MANDOC_CHAR(7)      NetBSD Miscellaneous Information Manual     MANDOC_CHAR(7)

     mandoc_char -- mandoc special characters

     This page documents the roff(7) escape sequences accepted by mandoc(1) to
     represent special characters in mdoc(7) and man(7) documents.

     The rendering depends on the mandoc(1) output mode; in ASCII output, most
     characters are completely unintelligible.  For that reason, using any of
     the special characters documented here, except those discussed in the
     DESCRIPTION, is strongly discouraged; they are supported merely for back-
     wards compatibility with existing documents.

     In particular, in English manual pages, do not use special-character
     escape sequences to represent national language characters in author
     names; instead, provide ASCII transcriptions of the names.

   Dashes and Hyphens
     In typography there are different types of dashes of various width: the
     hyphen (-), the minus sign (-), the en-dash (-), and the em-dash (--).

     Hyphens are used for adjectives; to separate the two parts of a compound
     word; or to separate a word across two successive lines of text.  The
     hyphen does not need to be escaped:


     If a word on a text input line contains a hyphen, a formatter may decide
     to insert an output line break after the hyphen if that helps filling the
     current output line, but the whole word would overflow the line.  If it
     is important that the word is not broken across lines in this way, a
     zero-width space (`\&') can be inserted before or after the hyphen.
     While mandoc(1) never breaks the output line after hyphens adjacent to a
     zero-width space, after any of the other dash- or hyphen-like characters
     represented by escape sequences, or after hyphens inside words in macro
     arguments, other software may not respect these rules and may break the
     line even in such cases.

     Some roff(7) implementations contains dictionaries allowing to break the
     line at syllable boundaries even inside words that contain no hyphens.
     Such automatic hyphenation is not supported by mandoc(1), which only
     breaks the line at whitespace, and inside words only after existing

     The mathematical minus sign is used for negative numbers or subtraction.
     It should be written as `\(mi':

           a = 3 \(mi 1;
           b = \(mi2;

     The en-dash is used to separate the two elements of a range, or can be
     used the same way as an em-dash.  It should be written as `\(en':

           pp. 95\(en97.
           Go away \(en or else!

     The em-dash can be used to show an interruption or can be used the same
     way as colons, semi-colons, or parentheses.  It should be written as

           Three things \(em apples, oranges, and bananas.
           This is not that \(em rather, this is that.

     Note: hyphens, minus signs, and en-dashes look identical under normal
     ASCII output.  Other formats, such as PostScript, render them correctly,
     with differing widths.

     To separate words in normal text, for indenting and alignment in literal
     context, and when none of the following special cases apply, just use the
     normal space character (` ').

     When filling text, output lines may be broken between words, i.e. at
     space characters.  To prevent a line break between two particular words,
     use the unpaddable non-breaking space escape sequence (`\ ') instead of
     the normal space character.  For example, the input string ``number\ 1''
     will be kept together as ``number 1'' on the same output line.

     On request and macro lines, the normal space character serves as an argu-
     ment delimiter.  To include whitespace into arguments, quoting is usually
     the best choice; see the MACRO SYNTAX section in roff(7).  In some cases,
     using the non-breaking space escape sequence (`\ ') may be preferable.

     To escape macro names and to protect whitespace at the end of input
     lines, the zero-width space (`\&') is often useful.  For example, in
     mdoc(7), a normal space character can be displayed in single quotes in
     either of the following ways:

           .Sq " "
           .Sq \ \&

     On request and macro lines, the double-quote character (`"') is handled
     specially to allow quoting.  One way to prevent this special handling is
     by using the `\(dq' escape sequence.

     Note that on text lines, literal double-quote characters can be used ver-
     batim.  All other quote-like characters can be used verbatim as well,
     even on request and macro lines.

