NEWS   [plain text]

This file describes recent user-visible changes in groff.  Bug fixes are not
described.  There are more details in the man and info pages.

VERSION 1.19.1


o The argument of the command line option `-I' is now also passed to troff
  and grops, specifying a directory to search for files on the command line,
  files named in `so' and `psbb' requests, and files named in \X'ps: file'
  and \X'ps: import' escapes.

o If option `-V' is used more than once, the commands will be both printed
  on standard error and run.


o Two new read-only, string-valued registers `.m' and `.M' return the
  name of the current drawing and background color, respectively.

o New read-only register `.U' which is set to 1 if in safer mode and set
  to 0 if in unsafe mode.

o An input encoding file for latin-5 (a.k.a. ISO 8859-9) has been added.
  Example use:

    groff -Tdvi -mlatin5 my_file > my_file.dvi

  Note that some output devices don't support all glyphs of this encoding.

o If the `return' request is called with an argument, it exits twice,
  namely the current macro and the macro one level higher.  This is
  used to define a wrapper macro for `return' in trace.tmac.

o For completeness, two new requests have been added: `dei1' and `ami1'.
  They are equivalent to `dei' and `ami', respectively, but the macros
  are executed with compatibility mode off (similar to `de1' and `am1').

o New command line option `-I' to specify a directory for files (both
  those on the command line and those named in `psbb' requests).  This is
  also handled by the groff wrapper program.

o Since version 1.19 you can say `.vs 0'.  Older versions emit a warning
  and convert this to `.vs \n[.V]'.

  This hasn't been documented properly.  Note that `.vs 0' isn't saved in a
  diversion since it doesn't result in vertical motion.


o Dashed and dotted ellipses have been implemented.


o New key character `x' to make tbl call a user-defined macro on a table
  cell.  Patch by Heinz-Jürgen Oertel <>.


o A new script contributed by Eric S. Raymond <>.  It
  converts a grap diagram into a cropped image.  Since it uses gs and the
  PNM library, virtually all graphics formats are available for output.
  [Note that the grap program itself isn't part of the groff package;
  see the file MORE.STUFF how to obtain grap.]


o New option `-j' to emit output splitted into multiple files.


o New command line option `-I' to specify a directory to search for files
  on the command line and files named in \X'ps: import' and \X'ps: file'
  escapes.  This is also handled by the groff wrapper program.

o The default value for the `broken' keyword in the DESC file is now 0.


o A new man page `lj4_font(5)' documents how fonts are accessed with

o The built-in fonts for LJ4 and newer PCL 5 devices have been completely
  revised, mainly to access as much glyphs as possible.  The provided
  metric files should be compatible with recent PCL 5 printers also.
  Additionally, font description files have been added for the Arial and
  Times New Roman family, the MS symbol, and Wingdings fonts.


o New option `-x' to prevent use of built-in Adobe Glyph List.


o Completely revised to handle HP TrueType metric files also.  See the
  hpftodit manual page for more details.


o This version is a rewrite of groffer in many parts, but it is kept in
  the old single script style.

  New options: --text, --mode text, --tty-viewer, --X, --mode X,
  --X-viewer, --html, --mode html, --html-view, --apropos-data,
  --apropos-devel, --apropos-progs.

  New documentation file: README_SH.

  Enhancement of the configuration files and the `apropos' handling.

Macro Packages

o www.tmac: New macro `JOBNAME' to split output into multiple files.

o In mdoc, multiple calls to `.Lb' are now supported in the LIBRARY



o Input encoding files for latin-9 (a.k.a. latin-0 and ISO 8859-15) and
  latin-2 (ISO 8859-2) have been added.  Example use:

    groff -Tdvi -mlatin9 my_file > my_file.dvi

  You still need proper fonts with the necessary glyphs.  Out of the box,
  the groff package supports latin-9 only for -Tps, -Tdvi, and -Tutf8,
  and latin-2 only for -Tdvi and -Tutf8.

o Composite glyphs are now supported.  To do this, a subset of the Adobe
  Glyph List (AGL) Algorithm as described in

  is used to construct glyph names based on Unicode character codes.  The
  existing groff glyph names are frozen; no glyph names which can't be
  constructed algorithmically will be added in the future.

  The \[...] escape sequence has been extended to specify multiple glyph
  components.  Example:

    \[A ho]

  this accesses a glyph with the name `u0041_0328'.

  Some groff glyphs which are useful as composites map to `wrong' Unicode
  code points.  For example, `ho' maps to U+02DB which is a spacing
  ogonek, whereas a non-spacing ogonek U+0328 is needed for composite
  glyphs.  The new request

    .composite from to

  will change the mapping while a composite glyph name is constructed.
  To make \[A ho] yield the expected result,

    .composite ho u0328

  is needed.  [The new file `composite.tmac' loaded at start-up already
  contains proper calls to `.composite'.]

  Please refer to the info pages of groff and to the groff_char man page
  for more details.

o A new request `fschar' has been added to define font-specific fallback
  characters.  They are searched after the list of fonts declared with the
  `fspecial' request but before the list of fonts declared with `special'.

o Fallback characters defined with `fschar' can be removed with the
  new `rfschar' request.

o A new request `schar' has been added to define global fallback
  characters.  They are searched after the list of fonts declared with the
  `special' request but before the already mounted special fonts.

o In groff versions 1.18 and 1.18.1, \D'f ...' didn't move the current
  point horizontally.  Despite of being silly, this change has been
  reverted for backwards compatibility.  Consequently, the intermediate
  output command `Df' also moves the position horizontally again.

  \D'f ...' is deprecated since it depends on the horizontal resolution of
  the output device (given with the `hor' parameter in the DESC file).
  Use the new \D'Fg ...' escape instead.

o For orthogonality, new \D subcommands to change the fill color are

    \D'Fr ...' (rgb)
    \D'Fc ...' (cmy)
    \D'Fg ...' (gray)
    \D'Fk ...' (cmyk)
    \D'Fd'     (default color)

  The arguments are the same as with the `defcolor' request.  The current
  position is *not* changed.

o The values set with \H and \S are now available in number registers
  \n[.height] and \n[.slant], respectively.

o The `.pe' number register isn't new but hasn't been documented before.
  It is set to 1 during a page ejection caused by the `bp' request.

o The new glyph symbol `tno' is a textual variant of `no'.

o The new glyph symbol `+e' represents U+03F5, GREEK LUNATE EPSILON SYMBOL.
  (Well, it is not really new since it has been previously supported by
  grolj4.)  The mapping for both the dvi and lj4 symbol font has been
  changed accordingly so that Greek small letter epsilon, `*e', has the
  same glyph shape as with other devices.


o The font `freeeuro.pfa' has been added to provide various default glyph
  shapes for `eu' and `Eu'.

o It is now possible to access all glyphs in a Type 1 font, not only 256
  (provided the font file created by afmtodit has proper entries).  grops
  constructs additional encoding vectors on the fly if necessary.

o The paper size is now emitted via the %%DocumentMedia and PageSize
  mechanisms so that it is no longer required to tell `gv' or `ps2pdf'
  about the paper size.  The `broken' flag value 16 omits this feature
  (the used PostScript command `setpagedevice' is a LanguageLevel 2
  extension) -- if you intend to further process grops output to get an
  encapsulated PS (EPS) file you must also use this option.

