GROFF_MS(7)                                                        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

              cb   s cb s s cb s cb s afCW s l  s s l  s l  s.  Reg. Defini-
              tion     Effective Default _ PO   T{ Page offset (left margin)
              T}   T{ next page T}   1i LL   T{ Line length T}   next
              para.     6i LT   T{ Header/footer length T}   next para.     6i
              HM   T{ Top (header) margin T}   next page 1i FM   T{ Bottom
              (footer) margin T}   next page 1i _

       Text settings

              cb   s cb s s cb s cb s afCW s l  s s l  s l  s.  Reg. Defini-
              tion     Effective Default _ PS   T{ Point size T}   next
              para.     10p VS   T{ Line spacing (leading) T}   next
              para.     12p PSINCR    T{ Point size increment for section
              headings of increasing importance T}   next heading   1p
              GROWPS    T{ Heading level beyond which PSINCR is ignored
              T}   next heading    0 _

       Paragraph settings

              cb cb s cb cb afCW l s l l .  Reg. Definition     Effec-
              tive Default _ PI   T{ Initial indent T}   next para.     5n
              PD   T{ Space between paragraphs T}   next para.     0.3v
              QI   T{ Quoted paragraph indent T}   next para.     5n POR-
              PHANS  T{ Number of initial lines to be kept together T}   next
              para.     1 HORPHANS  T{ Number of initial lines to be kept with
              heading T}   next heading   1 _

       Footnote settings

              cb cb cb cb afCW l l l .  Reg. Definition     Effective Default
              _ FL   Footnote length     next footnote  \n[LL]*5/6 FI   Foot-
              note 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. spac-
              ing  next footnote \n[PD]/2 _

       Other settings

              cb   s cb s s cb s cb s afCW s l  s s l  s l  s.  Reg. Defini-
              tion     Effective Default _ MINGW     T{ Minimum width between
              columns T}   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> element.  The  next  para-
       graph 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-
       ceeds 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.

              After  invoking .NH, the assigned heading number is available in
              the strings SN-DOT (exactly as it appears in the formatted head-
              ing), and SN-NO-DOT (with its final period omitted).  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

                     .ds SN-NO-DOT
                     .als SN SN-NO-DOT

              before the first use of .NH, or simply:

                     .als SN SN-NO-DOT

              after the first use of .NH.

       .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  preceeding
              .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.

              cb   s s    s cbt s s cb   s cb   s ^   s s lfCW s lfCW s l   s
              s.  Display macro  Type of display With keep No keep _ .DS
              L     .LD  Left-justified.  .DS I [indent] .ID  T{ Indented
              (default indent in the DI register).  T} .DS B     .BD  T{
              Block-centered (left-justified, longest line centered).  T} .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 two ways to define headers and footers:

         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.

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

              cb   s cb s s cb s cb s afCW s l  s s l  s l  s.  Reg. Defini-
              tion     Effective Default _ PO   T{ Page offset (left margin)
              T}   next page  1i LL   T{ Line length T}   next para.     6i
              LT   T{ Header/footer length T}   next para.     6i HM   T{ Top
              (header) margin T}   next page 1i FM   T{ Bottom (footer) margin
              T}   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:

         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.

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

         Bell Labs localisms are not implemented.

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

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

         There is no support for typewriter-like devices.

         Groff ms does not provide cut marks.

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

         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.

         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

         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.

         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:

       center; cb cb afCW l .  String    Default Value _ REFERENCES     Refer-
       ences  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:

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

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

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

         name does not have a module prefix.

         Constructed   names  used  to  implement  arrays  are  of  the  form

       Thus the groff ms macros reserve the following names:

         Names containing the characters *, @, and :.

         Names containing only uppercase letters and digits.

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

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

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

Groff Version 1.19.2           September 4, 2005                   GROFF_MS(7)

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