     In output modes supporting such special output characters, for example -T
     pdf, some roff(7) formatters convert the following ASCII input characters
     to the following Unicode special output characters:

           `       U+2018    left single quotation mark
           '       U+2019    right single quotation mark
           ~       U+02DC    small tilde

     In prose, this automatic substitution is often desirable; but when these
     characters have to be displayed as plain ASCII characters, for example in
     source code samples, they require escaping to render as follows:

           \(ga    U+0060    grave accent
           \(aq    U+0027    apostrophe
           \(ti    U+007E    tilde

     The period (`.') is handled specially at the beginning of an input line,
     where it introduces a roff(7) request or a macro, and when appearing
     alone as a macro argument in mdoc(7).  In such situations, prepend a
     zero-width space (`\&.') to make it behave like normal text.

     Do not use the `\.' escape sequence.  It does not prevent special han-
     dling of the period.

     To include a literal backslash (`\') into the output, use the (`\e')
     escape sequence.

     Note that doubling it (`\\') is not the right way to output a backslash.
     Because mandoc(1) does not implement full roff(7) functionality, it may
     work with mandoc(1), but it may have weird effects on complete roff(7)

     Special characters are encoded as `\X' (for a one-character escape),
     `\(XX' (two-character), and `\[N]' (N-character).  For details, see the
     Special Characters subsection of the roff(7) manual.

           Input    Description
           `\       unpaddable non-breaking space'
           \~       paddable non-breaking space
           \0       unpaddable, breaking digit-width space
           \|       one-sixth \(em narrow space, zero width in nroff mode
           \^       one-twelfth \(em half-narrow space, zero width in nroff
           \&       zero-width space
           \%       zero-width space allowing hyphenation

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(ba     |           bar
           \(br     |           box rule
           \(ul     _           underscore
           \(rn                overline
           \(bb                broken bar
           \(sl     /           forward slash
           \(rs     \           backward slash

     Text markers:
           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(ci     O           circle
           \(bu                bullet
           \(dd     =           double dagger
           \(dg     -           dagger
           \(lz     <>          lozenge
           \(sq     []          white square
           \(ps                paragraph
           \(sc                section
           \(lh     <=          left hand
           \(rh     =>          right hand
           \(at     @           at
           \(sh     #           hash (pound)
           \(CR     _|          carriage return
           \(OK                 check mark

     Legal symbols:
           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(co                copyright
           \(rg                registered
           \(tm     tm          trademarked

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(em     --          em-dash
           \(en     -           en-dash
           \(hy     -           hyphen
           \e       \           back-slash
           \.       .           period
           \(r!                upside-down exclamation
           \(r?                upside-down question

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(Bq     ,,          right low double-quote
           \(bq     ,           right low single-quote
           \(lq     "           left double-quote
           \(rq     "           right double-quote
           \(oq     `           left single-quote
           \(cq     '           right single-quote
           \(aq     '           apostrophe quote (text)
           \(dq     "           double quote (text)
           \(Fo     <           left guillemet
           \(Fc     >           right guillemet
           \(fo     <           left single guillemet
           \(fc     >           right single guillemet

           Input                Rendered    Description
           \(lB                 [           left bracket
           \(rB                 ]           right bracket
           \(lC                 {           left brace
           \(rC                 }           right brace
           \(la                 <           left angle
           \(ra                 >           right angle
           \(bv                 |           brace extension
           \[braceex]                       brace extension
           \[bracketlefttp]                 top-left hooked bracket
           \[bracketleftbt]                 bottom-left hooked bracket
           \[bracketleftex]                 left hooked bracket extension
           \[bracketrighttp]                top-right hooked bracket
           \[bracketrightbt]                bottom-right hooked bracket
           \[bracketrightex]                right hooked bracket extension
           \(lt                 ,-          top-left hooked brace
           \[bracelefttp]                   top-left hooked brace
           \(lk                 {           mid-left hooked brace
           \[braceleftmid]                  mid-left hooked brace
           \(lb                 `-          bottom-left hooked brace
           \[braceleftbt]                   bottom-left hooked brace
           \[braceleftex]                   left hooked brace extension
           \(rt                 -.          top-left hooked brace
           \[bracerighttp]                  top-right hooked brace
           \(rk                 }           mid-right hooked brace
           \[bracerightmid]                 mid-right hooked brace
           \(rb                 -'          bottom-right hooked brace
           \[bracerightbt]                  bottom-right hooked brace
           \[bracerightex]                  right hooked brace extension
           \[parenlefttp]                   top-left hooked parenthesis
           \[parenleftbt]                   bottom-left hooked parenthesis
           \[parenleftex]                   left hooked parenthesis extension
           \[parenrighttp]                  top-right hooked parenthesis
           \[parenrightbt]                  bottom-right hooked parenthesis
           \[parenrightex]                  right hooked parenthesis extension

