading
                     .NH 2
                     Second Level Heading
                     .NH 3
                     Third Level Heading

              will cause "1. Top Level Heading" to be  printed  in  13pt  bold
              text,  followed  by  "1.1. Second Level Heading"  in 11.5pt bold
              text, while "1.1.1. Third Level Heading", and  all  more  deeply
              nested  heading  levels, will remain in the 10pt bold text which
              is specified by the PS register.

              Note that the value stored in PSINCR  is  interpreted  in  groff
              basic  units;  the  p  scaling  factor  should be employed, when
              assigning a value specified in points.

              The style used to represent the section number,  within  a  num-
              bered heading, is controlled by the SN-STYLE string; this may be
              set to either the SN-DOT  or  the  SN-NO-DOT  style,  (described
              below),  by aliasing SN-STYLE accordingly.  By default, SN-STYLE
              is initialised by defining the alias

                     .als SN-STYLE SN-DOT

              it may be changed to  the  SN-NO-DOT  style,  if  preferred,  by
              defining the alternative alias

                     .als SN-STYLE SN-NO-DOT

              Any  such  change  becomes  effective with the first use of .NH,
              after the new alias is defined.

              After invoking .NH, the assigned heading number is available  in
              the  strings  SN-DOT  (as  it  appears in the default formatting
              style for numbered headings, with a terminating period following
              the  number),  and SN-NO-DOT (with this terminating period omit-
              ted).  The string SN is also defined, as an alias for SN-DOT; if
              preferred,  the  user may redefine it as an alias for SN-NO-DOT,
              by including the initialisation:

                     .als SN SN-NO-DOT

              at any time; the change becomes effective with the next  use  of
              .NH, after the new alias is defined.

       .SH [xx]
              Unnumbered subheading.  The use of the optional xx argument is a
              GNU extension, which adjusts the point size  of  the  unnumbered
              subheading to match that of a numbered heading, introduced using
              .NH xx with the same value of xx.  For example, given  the  same
              settings for PS, GROWPS and PSINCR, as used in the preceding .NH
              example, the sequence:

                     .SH 2
                     An Unnumbered Subheading

              will print "An Unnumbered Subheading" in 11.5pt bold text.

       The ms macros provide a variety of methods to  highlight  or  emphasize

       .B [txt [post [pre]]]
              Sets  its  first argument in bold type.  If you specify a second
              argument, groff prints it in the previous font  after  the  bold
              text, with no intervening space (this allows you to set punctua-
              tion after the highlighted text without highlighting the punctu-
              ation).  Similarly, it prints the third argument (if any) in the
              previous font before the first argument.  For example,

                     .B foo ) (

              prints (foo).

              If you give this macro no arguments, groff prints all text  fol-
              lowing  in bold until the next highlighting, paragraph, or head-
              ing macro.

       .R [txt [post [pre]]]
              Sets its first argument in roman (or regular) type.  It operates
              similarly to the B macro otherwise.

       .I [txt [post [pre]]]
              Sets  its  first argument in italic type.  It operates similarly
              to the B macro otherwise.

       .CW [txt [post [pre]]]
              Sets its first argument in a constant width face.   It  operates
              similarly to the B macro otherwise.

       .BI [txt [post [pre]]]
              Sets  its first argument in bold italic type.  It operates simi-
              larly to the B macro otherwise.

       .BX [txt]
              Prints its argument and draws a box around it.  If you  want  to
              box a string that contains spaces, use a digit-width space (\0).

       .UL [txt [post]]
              Prints  its  first argument with an underline.  If you specify a
              second argument, groff prints it in the previous font after  the
              underlined text, with no intervening space.

       .LG    Prints  all  text following in larger type (2 points larger than
              the current point size) until the next font size,  highlighting,
              paragraph,  or heading macro.  You can specify this macro multi-
              ple times to enlarge the point size as needed.

       .SM    Prints all text following in smaller type (2 points smaller than
              the  current point size) until the next type size, highlighting,
              paragraph, or heading macro.  You can specify this macro  multi-
              ple times to reduce the point size as needed.

       .NL    Prints all text following in the normal point size (that is, the
              value of the PS register).

              Print the enclosed text as a superscript.

       You may need to indent sections of text.  A typical use for indents  is
       to create nested lists and sublists.

       Use  the  RS and RE macros to start and end a section of indented text,
       respectively.  The PI register controls the amount of indent.

