PIC(1)                                                General Commands Manual                                                PIC(1)

       pic - compile pictures for troff or TeX

       pic [-nvCSU] [file ...]

       pic -t [-cvzCSU] [file ...]

       This  manual page describes the GNU version of pic, which is part of the groff document formatting system.  pic compiles de‐
       scriptions of pictures embedded within troff or TeX input files into commands that are understood by  TeX  or  troff.   Each
       picture  starts  with a line beginning with .PS and ends with a line beginning with .PE.  Anything outside of .PS and .PE is
       passed through without change.

       It is the user's responsibility to provide appropriate definitions of the PS and PE macros.  When the  macro  package  being
       used  does  not  supply  such  definitions  (for example, old versions of -ms), appropriate definitions can be obtained with
       -mpic: These will center each picture.

       Options that do not take arguments may be grouped behind a single -.  The special option -- can be used to mark the  end  of
       the options.  A filename of - refers to the standard input.

       -C     Recognize .PS and .PE even when followed by a character other than space or newline.

       -S     Safer  mode;  do  not  execute sh commands.  This can be useful when operating on untrustworthy input (enabled by de‐

       -U     Unsafe mode; revert the default option -S.

       -n     Don't use the groff extensions to the troff drawing commands.  You should use this if you are using  a  postprocessor
              that  doesn't support these extensions.  The extensions are described in groff_out(5).  The -n option also causes pic
              not to use zero-length lines to draw dots in troff mode.

       -t     TeX mode.

       -c     Be more compatible with tpic.  Implies -t.  Lines beginning with \ are not passed through transparently.   Lines  be‐
              ginning  with  .   are  passed  through with the initial .  changed to \.  A line beginning with .ps is given special
              treatment: it takes an optional integer argument specifying the line thickness (pen size) in milliinches;  a  missing
              argument  restores the previous line thickness; the default line thickness is 8 milliinches.  The line thickness thus
              specified takes effect only when a non-negative line thickness has not been specified by use of the thickness  attri‐
              bute or by setting the linethick variable.

       -v     Print the version number.

       -z     In TeX mode draw dots using zero-length lines.

       The following options supported by other versions of pic are ignored:

       -D     Draw all lines using the \D escape sequence.  pic always does this.

       -T dev Generate  output  for the troff device dev.  This is unnecessary because the troff output generated by pic is device-

       This section describes only the differences between GNU pic and the original version of pic.  Many of these differences also
       apply to newer versions of Unix pic.  A complete documentation is available in the file


   TeX mode
       TeX  mode is enabled by the -t option.  In TeX mode, pic will define a vbox called \graph for each picture.  Use the figname
       command to change the name of the vbox.  You must yourself print that vbox using, for example, the command


       Actually, since the vbox has a height of zero (it is defined with \vtop) this will  produce  slightly  more  vertical  space
       above the picture than below it;

              \centerline{\raise 1em\box\graph}

       would avoid this.

       To  make  the vbox having a positive height and a depth of zero (as used e.g. by LaTeX's graphics.sty), define the following
       macro in your document:

                 \vbox{\unvbox\csname #1\endcsname\kern 0pt}}

       Now you can simply say \gpicbox{graph} instead of \box\graph.

       You must use a TeX driver that supports the tpic specials, version 2.

       Lines beginning with \ are passed through transparently; a % is added to the end of the line to avoid unwanted spaces.   You
       can  safely  use this feature to change fonts or to change the value of \baselineskip.  Anything else may well produce unde‐
       sirable results; use at your own risk.  Lines beginning with a period are not given any special treatment.

       for variable = expr1 to expr2 [by [*]expr3] do X body X
              Set variable to expr1.  While the value of variable is less than or equal to expr2, do body and increment variable by
              expr3;  if  by is not given, increment variable by 1.  If expr3 is prefixed by * then variable will instead be multi‐
              plied by expr3.  The value of expr3 can be negative for the additive case; variable is  then  tested  whether  it  is
              greater  than  or  equal to expr2.  For the multiplicative case, expr3 must be greater than zero.  If the constraints
              aren't met, the loop isn't executed.  X can be any character not occurring in body.