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(<-     <-          left arrow
           \(->     ->          right arrow
           \(<>     <->         left-right arrow
           \(da     v           down arrow
           \(ua     ^           up arrow
           \(va                 up-down arrow
           \(lA     <=          left double-arrow
           \(rA     =>          right double-arrow
           \(hA     <=>         left-right double-arrow
           \(uA     ^           up double-arrow
           \(dA     v           down double-arrow
           \(vA                 up-down double-arrow

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(AN     ^           logical and
           \(OR     v           logical or
           \(no                logical not
           \[tno]              logical not (text)
           \(te     3           existential quantifier
           \(fa     V           universal quantifier
           \(st     -)          such that
           \(tf     ..         therefore
           \(3d     ..         therefore
           \(or     |           bitwise or

           Input            Rendered    Description
           \(pl             +           plus
           \(mi             -           minus
           \-               -           minus (text)
           \(-+             -+          minus-plus
           \(+-                        plus-minus
           \[t+-]                      plus-minus (text)
           \(pc                        center-dot
           \(mu                        multiply
           \[tmu]                      multiply (text)
           \(c*                        circle-multiply
           \(c+             +           circle-plus
           \(di                        divide
           \[tdi]                      divide (text)
           \(f/             /           fraction
           \(**             *           asterisk
           \(<=             <=          less-than-equal
           \(>=             >=          greater-than-equal
           \(<<             <<          much less
           \(>>             >>          much greater
           \(eq             =           equal
           \(!=             !=          not equal
           \(==             ==          equivalent
           \(ne             !==         not equivalent
           \(ap             ~           tilde operator
           \(|=             -~          asymptotically equal
           \(=~             =~          approximately equal
           \(~~             ~~          almost equal
           \(~=             ~=          almost equal
           \(pt             oc          proportionate
           \(es             {}          empty set
           \(mo             E           element
           \(nm             E           not element
           \(sb             (=          proper subset
           \(nb                         not subset
           \(sp             =)          proper superset
           \(nc                         not superset
           \(ib             (_          reflexive subset
           \(ip             _)          reflexive superset
           \(ca             (^)         intersection
           \(cu             U           union
           \(/_             /           angle
           \(pp             |           perpendicular
           \(is             ,           integral
           \[integral]                  integral
           \[sum]                       summation
           \[product]                   product
           \[coproduct]                 coproduct
           \(gr             V           gradient
           \(sr             \/          square root
           \[sqrt]                      square root
           \(lc             |~          left-ceiling
           \(rc             ~|          right-ceiling
           \(lf             |_          left-floor
           \(rf             _|          right-floor
           \(if             oo          infinity
           \(Ah             N           aleph
           \(Im             I           imaginary
           \(Re             R           real
           \(pd             a           partial differential
           \(-h                         Planck constant over 2n
           \[12]                       one-half
           \[14]                       one-fourth
           \[34]                       three-fourths

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(ff     ff          ff ligature
           \(fi     fi          fi ligature
           \(fl     fl          fl ligature
           \(Fi     ffi         ffi ligature
           \(Fl     ffl         ffl ligature
           \(AE                AE
           \(ae                ae
           \(OE     OE          OE
           \(oe     oe          oe
           \(ss                German eszett
           \(IJ     IJ          IJ ligature
           \(ij     ij          ij ligature

