man – macros to typeset manual

nroff –man file ...

troff –man file ...

These macros are used to format pages of this manual.

Except in .LR and .RL requests, any text argument denoted t in the request summary may be zero to six words. Quotes " ... " may be used to include blanks in a `word'. If t is empty, the special treatment is applied to the next text input line (the next line that doesn't begin with dot). In this way, for example, .I may be used to italicize a line of more than 6 words, or .SM followed by .B to make small letters in `bold' font.

A prevailing indent distance is remembered between successive indented paragraphs, and is reset to default value upon reaching a non–indented paragraph. Default units for indents i are ens.

The fonts are
R     roman, the main font, preferred for diagnostics
I     italic, preferred for parameters, short names of commands, names of manual pages, and naked function names
B     `bold', actually the constant width font, preferred for examples, file names, declarations, keywords, names of struct members, and literals (numbers are rarely literals)
L     also the constant width font. In troff L=B; in nroff arguments of the macros .L, .LR, and .RL are printed in quotes; preferred only where quotes really help (e.g. lower–case literals and punctuation).

Type font and size are reset to default values before each paragraph, and after processing font– or size–setting macros.

The –man macros admit equations and tables in the style of eqn(1) and tbl(1), but do not support arguments on .EQ and .TS macros.

These strings are predefined by –man:
\*R   `®', `(Reg)' in nroff.
\*S   Change to default type size.


troff(1), man(1)

Request Cause If no      Explanation
Break Argument
.B t     no     t=n.t.l.*    Text t is `bold'.
.BI t    no     t=n.t.l.    Join words of t alternating bold and italic.
.BR t    no     t=n.t.l.    Join words of t alternating bold and Roman.
.DT      no           Restore default tabs.
.EE      yes           End displayed example
.EX      yes           Begin displayed example
.HP i    yes    i=p.i.*     Set prevailing indent to i. Begin paragraph with hanging indent.
.I t     no     t=n.t.l.    Text t is italic.
.IB t    no     t=n.t.l.    Join words of t alternating italic and bold.
.IP x i yes    x=""      Same as .TP with tag x.
.IR t    no     t=n.t.l.    Join words of t alternating italic and Roman.
.L t     no     t=n.t.l.    Text t is literal.
.LP      yes           Same as .PP.
.LR t    no           Join 2 words of t alternating literal and Roman.
.PD d    no     d=.4v    Interparagraph distance is d.
.PP      yes           Begin paragraph. Set prevailing indent to default.
.RE      yes           End of relative indent. Set prevailing indent to amount of starting .RS.
.RI t    no     t=n.t.l.    Join words of t alternating Roman and italic.
.RL t    no           Join 2 or 3 words of t alternating Roman and literal.
.RS i    yes    i=p.i.     Start relative indent, move left margin in distance i. Set prevailing indent to default for nested indents.
.SH t    yes    t=""      Subhead; reset paragraph distance.
.SM t    no     t=n.t.l.    Text t is small.
.SS t    no     t=""      Secondary subhead.
.TF s    yes           Prevailing indent is wide as string s in font L; paragraph distance is 0.
.TH n c x      yes       Begin page named n of chapter c; x is extra commentary, e.g. `local', for page head. Set prevailing indent and tabs to default.
.TP i    yes    i=p.i.     Set prevailing indent to i. Restore default indent if i=0. Begin indented paragraph with hanging tag given by next text line. If tag doesn't fit, place it on separate line.
.1C      yes           Equalize columns and return to 1–column output
.2C      yes           Start 2–column nofill output

* n.t.l. = next text line; p.i. = prevailing indent

There's no way to fool troff into handling literal double quote marks " in font–alternation macros, such as .BI.
There is no direct way to suppress column widows in 2–column output; the column lengths may be adjusted by inserting .sp requests before the closing .1C.
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