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grops - PostScript driver for groff
grops [ -glmv ] [ -bn ] [ -cn ] [ -wn ] [ -Fdir ] [
grops translates the output of GNU troff to PostScript.
Normally grops should be invoked by using the groff com-
mand with a -Tps option. (Actually, this is the default
for groff.) If no files are given, grops will read the
standard input. A filename of - will also cause grops to
read the standard input. PostScript output is written to
the standard output. When grops is run by groff options
can be passed to grops using the groff -P option.
-bn Workaround broken spoolers and previewers. Nor-
mally grops produces output that conforms the Docu-
ment Structuring Conventions version 3.0. Unfortu-
nately some spoolers and previewers can't handle
such output. The value of n controls what grops
does to its output acceptable to such programs. A
value of 0 will cause grops not to employ any
workarounds. Add 1 if no %%BeginDocumentSetup and
%%EndDocumentSetup comments should be generated;
this is needed for early versions of TranScript
that get confused by anything between the %%EndPro-
log 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 %%End-
Prolog 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. The default value can be specified by a
command in the DESC file. Otherwise the default
value is 0.
-cn Print n copies of each page.
-g Guess the page length. This generates PostScript
code that guesses the page length. The guess will
be correct only if the imageable area is vertically
centered on the page. This option allows you to
generate documents that can be printed both on
Groff Version 1.11 14 September 1996 1
letter (8.5x11) paper and on A4 paper without
-l Print the document in landscape format.
-m Turn manual feed on for the document.
-Fdir Search the directory dir/devname for font and
device description files; name is the name of the
device, usually ps.
-wn Lines should be drawn using a thickness of n thou-
sandths of an em.
-v Print the version number.
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
Groff Version 1.11 14 September 1996 2
There is also the following font which is not a member of
There are also some special fonts called SS and S. Zapf
Dingbats is available as ZD and a reversed version of
ZapfDingbats (with symbols pointing in the opposite direc-
tion) is available as ZDR; most characters in these fonts
are unnamed and must be accessed using \N.
grops understands various X commands produced using the \X
escape sequence; grops will only interpret commands that
begin with a ps: tag.
\X'ps: exec code'
This executes the arbitrary PostScript commands in
code. The PostScript currentpoint will be set to
the position of the \X command before executing
code. The origin will be at the top left corner of
the page, and y coordinates will increase down the
page. A procedure u will be defined that converts
Groff Version 1.11 14 September 1996 3
groff units to the coordinate system in effect.
.nr x 1i
\X'ps: exec \nx u 0 rlineto stroke'
will draw a horizontal line one inch long. code
may make changes to the graphics state, but any
changes will persist only to the end of the page.
A dictionary containing the definitions specified
by the def and mdef will be on top of the dictio-
nary stack. If your code adds definitions to this
dictionary, you should allocate space for them
using \X'ps mdef n'. Any definitions will persist
only until the end of the page. If you use the \Y
escape sequence with an argument that names a
macro, code can extend over multiple lines. For
.nr x 1i
\nx u 0 rlineto
is another way to draw a horizontal line one inch
\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 defini-
tion 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 def-
initions. grops needs to know how many definitions
code contains so that it can create an appropri-
ately sized PostScript dictionary to contain them.
\X'ps: import file llx lly urx ury width [ height ]'
Import a PostScript graphic from file. The
Groff Version 1.11 14 September 1996 4
arguments llx, lly, urx, and ury give the bounding
box of the graphic in the default PostScript coor-
dinate 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 upper right corner of the
graphic; width and height are integers that give
the desired width and height in groff units of the
graphic. The graphic will be scaled so that it has
this width and height and translated so that the
lower left corner of the graphic is located at the
position associated with \X command. If the height
argument is omitted it will be scaled uniformly in
the x and y directions 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 Structuring
Conventions and contains a %%BoundingBox comment,
then the bounding box can be automatically
extracted from within groff by using the sy request
to run the psbb command.