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(a"     "           Hungarian umlaut
           \(a-                macron
           \(a.                dotted
           \(a^     ^           circumflex
           \(aa                acute
           \'                  acute
           \(ga     `           grave
           \`       `           grave
           \(ab     `           breve
           \(ac                cedilla
           \(ad                dieresis
           \(ah     v           caron
           \(ao                ring
           \(a~     ~           tilde
           \(ho                ogonek
           \(ha     ^           hat (text)
           \(ti     ~           tilde (text)

     Accented letters:
           Input    Rendered    Description
           \('A                acute A
           \('E                acute E
           \('I                acute I
           \('O                acute O
           \('U                acute U
           \('a                acute a
           \('e                acute e
           \('i                acute i
           \('o                acute o
           \('u                acute u
           \(`A                grave A
           \(`E                grave E
           \(`I                grave I
           \(`O                grave O
           \(`U                grave U
           \(`a                grave a
           \(`e                grave e
           \(`i                grave i
           \(`o                grave o
           \(`u                grave u
           \(~A                tilde A
           \(~N                tilde N
           \(~O                tilde O
           \(~a                tilde a
           \(~n                tilde n
           \(~o                tilde o
           \(:A                dieresis A
           \(:E                dieresis E
           \(:I                dieresis I
           \(:O                dieresis O
           \(:U                dieresis U
           \(:a                dieresis a
           \(:e                dieresis e
           \(:i                dieresis i
           \(:o                dieresis o
           \(:u                dieresis u
           \(:y                dieresis y
           \(^A                circumflex A
           \(^E                circumflex E
           \(^I                circumflex I
           \(^O                circumflex O
           \(^U                circumflex U
           \(^a                circumflex a
           \(^e                circumflex e
           \(^i                circumflex i
           \(^o                circumflex o
           \(^u                circumflex u
           \(,C                cedilla C
           \(,c                cedilla c
           \(/L     L           stroke L
           \(/l     l           stroke l
           \(/O                stroke O
           \(/o                stroke o
           \(oA                ring A
           \(oa                ring a

     Special letters:
           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(-D                Eth
           \(Sd                eth
           \(TP                Thorn
           \(Tp                thorn
           \(.i     i           dotless i
           \(.j                 dotless j

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(Do     $           dollar
           \(ct                cent
           \(Eu     EUR         Euro symbol
           \(eu     EUR         Euro symbol
           \(Ye                yen
           \(Po                pound
           \(Cs                Scandinavian
           \(Fn     f           florin

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(de                degree
           \(%0     %o          per-thousand
           \(fm     '           minute
           \(sd     ''          second
           \(mc                micro

     Greek letters:
           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(*A     A           Alpha
           \(*B     B           Beta
           \(*G     |          Gamma
           \(*D     /\          Delta
           \(*E     E           Epsilon
           \(*Z     Z           Zeta
           \(*Y     H           Eta
           \(*H     O           Theta
           \(*I     I           Iota
           \(*K     K           Kappa
           \(*L     /\          Lambda
           \(*M     M           Mu
           \(*N     N           Nu
           \(*C     H           Xi
           \(*O     O           Omicron
           \(*P     TT          Pi
           \(*R     P           Rho
           \(*S     >           Sigma
           \(*T     T           Tau
           \(*U     Y           Upsilon
           \(*F     O           Phi
           \(*X     X           Chi
           \(*Q     Y           Psi
           \(*W     O           Omega
           \(*a     a           alpha
           \(*b                beta
           \(*g     y           gamma
           \(*d     d           delta
           \(*e     e           epsilon
           \(*z     C           zeta
           \(*y     n           eta
           \(*h     0           theta
           \(*i     i           iota
           \(*k     k           kappa
           \(*l     \           lambda
           \(*m                mu
           \(*n     v           nu
           \(*c     E           xi
           \(*o     o           omicron
           \(*p     n           pi
           \(*r     p           rho
           \(*s     o           sigma
           \(*t     t           tau
           \(*u     u           upsilon
           \(*f     o           phi
           \(*x     x           chi
           \(*q     u           psi
           \(*w     w           omega
           \(+h     0           theta variant
           \(+f     o           phi variant
           \(+p     w           pi variant
           \(+e     e           epsilon variant
           \(ts     s           sigma terminal

     Predefined strings are inherited from the macro packages of historical
     troff implementations.  They are not recommended for use, as they differ
     across implementations.  Manuals using these predefined strings are
     almost certainly not portable.

