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] [file ...]

       grops translates the output of GNU troff to PostScript.  Normally grops
       should  be invoked by using the groff command with a -Tps option.  (Ac-
       tually, 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  out-
       put.   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.

       Whitespace is permitted between a command-line option and its argument.

       -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 de-
              vice, usually ps.

       -g     Guess the page length.   This  generates  PostScript  code  that
              guesses  the  page length.  The guess is correct only if the im-
              ageable 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 pa-
              persize,  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 en-
       coding 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/1.22.4/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  be-
       fore  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 se-
       quence; 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  se-
              quence 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 in-
              serted 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  up-
              per  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  lo-
              cated at the position associated with \X command.  If the height
              argument is omitted it is scaled uniformly in the x and y direc-
              tions 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 > $
              gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=bbox -- $ 2> $1.bbox
              sed -e "/^%%Orientation/r $1.bbox" \
                  -e "/^%!PS-Adobe-3.0/s/$/ EPSF-3.0/" $ > $1.eps
              rm $ $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 in-
       terpreter 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

       Another solution for creating type42  wrappers  is  to  use  FontForge,
       available from <>.  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 con-
           vert 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 section
           "Environment"  in  troff(1)  for 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/1.22.4/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.

              A  timestamp  (expressed as seconds since the Unix epoch) to use
              as the creation timestamp in place of the current time.

              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.

       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

groff 1.22.4                     21 March 2020                        GROPS(1)
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