  Patch by Egil Kvaleberg <>.

o Non-slanted PostScript metrics have been changed again; they no longer
  contain negative left italic correction values.  This assures correct
  spacing with eqn.


o The font cmtex10 has been added as the special font `SC' to the DVI fonts.
  It is used as a font-specific special font for CW and CWI.

o New options -l and -p to set landscape orientation and the paper size.
  grodvi now emits a `papersize' special which is understood by DVI drivers
  like dvips.

  Consequently, the DESC file should contain a `papersize' keyword.

o The glyph shapes for \[*f] and \[*e] have been exchanged with \[+f] and
  \[+e], respectively, to be in sync with all other devices.

o Glyphs \[HE] and \[DI] have been replaced with \[u2662] and \[u2661],
  respectively, since the former two glyphs have a black (filled) shape
  which grodvi doesn't provide by default (it never has actually).


o The glyphs \[*e] and \[+e] have been exchanged to be in sync with
  all other devices.

o The glyph \[~=] is now called \[|=].  Similar to other devices, \[~=]
  is now another name for glyph \[~~].


o New option `-r'.  It is similar to the -i option except it tells grotty to
  use the `reverse video' attribute to render italic fonts.


o New command `figname' to set the name of a picture's output box in TeX


o The environment variable `REFER' to override the name of the default
  database isn't new but hasn't been documented before.


o New option `-r' to avoid emission of `.lf' lines.

o New option `-t' to emit TeX comment lines (giving current file and the
  line number) instead of `.lf' lines.


o Unencoded glyphs in an AFM file are output also (since grops can now emit
  multiple encoding vectors for a single font).

o New option `-m' to prevent negative left italic correction values.

o The mapping and encoding file together with file `DESC' are now searched
  in the default font directory also.  Please refer to the man page of
  afmtodit for more details.

Macro Packages

o Larry Kollar <> and others made the man macros more

  . New command line options -rFT, -rIN, and -rSN to set the vertical
    location of the footer line, the body text indentation, and the
    sub-subheading indentation.

  . New command line option -rHY (similar to the ms macros) to control

  . New macros `.PT' and `.BT' to print the header and footer strings.
    They can be replaced with a customized version in `man.local'.

  . The string `HF' now holds the typeface to print headings and

  . Similar to the ms macros, the LT register now defaults to LL if not
    explicitly specified on the command line.

o troff's start-up file `troffrc' now includes `papersize.tmac' to set
  the paper size with the command line option `-dpaper=<size>'.

  Possible values for `<size>' are the same as the predefined `papersize'
  values in the DESC file (only lowercase; see the groff_font man page)
  except a7-d7.  An appended `l' (ell) character denotes landscape
  orientation.  Examples: `a4', `c3l', `letterl'.

  Most output drivers need additional command line switches `-p' and
  `-l' to override the default paper length and orientation as set in
  the driver specific DESC file.

  For example, use the following for PS output on A4 paper in landscape

    groff -Tps -dpaper=a4l -P-pa4 -P-l -ms >

VERSION 1.18.1


o The non-slanted PostScript font definition files have been regenerated to
  include left and right italic correction values.  Applying those to a
  glyph (this is, prepending the glyph with `\,' and appending `\/' to the
  glyph) sets the glyph width to the real value given by the horizontal
  bounding box values.  Without those escapes, the advance width for the
  particular glyph is used (which can differ considerably).

  Most users will neither need this feature nor notice a difference in
  existing documents (provided \, and \/ is used as advertised, namely for
  italic fonts only); its main goal is to improve image generation with

  This is an experimental change, and feedback is welcome.


o Added global option `nospaces' to ignore leading and trailing spaces in
  data items.


o The option -w (--linewidth) has been added (similar to other device
  drivers) to set the default line width.


o Support for b-spline and Bezier curves has been added.


o New option `--shell' to select the shell under which groffer shall run.

Macro Packages

o The string `Am' (producing an ampersand) has been added to mdoc for
  compatibility with NetBSD.

o `.IX' is now deprecated for mom; you should use `.IQ' (Indent Quit)

o In mom, new inlines `FWD', `BCK', `UP', and `DOWN' deal with horizontal
  and vertical movements; please refer to contrib/mom/NEWS for more

o New macro ENDNOTES_HDRFTR_CENTER for mom to better control headers.


o The `papersize' keyword in the DESC file now accepts multiple arguments.
  It is scanned from left to the right, and the first valid argument is
  used. This makes it possible to provide a fallback paper size.


    papersize /etc/papersize a4

o A local font directory has been prepended to the default font path; it
  defaults to /usr/local/share/groff/site-font.  Similar to the normal
  font searching process, files must be placed into a devXXX subdirectory,


  for a PostScript font definition file FOO.


*                                                                         *
*                                                                         *


o Color support has been added to troff and pic (and to the device drivers
  grops, grodvi, grotty, and grohtml -- other preprocessors and drivers will
  follow).  A new function `defcolor' defines colors; the escape sequence
  `\m' sets the drawing color, the escape sequence `\M' specifies the
  background color for closed objects created with \D'...' commands.
  `\m[]' and `\M[]' switch back to the previous color.  `\m' and `\M'
  correspond to the new troff output command sets starting with `m' and
  `DF'.  The device-specific default color is called `default' and can't be

  Use the `color' request to toggle the usage of colors (default is on); the
  read-only register `.color' is 0 if colors are not active, and non-zero

  The old `Df' output command is mapped onto `DFg'; all color output
  commands don't change the current font position (consequently, `Df'
  doesn't either).

  Outputting color can be disabled in troff and groff with the option -c
  (it is always disabled in compatibility mode).  See the section on grotty
  for the GROFF_NO_SGR environment variable also.

  For defining color components as fractions between 0 and 1, a new scaling
  indicator `f' has been introduced: 1f = 65536u.  For testing whether a
  color is defined (with .if and .ie), a new conditional operator `m' is

  More details can be found in the groff_diff.7 manual page and in

o Similar to \m and \M, \f[] switches back to the previous font.  \fP
  (and \f[P]) is still valid for backwards compatibility.

o The new escape \F is the same as `.fam'; \F[] switches back to previous
  family -- \F[P] selects family `P'.

o Two new glyph symbols are available: `eu' is the official Euro symbol;
  `Eu' is a font-specific glyph variant.

o The new glyph symbols `t+-', `tdi', and `tmu' are textual variants of
  `+-', `di', and `mu', respectively.

o Latin-1 character 181 (PS name `mu', Unicode name U+00B5 MICRO SIGN) has
  got the troff glyph name `mc'.

o -Tutf8 is now available on EBCDIC hosts.

o Strings can take arguments, using this syntax: \*[foo arg1 arg2 ...].

