GROPS(1)                                              General Commands Manual                                              GROPS(1)

       grops - PostScript driver for groff

       grops [-glmv] [-b n] [-c n] [-F dir] [-I dir] [-p papersize] [-P prologue] [-w n] [file ...]

       grops  translates the output of GNU troff to PostScript.  Normally grops should be invoked by using the groff command with a
       -Tps option.  (Actually, this is the default for groff.)  If no files are given, grops reads the standard input.  A filename
       of  - also causes 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 groff's -P option.

       Note that grops doesn't produce a valid document structure (conforming to the Document  Structuring  Convention)  if  called
       with  multiple file arguments.  To print such concatenated output it is necessary to deactivate DSC handling in the printing
       program or previewer.  See section “Font Installation” below for a guide how to install fonts for grops.

       Whitespace is permitted between a command-line option and its argument.

       -bn    Provide workarounds for older printers, broken spoolers, and previewers.  Normally grops  produces  output  at  Post‐
              Script  LanguageLevel  2  that  conforms  to  the Document Structuring Conventions version 3.0.  Some older printers,
              spoolers, and previewers can't handle such output.  The value of n controls what grops does to make  its  output  ac‐
              ceptable to such programs.  A value of 0 causes grops not to employ any workarounds.

              Add  1  if no %%BeginDocumentSetup and %%EndDocumentSetup comments should be generated; this is needed for early ver‐
              sions of TranScript that get confused by anything between the %%EndProlog 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  pre‐

              Add  4  if  %%Page,  %%Trailer  and %%EndProlog 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.

              Add  16 if no media size information should be included in the document (this is, neither use %%DocumentMedia nor the
              setpagedevice PostScript command).  This was the behaviour of groff version 1.18.1 and  earlier;  it  is  needed  for
              older printers which don't understand PostScript LanguageLevel 2.  It is also necessary if the output is further pro‐
              cessed to get an encapsulated PS (EPS) file – see below.

              The default value can be specified by a

                     broken n

              command in the DESC file.  Otherwise the default value is 0.

       -cn    Print n copies of each page.

       -Fdir  Prepend directory dir/devname to the search path for prologue, font, and device description files; name is  the  name
              of the device, usually ps.

       -g     Guess  the  page  length.  This generates PostScript code that guesses the page length.  The guess is 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 letter (8.5×11) paper and on A4 paper without change.

       -Idir  This option may be used to add a directory to the search path for files on the command line and files named in \X'ps:
              import' and \X'ps: file' escapes.  The search path is initialized with the current directory.   This  option  may  be
              specified  more  than  once;  the directories are then searched in the order specified (but before the current direc‐
              tory).  If you want to make the current directory be read before other directories, add -I. at the appropriate place.

              No directory search is performed for files with an absolute file name.

       -l     Print the document in landscape format.

       -m     Turn manual feed on for the document.

              Set physical dimension of output medium.  This overrides the papersize, paperlength, and paperwidth commands  in  the
              DESC file; it accepts the same arguments as the papersize command.  See groff_font (5) for details.

              Use  the  file  prologue-file (in the font path) as the prologue instead of the default prologue file prologue.  This
              option overrides the environment variable GROPS_PROLOGUE.

       -wn    Lines should be drawn using a thickness of n thousandths of an em.  If this option is not given, the  line  thickness
              defaults to 0.04 em.

       -v     Print the version number.

       The input to grops must be in the format output by troff(1).  This is described in groff_out(5).

       In  addition,  the device and font description files for the device used must meet certain requirements: 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 must contain a valid paper size; see groff_font(5) for more information.

       Each font description file must contain a command

              internalname psname

       which says that the PostScript name of the font is psname.  It may also contain a command

              encoding enc_file

       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:

              pschar code

       where  pschar is the PostScript name of the character, and code is its position in the encoding expressed as a decimal inte‐
       ger; valid values are in the range 0 to 255.  Lines starting with # and blank lines are ignored.  The code for each  charac‐
       ter given in the font file must correspond to the code for the character in encoding file, or to the code in the default en‐
       coding for the font if the PostScript font is not to be reencoded.  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 ex‐
       ist in the PostScript font, and the widths given in the font file must match the widths used in the PostScript font.   grops
       assumes that a character with a groff name of space is blank (makes no marks on the page); it can make use of such a charac‐
       ter to generate more efficient and compact PostScript output.