The -mps macros (which are automatically loaded
when grops is run by the groff command) include a
PSPIC macro which allows a picture to be easily
imported. This has the format
.PSPIC [ -L | -R | -I n ] file [ width [
file is the name of the file containing the illus-
tration; width and height give the desired width
and height of the graphic. The width and height
arguments may have scaling indicators attached; the
default scaling indicator is i. This macro will
scale the graphic uniformly in the x and y direc-
tions so that it is no more than width wide and
height high. By default, the graphic will be hori-
zontally centered. The -L and -R cause the graphic
to be left-aligned and right-aligned respectively.
The -I option causes the graphic to be indented by
No output will be generated for text and drawing
commands that are bracketed with these \X commands.
These commands are intended for use when output
from troff will be previewed before being processed
with grops; if the previewer is unable to display
certain characters or other constructs, then other
Groff Version 1.11 14 September 1996 5
substitute characters or constructs can be used for
previewing by bracketing them with these \X com-
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 over-
come by executing the following request
.char \(em \X'ps: invis'\
\Z'\v'-.25m'\h'.05m'\D'l .9m 0'\h'.05m''\
In this case, gxditview will be unable to display
the \(em character and will draw the line, whereas
grops will print the \(em character and ignore the
The input to grops must be in the format output by
troff(1). This is described in groff_out(1). In addition
the device and font description files for the device used
must meet certain requirements. The device and font
description files supplied for ps device meet all these
requirements. afmtodit(1) can be used to create font
files from AFM files. The resolution must be an integer
multiple of 72 times the sizescale. The ps device uses a
resolution of 72000 and a sizescale of 1000. The device
description file should contain a command
which says that output should be generated which is suit-
able for printing on a page whose length is n machine
units. Each font description file must contain a command
which says that the PostScript name of the font is psname.
It may also contain a command
which says that the PostScript font should be reencoded
using the encoding described in enc_file; this file should
consist of a sequence of lines of the form:
where pschar is the PostScript name of the character, and
code is its position in the encoding expressed as a deci-
mal integer. The code for each character given in the
font file must correspond 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.
Groff Version 1.11 14 September 1996 6
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 PostScript font, and the widths given in the
font file must match the widths used in the PostScript
font. grops will assume 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 effi-
cient and compact PostScript output.
grops can automatically include the downloadable fonts
necessary to print the document. Any downloadable fonts
which should, when required, be included by grops must be
listed in the file /usr/share/groff_font/devps/download;
this should consist of lines of the form
where font is the PostScript name of the font, and file-
name 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 will be searched
for using the same mechanism that is used for groff font
metric files. The download file itself will also be
searched for using this mechanism.
If the file containing a downloadable font or imported
document conforms to the Adobe Document Structuring Con-
ventions, then grops will interpret any comments in the
files sufficiently to ensure that its own output is con-
forming. It will also supply 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 down-
loadable 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 neces-
sary for Garamond to be appear before Garamond-Outline in
the PostScript document. grops will handle this automati-
cally provided that the downloadable font file for Gara-
mond-Outline indicates its dependence on Garamond by means
of the Document Structuring Conventions, for example by
beginning with the following lines
%%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 %%DocumentSup-
Groff Version 1.11 14 September 1996 7
grops will not interpret %%DocumentFonts comments. The
%%IncludeResource, %%BeginResource and %%EndResource com-
ments (or possibly the old %%DocumentNeededFonts, %%Docu-
mentSuppliedFonts, %%IncludeFont, %%BeginFont and %%End-
Font comments) should be used.
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
Definition of PSPIC macro, automatically loaded by
Macros to disable use of characters not present in
older PostScript printers; automatically loaded by
Macros to undo the effect of tmac.psold.
afmtodit(1), groff(1), troff(1), psbb(1), groff_out(5),
Groff Version 1.11 14 September 1996 8
Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.
(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)
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