       You can nest indented sections as deeply as needed by  using  multiple,
       nested pairs of RS and RE.

       The IP macro handles duties for all lists.  Its syntax is as follows:

       .IP [marker [width]]

              The  marker  is  usually  a  bullet character \(bu for unordered
              lists, a number (or auto-incrementing number register) for  num-
              bered  lists,  or a word or phrase for indented (glossary-style)

              The width specifies the indent for the body of each  list  item.
              Once  specified,  the indent remains the same for all list items
              in the document until specified again.

   Tab stops
       Use the ta request to set tab stops as needed.  Use  the  TA  macro  to
       reset tabs to the default (every 5n).  You can redefine the TA macro to
       create a different set of default tab stops.

   Displays and keeps
       Use displays to show text-based examples or figures (such as code list-
       ings).   Displays  turn  off filling, so lines of code can be displayed
       as-is without inserting br requests in between each line.  Displays can
       be  kept  on a single page, or allowed to break across pages.  The fol-
       lowing table shows the display types available.

                   Display macro                    Type of display
                With keep      No keep
              .DS L            .LD       Left-justified.
              .DS I [indent]   .ID       Indented (default indent in the DI
              .DS B            .BD       Block-centered (left-justified, long-
                                         est line centered).
              .DS C            .CD       Centered.
              .DS R            .RD       Right-justified.

       Use the DE macro to end any display type.  The macros Ds  and  De  were
       formerly provided as aliases for DS and DE, respectively, but they have
       been removed, and should no longer be used.  X11 documents which  actu-
       ally  use Ds and De always load a specific macro file from the X11 dis-
       tribution (macros.t) which provides  proper  definitions  for  the  two

       To  keep  text together on a page, such as a paragraph that refers to a
       table (or list, or other item) immediately following, use the KS and KE
       macros.   The  KS  macro  begins a block of text to be kept on a single
       page, and the KE macro ends the block.

       You can specify a floating keep using the KF and  KE  macros.   If  the
       keep  cannot  fit  on the current page, groff holds the contents of the
       keep and allows text following the keep (in the source file) to fill in
       the remainder of the current page.  When the page breaks, whether by an
       explicit bp request or by reaching the end of the  page,  groff  prints
       the  floating  keep  at  the  top  of the new page.  This is useful for
       printing large graphics or tables that do not need  to  appear  exactly
       where specified.

       The  macros  B1  and B2 can be used to enclose a text within a box; .B1
       begins the box, and .B2 ends it.  Text  in  the  box  is  automatically
       placed in a diversion (keep).

   Tables, figures, equations, and references
       The -ms macros support the standard groff preprocessors: tbl, pic, eqn,
       and refer.  Mark text meant for preprocessors by enclosing it in  pairs
       of tags as follows:

       .TS [H] and .TE
              Denotes  a  table, to be processed by the tbl preprocessor.  The
              optional H argument instructs groff to create a  running  header
              with  the  information  up  to  the  TH macro.  Groff prints the
              header at the beginning of the table; if  the  table  runs  onto
              another page, groff prints the header on the next page as well.

       .PS and .PE
              Denotes a graphic, to be processed by the pic preprocessor.  You
              can create a pic file by hand, using the AT&T pic manual  avail-
              able  on  the Web as a reference, or by using a graphics program
              such as xfig.

       .EQ [align] and .EN
              Denotes an equation, to be processed by  the  eqn  preprocessor.
              The  optional  align  argument  can be C, L, or I to center (the
              default), left-justify, or indent the equation.

       .[ and .]
              Denotes a reference, to be processed by the refer  preprocessor.
              The  GNU refer(1) manual page provides a comprehensive reference
              to the preprocessor and the format of  the  bibliographic  data-

       The  ms  macros  provide a flexible footnote system.  You can specify a
       numbered footnote by using the \** escape, followed by the text of  the
       footnote enclosed by FS and FE macros.

       You  can specify symbolic footnotes by placing the mark character (such
       as \(dg for the dagger character) in the body  text,  followed  by  the
       text of the footnote enclosed by FS \(dg and FE macros.