    .ds xxx This is a \\$1 test.
    \*[xxx nice]

o It is now possible to have whitespace between the first and second dot (or
  the name of the ending macro) to end a macro definition.  Example:

    .de !
    .de foo
    .  nop Hello, I'm `foo'.
    .  nop I will now define `bar'.
    .  de bar !
    .    nop Hello, I'm `bar'.
    .  !

o `.fn' is a new string-valued register which returns the (internal) real
  font name; styles and families are properly concatenated.

o Three new read/write registers `seconds', `minutes', and `hours' contain
  the current time, set at start-up of troff.  Use the `af' request to
  control their output format.

o The new request `fchar' can be used to provide fallback characters.  It
  has the same syntax as the `char' request; the only difference is that a
  character defined with `.char' hides the glyph with the same name in the
  current font, whereas a character defined with `.fchar' is checked only if
  the particular glyph isn't found in the current font.  This test happens
  before checking special fonts.

o In analogy to the `tmc' request, `.writec' is the same as `.write' but
  doesn't emit a final newline.

o The new request `itc' is a variant of `.it' for which a line interrupted
  with \c counts as one input line.

o Two new requests `ds1' and `as1' which are similar to `ds' and `as' but
  with compatibility mode disabled during expansion of strings defined by

o The syntax of the `substring' request has been changed: The first
  character in a string now has index 0, the last character has index -1.
  Note that this is an incompatible change.

o To emit strings directly to the intermediate output, a new `output'
  request has been added; it is similar to `\!' used at the top level.

o `.hpf' has been extended.  It can now handle most TeX hyphenation
  pattern files without modification.  To do that, the commands \patterns,
  \hyphenation, and \endinput are recognized.  Please refer to groff_diff.7
  for more information.

o `hpfcode' is a new request to provide an input encoding mapping for the
  `hpf' request.

o The new request `hpfa' appends hyphenation patterns (`hpf' replaces
  already existing patterns).

o A new request `ami' (append macro indirect) has been added.  The first and
  second parameter of `ami' are taken from string registers rather than
  directly; this very special request is needed to make `trace.tmac'
  independent from the escape character (which might even be disabled).

o The new request `sizes' is similar to the `sizes' command in DESC files.
  It expects the same syntax; the data must be on a single line, and the
  final `0' can be omitted.

o `trin' (translate input) is a new request which is similar to `tr' with
  the exception that the `asciify' request will use the character code (if
  any) before the character translation.  Example:

    .trin ax
    .di xxx
    .trin aa
    .asciify xxx

  The result is `x a'.  Using `tr', the result would be `x x'.

o The request `pvs' isn't new, but hasn't been documented before.  It
  adds vertical space after a line has been output.  This makes it an
  alternative to the `ls' request to produce double-spaced documents.
  The read-only register `.pvs' holds the current amount of the
  post-vertical line space.

o For compatibility with plan 9's troff, multiple `pi' requests are

    .pi foo
    .pi bar

  is now equivalent to

    .pi foo | bar

o A new escape sequence `\O' is available to disable and enable glyph
  output.  Please see groff_diff.7 and groff.texinfo for more details.

o The escapes `\%', `\&', `\)', and `\:' no longer cause an error in \X;
  they are ignored now.  Additionally `\ ' and `\~' are converted to
  single space characters.

o The default tab distance in nroff mode is now 0.8i to be compatible
  with UNIX troff.

o Using the latin-1 input character 0xAD (soft hyphen) for the `shc'
  request was a bad idea.  Instead, it is now translated to `\%', and
  the default hyphenation character is again \[hy].  Note that the glyph
  \[shc] is not useful for typographic purposes; it only exists to have
  glyph names for all latin-1 characters.

Macro Packages

o Peter Schaffter <> has contributed a new major macro package
  called `mom', mainly for non-scientific writers, which takes care of
  many typographic issues.  It comes with a complete reference (in HTML
  format) and some examples.  `mom' has been designed to format documents
  for PostScript output only.

o Two macros `AT' (AT&T) and `UC' (Univ. of California) have been added to
  the man macros for compatibility with older BSD releases.

o Both the man and mdoc macro packages now use the LL and LT registers for
  setting the line and title length, respectively (similar to those
  registers in the ms macro package).  If not set on the command line or
  in a macro file loaded before the macro package itself, they default to
  78n in nroff mode and 6.5i in troff mode.

o The `-xwidth' specifier in the mdoc macro package has been removed.  Its
  functionality is now integrated directly into `-width'.  Similarly,
  `-column' has been extended to provide this functionality also.

o A new macro `Ex' has been added to the mdoc macro package to document an
  exit status.

o The PSPIC macro has been extended to work with DVI output (`pspic.tmac' is
  now automatically loaded for -Tdvi), using a dvips special to load the EPS

o The trace.tmac package now traces calls to `am' also.  Additionally, it
  works in compatibility mode.

o `troff.1' has been split.  Differences to UNIX troff are now documented
  in the new man page `groff_diff.7'.

o `groff_mwww.7' has been renamed to `groff_www.7'.  The file mwww.tmac
  has been removed.

o `groff_ms.7' has been completely rewritten.  It now contains a complete
  reference to the ms macros.

o `groff_trace.7' documents the trace macro package.

o Changes in www.tmac:

    Note that HTML support is still in alpha change, so it is rather likely
    that both macro names and macro syntax will change.  Some of the macros
    mentioned below aren't really new but haven't been documented properly

    The following macros have been renamed:

        MAILTO     -> MTO
        IMAGE      -> IMG
        LINE       -> HR

    For consistency, the macros `URL', `FTL', and `MTO' now all have the
    address as the first parameter followed by the description.

    By default, grohtml generates links to all section headings at the top
    of the document.  Use the new `LK' macro to specify a different place.

    For specifying the background color and a background image, use the
    new macros `BCL' and `BGIMG', respectively.

    The macro `NHR' has been added; it suppresses the generation of top and
    bottom rules which grohtml emits by default.

    The new macro `HX' determines the cut-off point for automatic link
    generation to headings.

    The image position parameter names in `IMG' have been changed to `-L',
    `-R', and `-C'.

    New macro `PIMG' for inclusion of a PNG image (it will automatically
    convert it into an EPS file if not -Thtml is used).

    New macro `MPIMG' for putting a PNG image into the left or right margin
    (it will automatically convert it into an EPS file if not
    -Thtml is used).

    New macros `HnS', `HnE' to start and end a header line block.

    New macro `DC' to produce dropcap characters.

    New macro `HTL' to generate an HTML title line only but no H1 heading.

    New macros `ULS' and `ULE' to start and end an unordered list.  The new
    macro `LI' inserts a list item.


o The new command line option `-c' disables color output (which is always
  disabled in compatibility mode).


o Two new command line options `-c' and `-C'; the former passes `-c' to
  grotty (switching to the old output scheme); the latter passes `-C' to
  groff (enabling compatibility mode).


o New keywords `color' (or `colour', `colored', `coloured'), `outline' (or
  `outlined'), and `shaded' are available.  `outline' sets the color of the
  outline, `shaded' the fill color, and `color' sets both.  Example:

    circle shaded "green" outline "black" ;

  Filled arrows always use the outline color for filling.

  Color support for TeX output is not implemented yet.


o A new script contributed by Eric S. Raymond <>.  It
  converts a PIC diagram into a cropped image.  Since it uses gs and the PNM
  library, virtually all graphics formats are available for output.


o A new script contributed by Eric S. Raymond <>.  It
  converts an EQN diagram into a cropped image.  Since it uses gs and the PNM
  library, virtually all graphics formats are available for output.


o A new script contributed by Bernd Warken <>.  It displays
  groff files and man pages on X and tty, taking care of most parameters


o Documents using the mom macro package are recognized.


o Color support has been added.

o A new option `-p' is available to select the output paper size.  It has
  the same syntax as the new `papersize' keyword in the DESC file.


o By default, font sizes are now available in the range 5-10000pt, similar
  to PS fonts. If you want the old behaviour (i.e., font sizes at discrete
  values only), insert the following at the start of your document:

    .if '\*[.T]'dvi' \
    .  sizes 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1095 1200 1400 1440 1600 \
             1728 1800 2000 2074 2200 2400 2488 2800 3600

o A new font file HBI (using cmssbxo10; this is slanted sans serif bold
  extended) has been added.

o Two font families are now available: `T' and `H'.

o EC and TC fonts have been integrated.  Use `-mec' (calling the file
  ec.tmac) to switch to them.  Those fonts give a much better coverage of
  the symbols defined by groff than the CM fonts.