       Note that grops is able to display all glyphs in a PostScript font, not only 256.  enc_file (or the default encoding  if  no
       encoding  file  specified) just defines the order of glyphs for the first 256 characters; all other glyphs are accessed with
       additional encoding vectors which grops produces on the fly.

       grops can automatically include the downloadable fonts necessary to print the document.  Such fonts must be in  PFA  format.
       Use  pfbtops(1)  to convert a Type 1 font in PFB format.  Any downloadable fonts which should, when required, be included by
       grops must be listed in the file /usr/share/groff/1.22.4/font/devps/download; this should consist of lines of the form

              font filename

       where font is the PostScript name of the font, and filename 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 is searched for using the same mech‐
       anism that is used for groff font metric files.  The download file itself is also searched for using  this  mechanism;  cur‐
       rently, only the first found file in the font path is used.

       If the file containing a downloadable font or imported document conforms to the Adobe Document Structuring Conventions, then
       grops interprets any comments in the files sufficiently to ensure that its own output is conforming.  It also  supplies  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 downloadable font called Garamond, and also  a  download‐
       able  font  called Garamond-Outline which depends on Garamond (typically it would be defined to copy Garamond's font dictio‐
       nary, and change the PaintType), then it is necessary for Garamond to appear before Garamond-Outline in the PostScript docu‐
       ment.   grops  handles this automatically provided that the downloadable font file for Garamond-Outline indicates its depen‐
       dence on Garamond by means of the Document Structuring Conventions, for example by beginning with the following lines

              %!PS-Adobe-3.0 Resource-Font
              %%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 %%DocumentSuppliedResources comment.

       grops  does  not interpret %%DocumentFonts comments.  The %%DocumentNeededResources, %%DocumentSuppliedResources, %%Include‐
       Resource, %%BeginResource, and %%EndResource comments (or possibly the old  %%DocumentNeededFonts,  %%DocumentSuppliedFonts,
       %%IncludeFont, %%BeginFont, and %%EndFont comments) should be used.

       In  the  default setup 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 styles:

              AR     AvantGarde-Book
              AI     AvantGarde-BookOblique
              AB     AvantGarde-Demi
              ABI    AvantGarde-DemiOblique
              BMR    Bookman-Light
              BMI    Bookman-LightItalic
              BMB    Bookman-Demi
              BMBI   Bookman-DemiItalic
              CR     Courier
              CI     Courier-Oblique
              CB     Courier-Bold
              CBI    Courier-BoldOblique
              HR     Helvetica
              HI     Helvetica-Oblique
              HB     Helvetica-Bold
              HBI    Helvetica-BoldOblique
              HNR    Helvetica-Narrow
              HNI    Helvetica-Narrow-Oblique
              HNB    Helvetica-Narrow-Bold
              HNBI   Helvetica-Narrow-BoldOblique
              NR     NewCenturySchlbk-Roman
              NI     NewCenturySchlbk-Italic
              NB     NewCenturySchlbk-Bold
              NBI    NewCenturySchlbk-BoldItalic
              PR     Palatino-Roman
              PI     Palatino-Italic
              PB     Palatino-Bold
              PBI    Palatino-BoldItalic
              TR     Times-Roman
              TI     Times-Italic
              TB     Times-Bold
              TBI    Times-BoldItalic

       There is also the following font which is not a member of a family:

              ZCMI   ZapfChancery-MediumItalic

       There are also some special fonts called S for the PS Symbol font, and SS, containing slanted lowercase Greek letters  taken
       from  PS Symbol.  Zapf Dingbats is available as ZD, and a reversed version of ZapfDingbats (with symbols pointing in the op‐
       posite direction) is available as ZDR; most characters in these fonts are unnamed and must be accessed using \N.

       The default color for \m and \M is black; for colors defined in the ‘rgb’ color space setrgbcolor is  used,  for  ‘cmy’  and
       ‘cmyk’  setcmykcolor,  and  for ‘gray’ setgray.  Note that setcmykcolor is a PostScript LanguageLevel 2 command and thus not
       available on some older printers.

       grops understands various X commands produced using the \X escape sequence; grops only interprets commands that begin with a
       ps: tag.