       if expr then X if-true X [else Y if-false Y]
              Evaluate expr; if it is non-zero then do if-true, otherwise do if-false.  X can be any character not occurring in if-
              true.  Y can be any character not occurring in if-false.

       print arg...
              Concatenate  the arguments and print as a line on stderr.  Each arg must be an expression, a position, or text.  This
              is useful for debugging.

       command arg...
              Concatenate the arguments and pass them through as a line to troff or TeX.  Each arg must be an expression,  a  posi‐
              tion,  or  text.  This has a similar effect to a line beginning with . or \, but allows the values of variables to be
              passed through.  For example,

                     x = 14
                     command ".ds string x is " x "."


                     x is 14.

       sh X command X
              Pass command to a shell.  X can be any character not occurring in command.

       copy "filename"
              Include filename at this point in the file.

       copy ["filename"] thru X body X [until "word"]
       copy ["filename"] thru macro [until "word"]
              This construct does body once for each line of filename; the line is split into  blank-delimited  words,  and  occur‐
              rences  of  $i  in body, for i between 1 and 9, are replaced by the i-th word of the line.  If filename is not given,
              lines are taken from the current input up to .PE.  If an until clause is specified, lines will be read only  until  a
              line  the  first  word  of  which is word; that line will then be discarded.  X can be any character not occurring in
              body.  For example,

                     copy thru % circle at ($1,$2) % until "END"
                     1 2
                     3 4
                     5 6

              is equivalent to

                     circle at (1,2)
                     circle at (3,4)
                     circle at (5,6)

              The commands to be performed for each line can also be taken from a macro defined earlier by giving the name  of  the
              macro as the argument to thru.

       reset variable1[,] variable2 ...
              Reset  pre-defined  variables variable1, variable2 ... to their default values.  If no arguments are given, reset all
              pre-defined variables to their default values.  Note that assigning a value to  scale  also  causes  all  pre-defined
              variables that control dimensions to be reset to their default values times the new value of scale.

       plot expr ["text"]
              This is a text object which is constructed by using text as a format string for sprintf with an argument of expr.  If
              text is omitted a format string of "%g" is used.  Attributes can be specified in the same way as for  a  normal  text
              object.   Be  very  careful that you specify an appropriate format string; pic does only very limited checking of the
              string.  This is deprecated in favour of sprintf.

       variable := expr
              This is similar to = except variable must already be defined, and expr will be assigned to variable without  creating
              a  variable  local  to the current block.  (By contrast, = defines the variable in the current block if it is not al‐
              ready defined there, and then changes the value in the current block only.)  For example, the following:

                     x = 3
                     y = 3
                       x := 5
                       y = 5
                     print x " " y


                     5 3

       Arguments of the form

              X anything X

       are also allowed to be of the form

              { anything }

       In this case anything can contain balanced occurrences of { and }.  Strings may contain X or imbalanced occurrences of { and

       The syntax for expressions has been significantly extended:

       x ^ y (exponentiation)
       atan2(y, x)
       log(x) (base 10)
       exp(x) (base 10, i.e. 10^x)
       rand() (return a random number between 0 and 1)
       rand(x) (return a random number between 1 and x; deprecated)
       srand(x) (set the random number seed)
       max(e1, e2)
       min(e1, e2)
       e1 && e2
       e1 || e2
       e1 == e2
       e1 != e2
       e1 >= e2
       e1 > e2
       e1 <= e2
       e1 < e2
       "str1" == "str2"
       "str1" != "str2"

       String comparison expressions must be parenthesised in some contexts to avoid ambiguity.

   Other Changes
       A  bare  expression,  expr, is acceptable as an attribute; it is equivalent to dir expr, where dir is the current direction.
       For example

              line 2i

       means draw a line 2 inches long in the current direction.  The ‘i’ (or ‘I’) character is ignored; to use another measurement
       unit, set the scale variable to an appropriate value.

       The  maximum width and height of the picture are taken from the variables maxpswid and maxpsht.  Initially these have values
       8.5 and 11.

       Scientific notation is allowed for numbers.  For example

              x = 5e-2

       Text attributes can be compounded.  For example,

              "foo" above ljust

       is valid.