  Note that ec.tmac must be called before any language-specific files; it
  doesn't take care of hcode values.

o Color support has been added.  For drawing commands, colors are translated
  to gray values currently.


o Color support has been added, using the SGR (ISO 6429, sometimes called
  ANSI color) escape sequences.

o SGR escape sequences are now used by default for underlining and bold
  printing also, no longer using the backspace character trick.  To revert
  to the old behaviour, use the `-c' switch.

  Note that you have to use the `-R' option of `less' to make SGR escapes
  display correctly.  On the other hand, terminal programs and consoles like
  `xterm' which support SGR sequences natively can directly display the
  output of grotty.  Consequently, the options `-b', `-B', `-u', and `-U'
  work only in combination with `-c' and are ignored silently otherwise.

  For the `man' program, it may be necessary to add the `-R' option of
  `less' to the $PAGER environment variable; alternatively, you can use
  `man's `-P' option (or adapt its configuration file accordingly).  See
  man(1) for more details.

o If the environment variable GROFF_NO_SGR is set, SGR output is disabled,
  reverting to the old behaviour.

o A new special \X'tty: sgr n' has been added; if n is non-zero or missing,
  enable SGR output (the default).

o If the new option `-i' is used (only in SGR mode), grotty sends escape
  sequences to set the italic font attribute instead of the underline
  attribute for italic fonts.  Note that many terminals don't have support
  for this (including xterm).


o Color support for glyphs has been added.

o New option `-h' to select the style of headings in HTML output.

o New option `-b' to set the background colour to white.

o New options `-a' and `-g' to control the number of bits for anti-aliasing
  used for text and graphics, respectively.  Default value is 4; 0 means
  no anti-aliasing.

o groff character/glyph entities now map onto HTML 4 character entities.


o Valid paper sizes are now specified as with the new `papersize' keyword
  in the DESC file.  Specifically, the old custom paper type format
  `custAAAxBBB' is no longer supported.


o A new manual page `ditroff.7' is available.

o The groff texinfo manual will now be installed, together with a bunch
  of examples.

o A new keyword `papersize' has been added to the DESC file format.  Its
  argument is either

  . a predefined paper format (e.g. `A4' or `letter')

  . a file name pointing to a file which must contain a paper size
    specification in its first line (e.g. `/etc/papersize')

  . a custom paper size definition like `35c,4i'

  See groff_font(5) for more details.  This keyword only affects the
  physical dimensions of the output medium; grops, grolj4, and grolbp use it
  currently.  troff completely ignores it.

VERSION 1.17.2

This is major bug-fixing release which should replace 1.17.1.


o The `IMAGE' macro in www.tmac has changed: Now the optional 2nd parameter
  gives the horizontal image location (left, centered, or right), and the
  optional 3rd and 4th parameter the image dimensions.

VERSION 1.17.1

This is mainly a bug-fixing release.


o Two new requests `de1' and `am1' which are similar to `de' and `am' but
  with compatibility mode disabled during expansion of macros defined by

o Added request `brp'.  This is the same as `\p'.

o Similar to other versions of troff, the `ns' request now works in all
  diversions, not only in the top-level one.

o New read-only number register `.ns'.  Returns 1 if in no-space mode,
  0 otherwise.


o Options -p (pic) and -t (tbl) added.

o The environment variable GROFF_BIN_PATH is now checked before PATH for
  finding groff.


o New option `-D dir' to specify a directory in which all images are placed.

o New option `-I stem' to specify an image name stame.  If not given,
  `grohtml-XXX' is used (`XXX' is the process ID).



o `-mFOO' now searches first for `FOO.tmac' and then for `tmac.FOO'.  The
  old behaviour has been changed to overcome problems with platforms which
  have an 8+3 file name limit, and platforms which have other versions of
  troff installed also.  Additionally, all macro files have been renamed
  using the latter scheme to avoid 8+3 name clashes.

o The new environment variable GROFF_BIN_PATH is checked for programs groff
  is calling (preprocessors, troff, and output devices) before PATH.  If not
  set, it defaults to the directory where the groff binary is located.
  Previously, it was PATH only.  The nroff script only uses GROFF_BIN_PATH
  to find the groff binary but passes both the GROFF_BIN_PATH and PATH
  environment variables to groff.


o The mdoc package has been completely rewritten, using the full power of
  GNU troff to remove limitations of Unix troff (which is no longer
  supported).  Most important changes are:

  . No argument limit
  . Almost all macros are parsed and callable (if it makes sense)
  . `.Lb': prints library names
  . `.Nm <punctuation>' now works as expected; `.Nm "" <punctuation>' has
    been withdrawn
  . Updated `.St' command
  . `.Fx': prints FreeBSD
  . `.Ox': prints OpenBSD
  . `.Bsx': prints BSD/OS
  . `.Brq', `.Bro', `.Brc': brace enclosure macros
  . `.Bd -centered': center lines
  . `.Bl -xwidth <string>': interpret <string> and use the resulting width
  . Support for double-sided printing (-rD1 command line switch)
  . Support for 11pt and 12pt document sizes (-rS11, -rS12 command line

  `groff_mdoc.7' replaces `groff_mdoc.samples.7'; it now completely
  documents the mdoc package.

  Great care has been taken to assure backwards compatibility.  If you
  encounter any abnormal results, please report them to

o A new command line option for the `man' macros (similar to the `mdoc'
  package) has been implemented: `-rcR=1' (now the default in nroff mode)
  produces one single, very long page instead of multiple pages.  `-rcR=0'
  deactivates it.

o The `return' request has been added to return immediately from a macro.

o A new request `nop' (no operation) has been added which is similar to
  `if 1'.  For example,

    .if t \{\

  can now be written as

    .if t \{\
    .  nop Hallo!

o `box' and `boxa' are two new requests which behave similarly to `di' and
  `da' but don't include a partially filled line (which is restored after
  ending the diversion).

o The `asciify' request has been extended to `unformat' space characters
  and some other escape sequences also.

  `\ ' is no longer unformatted as a space but remains an unpaddable,
  unbreakable space character.

o The new `unformat' request is similar to `asciify' but only handles space
  characters and tabs specially if the diversion is reread, retaining font
  information.  This makes it possible to reformat diversions; for example
  the following

    .ll 3i
    a01 a02 a03 a04 a05 a06 a07 a08 a09 a10.
    .box box1
    .ev 1
    \f[B]b01 b02 b03 b04 b05 b06 b07 b08 b09 b10.\f[P]
    c01 c02 c03 c04 c05 c06 c07 c08 c09 c10.
    .unformat box1


    a01  a02  a03  a04 a05 a06 a07
    a08 a09 a10.  c01 c02 c03  c04
    c05  c06 c07 c08 c09 c10.  b01
    b02 b03 b04 b05  b06  b07  b08
    b09 b10.