       \X'ps: exec code'
              This  executes  the arbitrary PostScript commands in code.  The PostScript currentpoint is set to the position of the
              \X command before executing code.  The origin is at the top left corner of the page, and y coordinates increase  down
              the  page.   A procedure u is defined that converts groff units to the coordinate system in effect (provided the user
              doesn't change the scale).  For example,

                     .nr x 1i
                     \X'ps: exec \nx u 0 rlineto stroke'

              draws a horizontal line one inch long.  code may make changes to the graphics state, but any changes persist only  to
              the  end of the page.  A dictionary containing the definitions specified by the def and mdef is 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  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 example,

                     .nr x 1i
                     .de y
                     ps: exec
                     \nx u 0 rlineto

              is another way to draw a horizontal line one inch long.  Note the single backslash before ‘nx’ – the only  reason  to
              use  a  number  register while defining the macro ‘y’ is to convert a user-specified dimension ‘1i’ to internal groff
              units which are in turn converted to PS units with the u procedure.

              grops wraps user-specified PostScript code into a dictionary, nothing more.  In particular, it doesn't start and  end
              the inserted code with save and restore, respectively.  This must be supplied by the user, if necessary.

       \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 definition per \X com‐
              mand.  Long definitions can be split over several \X commands; all the code arguments are simply joined together sep‐
              arated 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 definitions.  grops needs to know how many definitions code contains
              so that it can create an appropriately sized PostScript dictionary to contain them.

       \X'ps: import file llx lly urx ury width [ height ]'
              Import a PostScript graphic from file.  The arguments llx, lly, urx, and ury give the bounding box of the graphic  in
              the default PostScript coordinate 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  is  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 is  scaled  uni‐
              formly 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 auto‐
              matically 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 psbb request.

              See groff_tmac(5) for a description of the PSPIC macro which provides a convenient high-level interface for inclusion
              of PostScript graphics.

       \X'ps: invis'
       \X'ps: endinvis'
              No output is generated for text and drawing commands that are bracketed with these \X commands.  These  commands  are
              intended for use when output from troff is previewed before being processed with grops; if the previewer is unable to
              display certain characters or other constructs, then other substitute characters or constructs can be used  for  pre‐
              viewing by bracketing them with these \X commands.

              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 overcome by executing the following request

                     .char \(em \X'ps: invis'\
                     \Z'\v'-.25m'\h'.05m'\D'l .9m 0'\h'.05m''\
                     \X'ps: endinvis'\(em

              In this case, gxditview is unable to display the \(em character and draws the line, whereas  grops  prints  the  \(em
              character  and  ignores  the  line  (this code is already in file Xps.tmac which is loaded if a document intended for
              grops is previewed with gxditview).

       If a PostScript procedure BPhook has been defined via a ‘ps: def’ or ‘ps: mdef’ device command, it is executed at the begin‐
       ning of every page (before anything is drawn or written by groff).  For example, to underlay the page contents with the word
       ‘DRAFT’ in light gray, you might use

              .de XX
              ps: def
              { gsave .9 setgray clippath pathbbox exch 2 copy
                .5 mul exch .5 mul translate atan rotate pop pop
                /NewCenturySchlbk-Roman findfont 200 scalefont setfont
                (DRAFT) dup stringwidth pop -.5 mul -70 moveto show
                grestore }
              .devicem XX

       Or, to cause lines and polygons to be drawn with square linecaps and mitered linejoins instead of  the  round  linecaps  and
       linejoins normally used by grops, use

              .de XX
              ps: def
              /BPhook { 2 setlinecap 0 setlinejoin } def
              .devicem XX

       (square  linecaps,  as  opposed to butt linecaps (0 setlinecap), give true corners in boxed tables even though the lines are
       drawn unconnected).

   Encapsulated PostScript
       grops itself doesn't emit bounding box information.  With the help of Ghostscript the following  simple  script,  groff2eps,
       produces an encapsulated PS file.

              #! /bin/sh
              groff -P-b16 $1 > $
              gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=bbox -- $ 2> $1.bbox
              sed -e "/^%%Orientation/r $1.bbox" \
                  -e "/^%!PS-Adobe-3.0/s/$/ EPSF-3.0/" $ > $1.eps
              rm $ $1.bbox

       Just say

              groff2eps foo

       to convert file foo to foo.eps.

