Typesetting Tools

groff – typesetting system that reads plain text input files

groff (GNU roff) is a typesetting system that reads plain text input files that include formatting commands to produce output in PostScript, PDF, HTML, or DVI formats or for display to a terminal. Formatting commands can be low-level typesetting primitives, macros from a supplied package, or user-defined macros. All three approaches can be combined.

A reimplementation and extension of the typesetter from AT&T Unix, groff is present on most POSIX systems owing to its long association with Unix manuals (including man pages). It and its predecessor are notable for their production of several best-selling software engineering texts. groff is capable of producing typographically sophisticated documents while consuming minimal system resources.

groff outputs PostScript or PDF, as well as formatted copy suitable for viewing at the terminal

This is free and open source software.

Formatter features include:

  • Text filling, breaking, alignment to the left or right margin; centering.
  • Adjustment of inter-word space size to justify text, and of inter-sentence space size to suit local style conventions.
  • Automatic and manual determination of hyphenation break points.
  • Pagination.
  • Selection of any font available to the output device.
  • Adjustment of type size and vertical spacing (or “leading”).
  • Configuration of line length and indentation amounts; columnation.
  • Drawing of geometric primitives (lines, arcs, polygons, circles, …).
  • Setup of stroke and fill colors (where supported by the output device).
  • Embedding of hyperlinks, images, document metadata, and other inclusions (where supported by the output device).

Website: www.gnu.org/software/groff/groff.html
Developer: Bertrand Garrigues, G. Branden Robinson
License: GNU General Public License v3.0

groff is written in C++. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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