  Without the `unformat' request, space characters are converted to word
  space nodes which are no longer stretchable, and the result would be

    a01  a02  a03  a04 a05 a06 a07
    a08 a09 a10.  c01 c02 c03  c04
    c05  c06 c07 c08 c09 c10.  b01
    b02 b03 b04 b05 b06 b07 b08
    b09 b10.

o The new request `linetabs' controls the `line-tabs' mode.  In line-tabs
  mode, tab distances are computed relative to the (current) output line.
  Otherwise they are taken relative to the input line.  For example, the

    .ds x a\t\c
    .ds y b\t\c
    .ds z c
    .ta 1i 3i


    a         b         c

  In line-tabs mode, the same code gives

    a         b                   c

  The new read-only number register `.linetabs' returns 1 if in line-tabs
  mode, and 0 otherwise.

o Two new requests `tm1' and `tmc' have been added to improve writing
  messages to the terminal.  `tm1' is similar to `tm' but allows leading
  whitespace.  `tmc' is similar to `tm1' but doesn't emit a final newline.

o For compatibility with sqtroff, the request `output' has been added.
  The behaviour is similar to `\!' at the top-level, that is, it directly
  inserts its argument into the intermediate output format.  The syntax
  is similar to .tm1, allowing leading whitespace.

o The new `spreadwarn' request will make troff warn if spaces in an output
  line are widened by a given limit or more.

o Use `warnscale' to change the scaling indicator troff will use for
  warning messages.

o A new request `dei' (define indirect) has been added.  The first and
  second parameter of `dei' are taken from string registers rather than
  directly; this very special request is needed to make `trace.tmac'
  independent from the escape character (which might even be disabled).

o It is now possible to save and restore the escape character with two new
  requests `ecs' and `ecr'.

o The new escape sequence \B'...' is an analogon to `\A': If the string
  within the delimiters is a valid numeric expression, return character `1',
  and `0' otherwise.

o The new escape sequence `\:' inserts a zero-width break point.  This is
  similar to `\%' but without a soft hyphen character.

o The `tr' request can now map characters onto `\~'.

o Calling the `fam' request without an argument switches back to the
  previous font family.

o The new read-only register `.int' is set to a positive value if the last
  output line is interrupted (i.e., if the input line contains `\c').

o The `writem' request is not new, but hasn't been documented before.  This
  is similar to `write' but instead of a string the contents of a given
  macro or string is written to a stream.

o The read/write number register `hp' to get/set the current horizontal
  position relative to the input line isn't new but hasn't been documented
  properly before.

o `\X' and `\Y' are now transparent for end-of-sentence recognition.

o The `cu' request in nroff mode now works as documented (i.e., it
  underlines spaces also).


o The grog script now works in non-compatibility mode also (which is the
  default).  As usual, use the `-C' option to activate compatibility mode.


o A new option `-P' resp. a new environment variable `GROPS_PROLOGUE' has
  been added to select a different prologue file.

o The effect of the former `-mpsnew' option to access more Type 1 characters
  is now the default and no longer available.  To get the old behaviour
  (i.e., emulation of some glyphs by composition) use `-mpsold'.


o For security reasons the following changes have been done:

  . The tmac.safer file has been replaced with a built-in solution; .open,
    .opena, .pso, .sy, and .pi are completely disabled in safer mode (which
    is the default); to enable these requests the `-U' command line flag
    must be used.

  . Files specified with the .mso request or given with the `-m' command
    line option, and hyphenation patterns loaded with `.hpf' are no longer
    searched in the current directory by default (besides the usual tmac
    path).  Instead, the home directory is used.  To add the current
    directory, either use the `-U' or `-M' command line option or set the
    GROFF_TMAC_PATH environment variable to an appropriate value.

  . troffrc, troffrc-end, and eqnrc are neither searched in the current nor
    in the home directory (even if -U is given).  Use -M or GROFF_TMAC_PATH
    to change that.

  . Similarly, the current directory is no longer part of the font path.
    Use the `-F' command line option or the GROFF_FONT_PATH environment
    variable if you really need the current directory.

o groff now installs its data files into /usr/local/share/groff/<version> by
  default, following the GNU standard.  Additionally, a local tmac directory
  (by default /usr/local/share/groff/site-tmac) is scanned before the
  standard tmac directory.  Wrapper files for system-specific macro packages
  (if necessary) are put into /usr/local/lib/groff/site-tmac; this directory
  is searched before the local tmac directory.

o All programs now have option `-v' to show the version number; they exit
  immediately afterwards, following the GNU standards.  Additionally,
  `--version' and `--help' have been added, doing the obvious actions.

VERSION 1.16.1

Bug fixes only; no user-visible changes.



The anachronism of calling the man macro package with `-man' has been fixed;
now you can say `-m man' also. The same is true for `ms', `me', `markup',
`mandoc', and `mdoc'.

A new switch `-g' for calling `grn' is available.

A new switch `-G' for calling `grap' is available.

EBCDIC support for tty devices has been added.  On such hosts, IBM code page
1047 is available with -Tcp1047 instead of -Tascii and -Tlatin1 (and, for
the moment, -Tutf8).  Note that non-tty devices are not yet supported (but


A new command line option to the `man' macros is available: `-rSxx' (with
`xx' either 10, 11, or 12) to set the base document font size to `xx'
points.  Additionally, `.SH' now produces larger headings than `.SS'.

To solve a problem with the .PSPIC macro which needs the `-U' switch of
troff to access an external program (psbb), a new request .psbb is now
available to get the bounding box of a PostScript image file.  The values
(in PostScript units) are returned in the new read-only number registers
`llx', `lly', `urx', and `ury'.  Consequently, .PSPIC has been adapted to
use the new request, and the psbb program has been removed.

A new predefined writable number register, `year', has been added.  It
contains the current year.

A new read-only register, `.Y', has been added.  It contains the revision
number of the groff package.

`\fP' now behaves as expected in situations like the following where the
font `foo' is undefined:

  .B bold text
  normal text \f[foo]bar\fP normal text

Previously, the text after \fP appeared as bold.

The `substring' request is not new, but hasn't been documented before.

The predefined `.T' string register (which holds the current output device)
is not new, but hasn't been documented before.

A new request `length' computes the length of a string and returns it in
a number register.

The macro files `tmac.a4' (for specifying A4 paper format) and `tmac.trace'
(a debugging aid) are now installed also.

A new resource file, `troffrc-end', is now available.  It is invoked after
all user-specified macros.  Currently used by the html device to include
tmac.html; thus no need for users to specify -mhtml anymore.

The soft hyphen character now has a glyph name: `shc'.

The latin-1 character 173 (PS name `periodcentered') has got the troff glyph
name `pc' and is no longer intermixed with the symbol character `md' (PS
name `mathdot').

ASCII character 34 (PS name `quotedbl') has got the troff glyph name `dq'
(which is an alias to character `"').

ASCII character 39 (PS name `quoteright') has got the troff glyph name `cq'
(which is an alias to character "'").

Some additions to the font description files have been implemented for
better support of HTML output:

  The new format of lines in the `charset' subsection of font description
  files is

     name metrics type code [entity_name] [-- comment]

  Currently, only the font description files in devhtml use the optional
  entity_name string to define glyph entities in HTML.  Everything after the
  entity_name field is ignored; in case this field isn't used, two hyphen
  characters are now necessary to start a comment.