   TrueType and other font formats
       TrueType  fonts  can be used with grops if converted first to Type 42 format, a special PostScript wrapper equivalent to the
       PFA format mentioned in pfbtops(1).  There are several different methods to generate a type42 wrapper and most of  them  in‐
       volve the use of a PostScript interpreter such as Ghostscript – see gs(1).

       Yet,  the  easiest method involves the use of the application ttftot42(1).  This program uses freetype(3) (version 1.3.1) to
       generate type42 font wrappers and well-formed AFM files that can be fed to the afmtodit(1) script to create appropriate met‐
       ric  files.   The resulting font wrappers should be added to the download file.  ttftot42 source code can be downloaded from ⟨⟩.

       Another solution for creating  type42  wrappers  is  to  use  FontForge,  available  from  ⟨http://⟩.  This font editor can convert most outline font formats.

       This section gives a summary of the above explanations; it can serve as a step-by-step font installation guide for grops.

        •  Convert your font to something groff understands.  This is either a PostScript Type 1 font in PFA format or a PostScript
           Type 42 font, together with an AFM file.

           The very first characters in a PFA file look like this:


           A PFB file has this also in the first line, but the string is preceded with some binary bytes.

           The very first characters in a Type 42 font file look like this:


           This is a wrapper format for TrueType fonts.  Old PS printers might not support it (this is, they don't have a  built-in
           TrueType font interpreter).

           If  your  font  is in PFB format (such fonts normally have .pfb as the file extension), you might use groff's pfbtops(1)
           program to convert it to PFA.  For TrueType fonts, try ttftot42 or fontforge.  For all other font formats use  fontforge
           which can convert most outline font formats.

        •  Convert the AFM file to a groff font description file with the afmtodit(1) program.  An example call is

                  afmtodit Foo-Bar-Bold.afm textmap FBB

           which  converts the metric file Foo-Bar-Bold.afm to the groff font FBB.  If you have a font family which comes with nor‐
           mal, bold, italic, and bold italic faces, it is recommended to use the letters R, B, I, and BI, respectively,  as  post‐
           fixes in the groff font names to make groff's ‘.fam’ request work.  An example is groff's built-in Times-Roman font: The
           font family name is T, and the groff font names are TR, TB, TI, and TBI.

        •  Install both the groff font description files and the fonts in a devps subdirectory of the font path which groff  finds.
           See  section “Environment” in troff(1) for the actual value of the font path.  Note that groff doesn't use the AFM files
           (but it is a good idea to store them anyway).

        •  Register all fonts which must be downloaded to the printer in the devps/download file.  Only  the  first  occurrence  of
           this file in the font path is read.  This means that you should copy the default download file to the first directory in
           your font path and add your fonts there.  To continue the above example we assume that the PS  font  name  for  Foo-Bar-
           Bold.pfa is ‘XY-Foo-Bar-Bold’ (the PS font name is stored in the internalname field in the FBB file), thus the following
           line should be added to download.

                  XY-Foo-Bar-Bold Foo-Bar-Bold.pfa

       groff versions 1.19.2 and earlier contain a slightly different set of the 35 Adobe core fonts; the difference is mainly  the
       lack  of  the  ‘Euro’  glyph and a reduced set of kerning pairs.  For backwards compatibility, these old fonts are installed
       also in the



       To use them, make sure that grops finds the fonts before the default system fonts (with the same names): Either add command-
       line option -F to grops

              groff -Tps -P-F -P/usr/share/groff/1.22.4/oldfont ...

       or add the directory to groff's font path environment variable


              If this is set to foo, then grops uses the file foo (in the font path) instead of the default prologue file prologue.
              The option -P overrides this environment variable.

              A list of directories in which to search for the devname directory in addition to the default ones.  See troff(1) and
              groff_font(5) for more details.

              A  timestamp  (expressed  as  seconds  since the Unix epoch) to use as the creation timestamp in place of the current

              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 troffrc

              Definition of PSPIC macro, automatically loaded by ps.tmac.

              Macros to disable use of characters not present in older PostScript printers (e.g., ‘eth’ or ‘thorn’).

              Temporary file.  See groff(1) for details on the location of temporary files.

       afmtodit(1), groff(1), troff(1), pfbtops(1), groff_out(5), groff_font(5), groff_char(7), groff_tmac(5)

       PostScript  Language  Document  Structuring  Conventions  Specification   ⟨

groff 1.22.4                                                7 March 2023                                                   GROPS(1)