       You can control how groff prints footnote numbers by changing the value
       of the FF register as follows:

              0      Prints the footnote number as a superscript; indents  the
                     footnote (default).

              1      Prints  the  number  followed  by  a period (like 1.) and
                     indents the footnote.

              2      Like 1, without an indent.

              3      Like 1, but prints the footnote number as a hanging para-

       You can use footnotes safely within keeps and displays, but avoid using
       numbered footnotes within floating keeps.  You can  set  a  second  \**
       between  a  \**  and  its corresponding .FS; as long as each .FS occurs
       after the corresponding \** and the occurrences of .FS are in the  same
       order as the corresponding occurrences of \**.

   Headers and footers
       There are three ways to define headers and footers:

       o  Use  the  strings  LH, CH, and RH to set the left, center, and right
          headers; use LF, CF, and RF to set the left, center, and right foot-
          ers.   This works best for documents that do not distinguish between
          odd and even pages.

       o  Use the OH and EH macros to define headers  for  the  odd  and  even
          pages;  and  OF and EF macros to define footers for the odd and even
          pages.  This is more flexible than defining the individual  strings.
          The syntax for these macros is as follows:

                 .OH 'left'center'right'

          You can replace the quote (') marks with any character not appearing
          in the header or footer text.

       You can also redefine the PT and BT macros to change  the  behavior  of
       the header and footer, respectively.  The header process also calls the
       (undefined) HD macro after PT ; you can define this macro if  you  need
       additional processing after printing the header (for example, to draw a
       line below the header).

       You control margins using a set of number registers.  The following ta-
       ble lists the register names and defaults:

              Reg.          Definition             Effective      Default
              PO     Page offset (left margin)   next page        1i
              LL     Line length                 next paragraph   6i
              LT     Header/footer length        next paragraph   6i
              HM     Top (header) margin         next page        1i
              FM     Bottom (footer) margin      next page        1i

       Note  that  there  is no right margin setting.  The combination of page
       offset and line length provide the information necessary to derive  the
       right margin.

   Multiple columns
       The ms macros can set text in as many columns as will reasonably fit on
       the page.  The following macros are available.  All  of  them  force  a
       page break if a multi-column mode is already set.  However, if the cur-
       rent mode is single-column, starting a multi-column mode does not force
       a page break.

       .1C    Single-column mode.

       .2C    Two-column mode.

       .MC [width [gutter]]
              Multi-column  mode.   If you specify no arguments, it is equiva-
              lent to the 2C macro.  Otherwise, width is  the  width  of  each
              column  and gutter is the space between columns.  The MINGW num-
              ber register is the default gutter width.

   Creating a table of contents
       Wrap text that you want to appear in the table of contents in XS and XE
       macros.   Use the TC macro to print the table of contents at the end of
       the document, resetting the page number to i (Roman numeral 1).

       You can manually create a table of contents by specifying a page number
       as  the  first  argument  to  XS.   Add subsequent entries using the XA
       macro.  For example:

              .XS 1
              .XA 2
              A Brief History of the Universe
              .XA 729
              Details of Galactic Formation

       Use the PX macro to print a manually-generated table of contents  with-
       out resetting the page number.

       If you give the argument no to either PX or TC, groff suppresses print-
       ing the title specified by the \*[TOC] string.

   Fractional point sizes
       Traditionally, the ms macros only support integer values for the  docu-
       ment's  font  size and vertical spacing.  To overcome this restriction,
       values larger than or equal to 1000 are  taken  as  fractional  values,
       multiplied  by 1000.  For example, `.nr PS 10250' sets the font size to
       10.25 points.

       The following four registers accept fractional  point  sizes:  PS,  VS,
       FPS, and FVS.

       Due  to  backwards  compatibility, the value of VS must be smaller than
       40000 (this is 40.0 points).

       The groff ms macros are a complete re-implementation, using no original
       AT&T  code.   Since  they  take  advantage  of the extended features in
       groff, they cannot be used with AT&T troff.  Other differences include:

       o  The internals of groff ms differ from  the  internals  of  Unix  ms.
          Documents that depend upon implementation details of Unix ms may not
          format properly with groff ms.

       o  The error-handling policy of  groff  ms  is  to  detect  and  report
          errors, rather than silently to ignore them.

       o  Some  Bell  Labs localisms are not implemented by default.  However,
          if you call the otherwise undocumented SC section-header macro,  you
          will enable implementations of three other archaic Bell Labs macros:
          UC, P1, and P2.  These are not enabled by default because  (a)  they
          were  not  documented, in the original ms manual, and (b) the P1 and
          UC macros both collide with different macros in the Berkeley version
          of ms.