  Two new requests are available in DESC files (currently used only with

      This command indicates that troff should encode named characters
      inside special commands.

      requests that troff tells the driver the source file name being
      processed.  This is achieved by another tcommand: `F filename'.


Bruno Haible <> contributed support for UTF8 output.


Added .LINE macro to tmac.arkup.

The obsolete `.LINK' macro has been removed.

.URL, .FTP, and .MAILTO macros now accept an optional third argument which
will be immediately appended to the second argument (to be used with
punctuation, for example).


The font size 11pt has been changed to 10.95pt (as used in LaTeX 2e).

A new font file CWI (using cmitt10; this is typewriter italic) has been


A new driver for Canon CAPSL printers (LBP-4 and LBP-8 series laser
printers).  This code has been contributed by Francisco Andres Verdu


A new preprocessor to process gremlin pictures.  It is based on the
original Berkeley implementation of grn, written by David Slattengren
and Barry Roitblat, and has been adapted to groff by Daniel Senderowicz
<> and Werner Lemberg <>.


Added the `srand' command to set the seed for a new sequence of
pseudo-random numbers to be returned by `rand'.


Simplified installation: The Imakefile will now be configured (by groff's
configure script).


Three new man pages are available: groff_tmac.5 (documenting how troff macros
are accessed and where they are found), groff.7 (a short reference of the GNU
roff language), and roff.7 (a general survey on GNU troff).


A partial port to win32 (for use with Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0) is now part
of the distribution.  It has been contributed by Blake McBride

More information about programs, macros, documentation, etc., which is
related to groff has been collected in the file `MORE.STUFF'.

VERSION 1.13, 1.14, 1.15

Bug fixes only; no user-visible changes.


Finally, there are new maintainers for groff.  Mailing lists and a CVS
repository are available also. See the file README for details.  Not all
reported bugs could be fixed, so please send mails again if something is
still not working.

Most of the installation problems should have vanished now (most
notably the $(tmac_wrap) bug).

There is now a man page called groff_man.7 which documents the basics of the
-man macros.  It has been originally written by Susan G. Kleinmann

A (still incomplete) groff reference manual in texinfo format originally
contributed by Trent A. Fisher <>. and have been renamed to
resp. for consistency.

Default strings for macros in doc-common resp. no longer contain the
word `UNIX'.

groff should now be Y2k safe (fixes contributed by Paul Eggert

Following the GNU standards, groff will now use the prefix `/usr/local/' as
the default instead of replacing an existent groff binary.

groff, troff, nroff, and pic now support the -U flag to activate unsafe
behaviour (without -msafer); the -S flag for using the -msafer macros is now
the default.


This is a new output device for producing HTML output contributed by Gaius
Mulley <>.  It is still very alpha but has been included
into the distribution so that a lot of people have a chance to test it.  Bug
reports are highly welcome.


Duplex printing support has been contributed by Jeffrey Copeland


Added -I option for defining include paths (patch contributed by Peter
Miller <>).


Fallback resources added (patch contributed by Larry Jones

Will now support 8 gray levels.


New version 1.32 (contributed by Joergen Haegg <>).


Complete documentation for pic is now in the file doc/  It was
contributed by Eric S. Raymond, <>, who is emphatically
*not* volunteering to take over groff as he is way overworked with
half a dozen other projects.


The directory where data files are installed has been changed from
/usr/local/lib/groff to /usr/local/share/groff to comply with the
latest GNU coding standards.

By default groff programs with Unix equivalents are installed with a
"g" prefix unless there is an existing (non-groff) troff installation.

A new approach is used to make system macro packages available to
groff.  Instead of simply including /usr/lib/tmac in the list of
directories searched by groff, the installation process creates for
each system macro package a wrapper macro package in the groff macro
directory that references the system macro package.  The groff macro
packages are now installed with a leading "g" prefix if there is a
system version of the same macro package, and otherwise without the
"g" prefix, with the exception that the groff version of -me which is
always installed as -me.

There is a new device, lj4, for the HP LaserJet 4 (and PCL5


groff has a -S option that prevents the use of unsafe features in pic
and troff.  This uses a new -S option of pic and the -msafer macros
for troff.


The `blm' request specifies a macro to be invoked when a blank line is


A -S (safer) option disables the sh command.


The -m option enables manual feed.


\(rn will now produce a character that has the traditional metrics,
and will form corners with \(ul and \(br.  This means that it will not
align properly with \(sr.  Instead there's a new character
\[radicalex] which aligns with \(sr; this is used by eqn for doing
square roots.


The `pso' request allows you to read from the standard output of a


The PSPIC macro has options to allow the horizontal alignment of the
graphic to be specified.



The escape sequence \V[xxx] will interpolate the value of the
environment variable xxx.


The decimalpoint option can be used to specify the character to be
recognized as the decimal point character in place of the default



The environment variable GROFF_COMMAND_PREFIX can be used to control
whether groff looks for `gtroff' or `troff' (similarily for the


Multilingual hyphenation is supported by new `hpf' and `hla' requests,
and by a `\n[.hla]' number register.  The -H option has been removed.
Files of hyphenation patterns can have comments.

When a font cannot be found, troff gives a warning (of type `font',
enabled by default) instead of an error.

There's a new request `trnt' that's like `tr' except that it doesn't
apply to text transparently throughput into a diversion with \!.


There is a `nokeep' option which tells tbl not to use diversions to
try to keep the table on one page.


Setting the parameter `nroff' to a non-zero value causes `ndefine' to
behave like `define' and `tdefine' to be ignored.  This is done by
eqnrc when the current device is ascii or latin1.  There's a `neqn'
script that just does `eqn -Tascii'.


grotty uses whatever page length was specified using the `pl' request
rather than using the paperlength command in the DESC file.  The
paperwidth command in the DESC file is also ignored.


The programs in groff that have Unix counterparts can now be installed
without a leading `g' prefix.  See the `g' variable in the Makefile.

The g?nroff script simulates the nroff command using groff.

New special characters \(+h, \(+f, \(+p, \(Fn, \(Bq, \(bq, \(aq, \(lz,
\(an.  See groff_char(7).

^L is now a legal input character.


The Xps pseudo-device has disappeared.  Instead there is a new -X
option that tells groff to use gxditview instead of the usual
postprocessor. (So instead of -TXps, use -XTps or just -X if your
default device is ps.)

The postprocessor to be used for a particular device is now specified
by a `postpro' command in the DESC file rather than being compiled
into groff.  Similarly the command to be used for printing (with the
-l option) is now specified by a `print' command in the DESC file.

The groff command no longer specifies eqnchar as an input file for
eqn.  Instead eqn automatically loads a file `eqnrc'.  The groff
command no longer passes the -D option to eqn.  Instead eqnrc sets the
draw_lines parameter.

The groff command no longer tells troff to load a device-specific
macro file.  This is handled instead by the `troffrc' file, which is
always loaded by troff.

The shell script version of groff has been removed.


The `rchar' request removes a character definition established with `char'.

Compatibility mode is disabled and the escape character is set to `\'
while a character definition is being processed.

The `\#' escape sequence is like `\"' except that the terminating
newline is ignored.

The `shc' request tells troff which character to insert (instead of
the default \(hy) when a word is hyphenated at a line break.

A font name of 0 (zero) in the DESC file will cause no font to be
mounted on the corresponding font position.  This is useful for
arranging that special fonts are mounted on positions on which users
are not likely explicitly to mount fonts.  All groff devices now avoid
initially mounting fonts on positions 5-9.