       There is no limit to the depth to which blocks can be examined.  For example,

              [A: [B: [C: box ]]] with .A.B.C.sw at 1,2
              circle at last [].A.B.C

       is acceptable.

       Arcs now have compass points determined by the circle of which the arc is a part.

       Circles, ellipses, and arcs can be dotted or dashed.  In TeX mode splines can be dotted or dashed also.

       Boxes can have rounded corners.  The rad attribute specifies the radius of the quarter-circles at each corner.  If no rad or
       diam attribute is given, a radius of boxrad is used.  Initially, boxrad has a value of 0.  A box with rounded corners can be
       dotted or dashed.

       Boxes can have slanted sides.  This effectively changes the shape of a box from a rectangle to an  arbitrary  parallelogram.
       The xslanted and yslanted attributes specify the x and y offset of the box's upper right corner from its default position.

       The  .PS line can have a second argument specifying a maximum height for the picture.  If the width of zero is specified the
       width will be ignored in computing the scaling factor for the picture.  Note that GNU pic will always scale a picture by the
       same  amount vertically as well as horizontally.  This is different from the DWB 2.0 pic which may scale a picture by a dif‐
       ferent amount vertically than horizontally if a height is specified.

       Each text object has an invisible box associated with it.  The compass points of a text object are determined by  this  box.
       The  implicit  motion  associated with the object is also determined by this box.  The dimensions of this box are taken from
       the width and height attributes; if the width attribute is not supplied then the width will be taken to be textwid;  if  the
       height  attribute  is not supplied then the height will be taken to be the number of text strings associated with the object
       times textht.  Initially textwid and textht have a value of 0.

       In (almost all) places where a quoted text string can be used, an expression of the form

              sprintf("format", arg,...)

       can also be used; this will produce the arguments formatted according to format, which should be a string  as  described  in
       printf(3) appropriate for the number of arguments supplied.

       The  thickness of the lines used to draw objects is controlled by the linethick variable.  This gives the thickness of lines
       in points.  A negative value means use the default thickness: in TeX output mode, this means use a  thickness  of  8  milli‐
       inches;  in  TeX  output  mode with the -c option, this means use the line thickness specified by .ps lines; in troff output
       mode, this means use a thickness proportional to the pointsize.  A zero value means draw the  thinnest  possible  line  sup‐
       ported by the output device.  Initially it has a value of -1.  There is also a thick[ness] attribute.  For example,

              circle thickness 1.5

       would draw a circle using a line with a thickness of 1.5 points.  The thickness of lines is not affected by the value of the
       scale variable, nor by the width or height given in the .PS line.

       Boxes (including boxes with rounded corners or slanted sides), circles and ellipses can be filled by giving them  an  attri‐
       bute of fill[ed].  This takes an optional argument of an expression with a value between 0 and 1; 0 will fill it with white,
       1 with black, values in between with a proportionally gray shade.  A value greater than 1 can also be used: this means  fill
       with the shade of gray that is currently being used for text and lines.  Normally this will be black, but output devices may
       provide a mechanism for changing this.  Without an argument, then the value of the variable fillval will be used.  Initially
       this has a value of 0.5.  The invisible attribute does not affect the filling of objects.  Any text associated with a filled
       object will be added after the object has been filled, so that the text will not be obscured by the filling.

       Three additional modifiers are available to specify colored objects: outline[d] sets the color of the  outline,  shaded  the
       fill color, and colo[u]r[ed] sets both.  All three keywords expect a suffix specifying the color, for example

              circle shaded "green" outline "black"

       Currently,  color  support isn't available in TeX mode.  Predefined color names for groff are in the device macro files, for
       example ps.tmac; additional colors can be defined with the .defcolor request (see the manual page of troff(1) for  more  de‐

       To  change  the name of the vbox in TeX mode, set the pseudo-variable figname (which is actually a specially parsed command)
       within a picture.  Example:

              figname = foobar;

       The picture is then available in the box \foobar.

       pic assumes that at the beginning of a picture both glyph and fill color are set to the default value.