          These  emulations  are  sufficient to give back the 1976 Kernighan &
          Cherry paper Typesetting Mathematics  -  User's  Guide  its  section
          headings,  and  restore some text that had gone missing as arguments
          of undefined macros.  No warranty express or implied is given as  to
          how  well  the  typographic details these produce match the original
          Bell Labs macros.

       o  Berkeley localisms, in particular the TM  and  CT  macros,  are  not

       o  Groff  ms  does  not  work  in compatibility mode (e.g., with the -C

       o  There is no support for typewriter-like devices.

       o  Groff ms does not provide cut marks.

       o  Multiple line spacing is not supported (use a larger vertical  spac-
          ing instead).

       o  Some  Unix ms documentation says that the CW and GW number registers
          can be used to control the column width and  gutter  width,  respec-
          tively.  These number registers are not used in groff ms.

       o  Macros  that  cause  a reset (paragraphs, headings, etc.) may change
          the indent.  Macros that change  the  indent  do  not  increment  or
          decrement  the indent, but rather set it absolutely.  This can cause
          problems for documents that define additional macros of  their  own.
          The  solution is to use not the in request but instead the RS and RE

       o  The number register GS is set to 1 by the groff ms  macros,  but  is
          not  used  by  the Unix ms macros.  Documents that need to determine
          whether they are being formatted with Unix ms or groff ms should use
          this number register.

       o  To  make  groff ms use the default page offset (which also specifies
          the left margin), the PO number register must stay  undefined  until
          the first ms macro is evaluated.  This implies that PO should not be
          used early in the document, unless it is changed also: Remember that
          accessing an undefined register automatically defines it.

       You  can redefine the following strings to adapt the groff ms macros to
       languages other than English:

                             String       Default Value
                           REFERENCES   References
                           ABSTRACT     ABSTRACT
                           TOC          Table of Contents
                           MONTH1       January
                           MONTH2       February
                           MONTH3       March
                           MONTH4       April
                           MONTH5       May
                           MONTH6       June
                           MONTH7       July
                           MONTH8       August
                           MONTH9       September
                           MONTH10      October
                           MONTH11      November
                           MONTH12      December

       The \*- string produces an em dash -- like this.

       Use \*Q and \*U to get a left and right  typographer's  quote,  respec-
       tively, in troff (and plain quotes in nroff).

   Text Settings
       The  FAM  string sets the default font family.  If this string is unde-
       fined at initialization, it is set to Times.

       The point size, vertical spacing, and inter-paragraph spacing for foot-
       notes are controlled by the number registers FPS, FVS, and FPD; at ini-
       tialization these are set to \n(PS-2, \n[FPS]+2, and  \n(PD/2,  respec-
       tively.   If  any of these registers are defined before initialization,
       the initialization macro does not change them.

       The hyphenation flags (as set by the hy request) are set  from  the  HY
       register; the default is 14.

       Improved  accent marks (as originally defined in Berkeley's ms version)
       are available by specifying the AM macro at the beginning of your docu-
       ment.   You  can place an accent over most characters by specifying the
       string defining the accent directly after the character.  For  example,
       n\*~ produces an n with a tilde over it.

       The  following  conventions  are  used for names of macros, strings and
       number registers.  External names available to documents that  use  the
       groff ms macros contain only uppercase letters and digits.

       Internally  the macros are divided into modules; naming conventions are
       as follows:

       o  Names used only within one module are of the form module*name.

       o  Names used outside the module in which they are defined are  of  the
          form module@name.

       o  Names  associated  with  a  particular  environment  are of the form
          environment:name; these are used only within the par module.

       o  name does not have a module prefix.

       o  Constructed  names  used  to  implement  arrays  are  of  the   form

       Thus the groff ms macros reserve the following names:

       o  Names containing the characters *, @, and :.

       o  Names containing only uppercase letters and digits.

       /usr/share/groff/1.22.3/tmac/ms.tmac (a wrapper file for s.tmac)

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

       |Availability   | text/groff       |
       |Stability      | Uncommitted      |

       groff(1), troff(1), tbl(1), pic(1), eqn(1), refer(1), Groff: The GNU
       Implementation of troff by Trent Fisher and Werner Lemberg.

       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.

       Original manual page by James Clark et al, rewritten by Larry Kollar

       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                    GROFF_MS(7)