The `do' request allows a single request or macro to be interpreted
with compatibility mode disabled.

troff automatically loads a file `troffrc' before any other input file.
This can be prevented with the -R option.  This file is responsible
for loading the device-specific macros.


The -x option has been removed and a -n option has been added.  By
default, pic now assumes that the postprocessor supports groff
extensions.  The -n option tells pic to generate output that works
with ditroff drivers.  The -z option now applies only to TeX mode.

The -p option has been removed. Instead if the -n option is not
specified, pic generates output that uses \X'ps: ...' if the \n(0p
register is non-zero and sets this register to 1.

In places where you could 1st or 5th you can now say `i'th or `i+1'th
(the quotes are required).


Eqn now automatically reads a file `eqnrc' from the macro directory.
This performs the same role that the eqnchar files used to.  This can
be prevented by the -R option.

Setting the draw_lines parameter to a non-zero value causes lines to
be drawn using \D rather than \l.  The -D option is now obsolete.

`uparrow', `downarrow' and `updownarrow' can be used with `left' and

The amount of extra space added before and after lines containing
equations can be controlled using the `body_height' and `body_depth'


Font description files have been regenerated from newer AFM files.
You can get access to the additional characters present in the text
fonts in newer PostScript printers by using -mpsnew.

The default value of the -b option is specified by a `broken' command
in the DESC file.

With the -g option, grops will generate PostScript code that guesses
the page height.  This allows documents to be printed on both letter
(8.5x11) and A4 paper without change.


ISO Latin-1 characters are available with -Tdvi.  Format groff_char(7)
with groff -Tdvi for more information.


The -mtty-char macros contain additional character definitions for
use with grotty.


In previous releases the groff -me macros treated the $r and $R number
registers in a way that was incompatible with the BSD -me macros.  The
reason for this was that the approach used by the BSD -me macros does
not work with low resolution devices such as -TX75 and -TX100.
However, this caused problems with existing -me documents.  In this
release, the vertical spacing is controlled by the $v and $V registers
which have the same meaning as $r and $R in earlier groff releases.
In addition, if the $r or $R register is set to a value that would be
correct for for the BSD -me macros and a low resolution device is not
being used, then an appropriate value for the $v or $V register will
be derived from the $r or $R register.

The groff -me macros work with -C and (I think) with Unix troff.

For backward compatibility with BSD -me, the \*{ and \*} strings are
also available as \*[ and \*].  Of course, \*[ will only be usable
with -C.

The \*T string has been deleted.  Use \*(Tm instead.


The `n', Space and Return keys are bound to the Next Page action.  The
`p', BackSpace and Delete keys are bound to the Previous Page action.
The `q' key is bound to the Quit action.

The `r' key is bound to a rerasterize action that reruns groff, and
redisplays the current page.



There is a alternative assignment operator `:=' which interacts
differently with blocks.

There is a new command `command', which allows the values of variables
to be passed through to troff or TeX.

The `print' command now accepts multiple arguments.

String comparison expressions (using `==' or `!=') are allowed in more


Horizontal and vertical lines drawn with \D'l ...' will be rendered
using -, | and + characters.  This is intended to give reasonable
results with boxed tables.  It won't work well with pic.


The -mdoc macros have been upgraded to the version in the second
Berkeley networking release.  This version is not completely
compatible with earlier versions; the old version is still available
as -mdoc.old.  The grog script has been enhanced so that it can
usually determine whether a document requires the old or new versions.

With -TX75, -TX100 and -TXps, the PSPIC macro will produce a box
around where the picture would appear with -Tps.


An implementation of the -mm macros is included.

The directory in which temporary files are created can be controlled
by setting the GROFF_TMPDIR or TMPDIR environment variables.


Some MS-DOS support (see pic/make-dos-dist).


There are two new \X commands (\X'ps: invis' and \X'ps: endinvis')
which make it possible to have substitute characters that are
displayed when previewing with -TXps but ignored when printing with


Support for scalable fonts.


No changes other than bug fixes.


There is an implementation of refer and associated programs.  groff -R
preprocesses with grefer; no mechanism is provided for passing
arguments to grefer because most grefer options have equivalent
commands which can be included in the file.  grog also supports refer.

There is an alternative perl implementation of the grog script.

The code field in lines in the charset section of font description
files is now allowed to contain an arbitrary integer (previously it
was required to lie between 0 and 255).  Currently grops and grodvi
use only the low order 8 bits of the value.  Grodvi will use the
complete value; however, this is unlikely to be useful with
traditional TeX tools (.tfm files only allow 8 bit character codes.)

Left and right double quotes can be obtained with \(lq and \(rq

There is a new program called pfbtops which translates PostScript
fonts in pfb format to ASCII.

A slightly modified version of the Berkeley tmac.doc is included.


In long escape names the closing ] is now required to be at the same
input level as the opening [.

The \A'S' escape sequence returns 1 or 0 according as S is or is not
suitable for use as a name.

\~ produces an unbreakable space that can be stretched when the line
is adjusted.

The `mso' request is like the `so' request except that it searches for
the file in the same directories in which tmac.X is searched for when
the -mX option is given.

The escape sequence `\R' is similar to the `nr' request.


A new `special' primitive allows you to add new types of unary
constructs by writing a troff macro.


The implementation no longer uses gperf.


The compile-time -DBROKEN_SPOOLER option has been replaced by a
BROKEN_SPOOLER_FLAGS option.  This allows more precise control over
how grops should workaround broken spoolers and previewers.  There is
a new -b option that can change this at run-time.

Grops now generates PostScript that complies with version 3.0 of the
Document Structuring Convention.

The resource management component of grops (the part that deals with
imported documents and downloadable fonts) has been rewritten and now
supports version 3.0 of the Document Structuring Conventions.  The
%%DocumentFonts comment is no longer supported; you must use the
%%Document{Needed,Supplied}{Fonts,Resources} comments instead
(or as well.)

tmac.psatk contains some macros that support the mechanism used by the
Andrew Toolkit for including PostScript graphics in troff documents.


Parts of xditview have been rewritten so that it can be used with the
output of gtroff -Tps.  groff -TXps will run gtroff -Tps with

There is a new menu entry `Print' which brings up a dialog box for
specifying a command with which the file being previewed should be

Xditview now uses imake.


The groff command now understands the gtroff `-a' and `-i' options.

With the `m' and `n' scale indicators, the scale factor is rounded
horizontally before being applied.  This makes (almost) no difference
for devices with `hor' equal to 1, but it makes groff with -Tascii or
-Tlatin1 behave more like nroff in its treatment of these scale
indicators.  Accordingly tmac.tty now calls the `nroff' request so
that the `n' condition will be true.

The device-specific macros (, tmac.dvi, tmac.tty and tmac.X)
have been made to work at least somewhat with -C.  In particular the
special characters defined by these macros now work with -C.

groff -Tdvi -p will now pass pic the -x flag; this will enable filling
of arrowheads and boxes, provided that your dvi driver supports the
latest version of the tpic specials.


There is a new `-N' option that tells eqn not to allow newlines in
delimiters.  This allows eqn to recover better from missing closing
delimiters.  The groff command will pass on a `-N' option to eqn.


You can now use psfig with grops.  See the file ps/psfig.diff.  I do
not recommend using psfig for new documents.