       Arrow heads will be drawn as solid triangles if the variable arrowhead is non-zero and either TeX mode is enabled or the  -n
       option  has  not  been given.  Initially arrowhead has a value of 1.  Note that solid arrow heads are always filled with the
       current outline color.

       The troff output of pic is device-independent.  The -T option is therefore redundant.   All  numbers  are  taken  to  be  in
       inches; numbers are never interpreted to be in troff machine units.

       Objects  can  have an aligned attribute.  This will only work if the postprocessor is grops, or gropdf.  Any text associated
       with an object having the aligned attribute will be rotated about the center of the object so that it is aligned in the  di‐
       rection from the start point to the end point of the object.  Note that this attribute will have no effect for objects whose
       start and end points are coincident.

       In places where nth is allowed ‘expr’th is also allowed.  Note that ’th is a single token: no space is allowed between the ’
       and the th.  For example,

              for i = 1 to 4 do {
                 line from ‘i’th box.nw to ‘i+1’th box.se

       To  obtain  a  stand-alone picture from a pic file, enclose your pic code with .PS and .PE requests; roff configuration com‐
       mands may be added at the beginning of the file, but no roff text.

       It is necessary to feed this file into groff without adding any page information, so you must check which .PS  and  .PE  re‐
       quests  are  actually called.  For example, the mm macro package adds a page number, which is very annoying.  At the moment,
       calling standard groff without any macro package works.  Alternatively, you can define your own requests, e.g. to  do  noth‐

              .de PS
              .de PE

       groff  itself  does  not provide direct conversion into other graphics file formats.  But there are lots of possibilities if
       you first transform your picture into PostScript® format using the groff option -Tps.  Since this ps-file lacks  BoundingBox
       information  it  is  not  very useful by itself, but it may be fed into other conversion programs, usually named ps2other or
       pstoother or the like.  Moreover, the PostScript interpreter ghostscript (gs) has built-in graphics conversion devices  that
       are called with the option

              gs -sDEVICE=<devname>


              gs --help

       for a list of the available devices.

       An  alternative  may  be to use the -Tpdf option to convert your picture directly into PDF format.  The MediaBox of the file
       produced can be controlled by passing a -P-p papersize to groff.

       As the Encapsulated PostScript File Format EPS is getting more and more important, and the conversion wasn't regarded  triv‐
       ial  in  the past you might be interested to know that there is a conversion tool named ps2eps which does the right job.  It
       is much better than the tool ps2epsi packaged with gs.

       For bitmapped graphic formats, you should use pstopnm; the resulting (intermediate) PNM file can be then converted to virtu‐
       ally any graphics format using the tools of the netpbm package.

              Example definitions of the PS and PE macros.

       troff(1), groff_out(5), tex(1), gs(1), ps2eps(1), pstopnm(1), ps2epsi(1), pnm(5)

       Eric S. Raymond, Making Pictures With GNU PIC.
       /usr/share/doc/groff-base/pic.ps (this file, together with its source file, pic.ms, is part of the groff documentation)

       Tpic: Pic for TeX

       Brian  W. Kernighan, PIC — A Graphics Language for Typesetting (User Manual) ⟨http://cm.bell-labs.com/cm/cs/cstr/116.ps.gz⟩.
       AT&T Bell Laboratories, Computing Science Technical Report No. 116 (revised May, 1991).

       ps2eps is available from CTAN mirrors, e.g. ⟨ftp://ftp.dante.de/tex-archive/support/ps2eps/⟩

       W. Richard Stevens, Turning PIC into HTML ⟨http://www.kohala.com/start/troff/pic2html.html⟩

       W. Richard Stevens, Examples of pic Macros ⟨http://www.kohala.com/start/troff/pic.examples.ps⟩

       Input characters that are invalid for groff (i.e., those with ASCII code 0, or 013 octal, or between 015 and 037  octal,  or
       between 0200 and 0237 octal) are rejected even in TeX mode.

       The interpretation of fillval is incompatible with the pic in 10th edition Unix, which interprets 0 as black and 1 as white.

       PostScript® is a registered trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporation.

groff 1.22.4                                                7 March 2023                                                     PIC(1)