Linux nroff command

Updated: 05/04/2019 by Computer Hope
nroff command

On Unix-like operating systems, the nroff command (short for "new runoff"), is used to format ("run off") documents for display or fixed-width printing. In addition to user functions, internally, the system uses it to format the text in man pages.

This document covers the GNU/Linux version of nroff.


nroff [-e] [-h] [-i] [-q] [-mname] [-nN] [-opagelist] [-raN] [-sN] [-Tname]


-e Produce equally-spaced words in adjusted lines, using full terminal resolution.
-h Use output Tab characters during horizontal spacing to speed output and reduce output character count. Tab settings are assumed to be every 8 nominal character widths.
-i Read the standard input after the input files are exhausted.
-q Invoke the simultaneous input-output mode of the rd request.
-mname Prepend the macro file /usr/share/lib/tmac/ to the input files.
-nN Number first generated page N.
-opagelist Print only pages whose page numbers appear in the comma-separated list of numbers and ranges. A range N-M means pages N through M; an initial -N means from the beginning to page N; and a final N- means from N to the end.
-raN Set register a (one-character) to N.
-sN Stop every N pages. nroff will halt prior to every N pages (default N=1) to allow paper loading or changing, and will resume upon receipt of a NEWLINE.
-Tname Prepare output for a device of the specified name. Known names are:

37 TeleType Corporation Model 37 terminal this is the default.
lp | tn300 GE - any line printer or terminal without half-line capability.
300 DASI-300.
3300-12 12 DASI-300 - 12-pitch.
300S DASI-300S.
300S-12 DASI-300S.
382 DASI-382 (fancy DTC 382).
450 DASI-450 (Diablo Hyterm).
450-12 DASI-450 (Diablo Hyterm) - 12-pitch.
832 AJ 832


nroff -s4 -me

Formats using the -me macro package.

checknr — Check nroff and troff files for errors.
col — Filter reverse linefeeds.
eqn — Language processor for describing equations.
man — Display the manual page of a given command.
tbl — Preprocessor which formats tables for nroff or troff.
troff — Typeset or format documents for terminal display or line-printer.