The command \X'ps: file F' is similar to \X'ps: exec ...' except that
the PostScript code is read from the file F instead of being contained
within the \X command.  This was added to support psfig.


There are font files HB and HI corresponding to cmsssbx10 and cmssi10.


The groff -me macros now work with the -C option.  As a result, they
may also work with Unix nroff/troff.

In -me, the $r and $R number registers now contain the line spacing as
a percentage of the pointsize expressed in units (normally about 120).
The previous definition was useless with low resolution devices such
as X75 and X100.


A -ms-like macro-package is now included.

The name for the Icelandic lowercase eth character has been changed
from \(-d to \(Sd.


There is a new request `nroff', which makes the `n' built-in condition
true and the `t' built-in condition false; also a new request `troff'
which undoes the effect of the `nroff' request.  This is intended only
for backward compatibility: it is usually better to test \n(.H or
\n(.V or to use the `c' built-in condition.

The \R escape sequence has been deleted.  Use \E instead.

There are `break' and `continue' requests for use with the `while'

There is a request `hym' that can ensure that when the current
adjustment mode is not `b' a line will not be hyphenated if it is no
more than a given amount short, and a request `hys' that can ensure
that when the current adjustment mode is `b' a line will not be
hyphenated if it can be justified by adding no more than a given
amount of extra space to each word space.

There is a request `rj' similar to `ce' that right justifies lines.

A warning of type `space' will be given when a call is made to an
undefined request or macro with a name longer than two characters, and
the first two characters of the name make a name that is defined.
This is intended to find places where a space has been omitted been a
request or macro and its argument.  This type of warning is enabled by


A comma is permitted between the arguments to the `reset' command.

For use with TeX, there is a new `-c' option that makes gpic treat
lines beginning with `.' in a way that is more compatible with tpic
(but ugly).


It is no longer necessary to add `space 0' at the beginning of
complicated equations inside pictures.

`prime' is now treated as an ordinary character, as in Unix eqn.  The
previous behaviour of `prime' as an operator can now be obtained using


There are two new devices X75-12 and X100-12 which are the same as X75
and X100 except that they are optimized for documents that use mostly
12 point text.


The installation process has been refined to make it easy for you to
share groff with someone who has the same type of machine as you but
does not have a C++ compiler.  See the end of the INSTALL file for

There is a man page for the tfmtodit program which explains how to use
your own fonts with groff -Tdvi.

There is a man page for afmtodit which explains how to use your own
PostScript fonts with groff -Tps.

The \N escape sequence is now fully supported.  It can now be used to
access any character in a font by its output code, even if it doesn't
have a groff name.  This is made possible by a convention in the font
files that a character name of `---' refers to an unnamed character.
The drivers now all support the `N' command required for this.  The font
description files have been updated to include unnamed characters.

The `x' command in font description files has been removed: instead
any unknown commands are automatically made available to the drivers.
If you constructed your own font files with an earlier version of
tfmtodit or afmtodit, you must construct them again using the current

Characters between 0200 and 0237 octal are no longer legal input
characters.  Note that these are not used in ISO 8859.

A command called `grog' has been added, similar to the `doctype'
command described in Kernighan and Pike.


The groff command has some new options: -V prints the pipeline
instead of executing it; -P passes an argument to the postprocessor,
-L passes an argument to the spooler.

There is a C++ implementation of the groff command.  This handles some
things slightly better than the shell script.  In particular, it can
correctly handle arguments containing characters that have a special
meaning to the shell; it can give an error message when child
processes other than the last in the pipeline terminate abnormally;
its exit status can take account of the exit statuses of all its child
processes; it is a little more efficient; when geqn is used, it
searches for the eqnchar file in the same way that font metric files
are searched for, rather than expecting to find it in one particular


There is font translation feature: For example, you can tell gtroff to
use font `HR' whenever font `H' is requested with the line
  .ftr H HR
This would be useful for a document that uses `H' to refer to

There are some new number registers: `.kern' contains the current kern
mode, `.lg' the current ligature mode, `.x' the major version number,
`.y' the minor version number, `.ce' the number of lines to be
centered in the current environment, `.trunc' the amount of vertical
space truncated by the most recently sprung vertical position trap,
`.ne' the amount of vertical space needed in the last `ne' request
that caused a vertical position trap to be sprung.

The `cf' request now behaves sensibly in a diversion.  If used in a
diversion, it will now arrange for the file to be copied to the output
when the diversion is reread.

There is a new request `trf' (transparent file) similar to `cf', but
more like `\!'.

There is a new escape sequence `\Y[xxx]', roughly equivalent to
`\X'\*[xxx]'', except that the contents of string or macro xxx are not
interpreted, and xxx may contain newlines.  This requires an output
format extension; the drivers have been modified to understand this.
Grops has also been modified to cope with newlines in the arguments to
\X commands; grops has a new \X command mdef, which is like def except
that it has a first argument giving the number of definitions.

There is a new warning category `escape' which warns about unknown
escape sequences.

The `fp' request now takes an optional third argument giving the external
name of the font.

The `\_' character is now automatically translated to `\(ul' as in troff.

The environment variable `GROFF_HYPHEN' gives the name of the file
containing the hyphenation patterns.

There is a `\C'xxx'' escape sequence equivalent to `\[xxx]'.

Characters ", ', ), ], *, \(dg are now initially transparent for the purposes
of end of sentence recognition.

There is an anti-recursion feature in the `char' request, so you can
say `.char \(bu \s+2\(bu\s-2'.

The limit on the number of font positions has been removed.
Accordingly `\n[.fp]' never returns 0.

The restriction on the number of numbered environments has been removed.

There is a new escape sequence `\E' that makes it possible to
guarantee that an escape sequence won't get interpreted in copy-mode.
The `\R' escape sequence is accordingly now deprecated.


Arguments of the form `X anything X' (in the `copy thru', `sh', `for',
`if' and `define' constructs) can now be of the form `{ anything }'.

If the `linethick' variable is negative (as it now is initially),
lines will be drawn with a thickness proportional to the current point

The `rand' function now takes no arguments and returns a number between
0 and 1.  The old syntax is still supported.

`^' can be used in expressions to indicate exponentiation.

In the `for' construct the argument to the by clause can be prefixed
by `*' to indicate that the increment is multiplicative.

A bare expression may be used as an attribute.  If the current
direction is `dir', then an attribute `expr' is equivalent to
`dir expr'

There is a `sprintf' construct that allows numbers to be formatted and used
wherever a quoted string can be used.

The height of a text object without an explicit height attribute is
the number of text strings associated with the object times the value
of the `textht' variable.

The maximum height and width of a picture is controlled by the
`maxpswid' and `maxpsht' variables.


Gtbl can now handle gracefully the situation where the `ce' request
has been applied to a table.


The `ifdef' primitive has been generalized.

A tilde accent can be put underneath a box using `utilde'.  This
defined using a general `uaccent' primitive.


There is a new PostScript font downloading scheme which handles font
downloading for imported illustrations.  Previously, the name of the
file containing the font was given in the `x download' line in the
groff font metric file.  Now, there is a `download' file which says
for each PostScript font name which file contains that font.  Grops
can also now handle inter-font dependencies, where one downloadable
font depends on some other (possibly downloadable) font.

The `T' font has been removed.  The characters it used to provide are
now provided by `char' definitions in has also
been removed, and the tweaks it provided are now provided by `char'