     Their syntax is similar to special characters, using `\*X' (for a
     one-character escape), `\*(XX' (two-character), and `\*[N]'
     (N-character).  For details, see the Predefined Strings subsection of the
     roff(7) manual.

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \*(Ba    |           vertical bar
           \*(Ne    !=          not equal
           \*(Ge    >=          greater-than-equal
           \*(Le    <=          less-than-equal
           \*(Gt    >           greater-than
           \*(Lt    <           less-than
           \*(Pm               plus-minus
           \*(If    infinity    infinity
           \*(Pi    pi          pi
           \*(Na    NaN         NaN
           \*(Am    &           ampersand
           \*R                  restricted mark
           \*(Tm                trade mark
           \*q      "           double-quote
           \*(Rq    ''          right-double-quote
           \*(Lq    ``          left-double-quote
           \*(lp    (           right-parenthesis
           \*(rp    )           left-parenthesis
           \*(lq                left double-quote
           \*(rq                right double-quote
           \*(ua    ^           up arrow
           \*(va                up-down arrow
           \*(<=    <=          less-than-equal
           \*(>=    >=          greater-than-equal
           \*(aa               acute
           \*(ga    `           grave
           \*(Px    POSIX       POSIX standard name
           \*(Ai    ANSI        ANSI standard name

     The escape sequences

           \[uXXXX] and \C'uXXXX'

     are interpreted as Unicode codepoints.  The codepoint must be in the
     range above U+0080 and less than U+10FFFF.  For compatibility, the hexa-
     decimal digits `A' to `F' must be given as uppercase characters, and
     points must be zero-padded to four characters; if greater than four char-
     acters, no zero padding is allowed.  Unicode surrogates are not allowed.

     For backward compatibility with existing manuals, mandoc(1) also supports


     escape sequence, inserting the character number from the current charac-
     ter set into the output.  Of course, this is inherently non-portable and
     is already marked as deprecated in the Heirloom roff manual.  For exam-
     ple, do not use \N'34', use \(dq, or even the plain `"' character where

     This section documents compatibility between mandoc and other troff
     implementations, at this time limited to GNU troff ("groff").

     -   The \N'' escape sequence is limited to printable characters; in
         groff, it accepts arbitrary character numbers.
     -   In -Tascii, the \(ss, \(nm, \(nb, \(nc, \(ib, \(ip, \(pp, \[sum],
         \[product], \[coproduct], \(gr, \(-h, and \(a. special characters
         render differently between mandoc and groff.
     -   In -Thtml and -Txhtml, the \(~=, \(nb, and \(nc special characters
         render differently between mandoc and groff.
     -   The -Tps and -Tpdf modes format like -Tascii instead of rendering
         glyphs as in groff.
     -   The \[radicalex], \[sqrtex], and \(ru special characters have been
         omitted from mandoc either because they are poorly documented or they
         have no known representation.

     mandoc(1), man(7), mdoc(7), roff(7)

     The mandoc_char manual page was written by Kristaps Dzonsons

     The predefined string `\*(Ba' mimics the behaviour of the `|' character
     in mdoc(7); thus, if you wish to render a vertical bar with no side
     effects, use the `\(ba' escape.

NetBSD 7.0                     February 5, 2017                     NetBSD 7.0

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©1994 Man-cgi 1.15, Panagiotis Christias
©1996-2017 Modified for NetBSD by Kimmo Suominen