PDF driver for groff
see also :
afmtodit - groff - grops - troff - pfbtops
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translates the output of GNU troff to PDF. Normally
gropdf should be invoked by using the groff command
with a -Tpdf option. If no files are given,
gropdf reads the standard input. A filename of
- also causes gropdf to read the
standard input. PDF output is written to the standard
output. When gropdf is run by groff options
can be passed to gropdf using groff’s
FONT INSTALLATION below for a guide how to install
fonts for gropdf.
Include debug information as
comments within the PDF. Also produces an uncompressed
Force all fonts to be embedded in the PDF.
Prepend directory dir/devname to
the search path for font, and device description files;
name is the name of the device, usually
Print the document in landscape format.
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
Print the version number.
Set the foundry to use for
selecting fonts of the same name.
Forces gropdf to embed ALL fonts (even the 14
base PDF fonts).
Append a comment line to end of PDF showing statistics,
i.e. number of pages in document. Ghostscript’s
ps2pdf complains about this line if it is included,
but works anyway.
Gropdf normally includes
a ToUnicode CMap with any font created using text.enc
as the encoding file, this makes it easier to search for
words which contain ligatures. You can include your own CMap
by specifying a cmapfilename or have no CMap at all
by omitting the argument.
A list of directories in which to search for the
devname directory in addition to the default ones.
If, in the ’download’ file, the font file has been
specified with a full path, no directories are searched. See
troff(1) and groff_font(5) for more details.
Device description file.
Font description file for font F.
Font description file for font F (using
foundry U rather than the default foundry).
List of downloadable fonts.
A Perl script used during install to locate suitable fonts.
Encoding used for text fonts.
Macros for use with gropdf; automatically loaded by
This section gives a summary of the above explanations; it can
serve as a step-by-step font installation guide for
• Convert your font to something groff
understands. This is either a PostScript Type 1 font in
either PFA or PFB, together with an AFM file.
The very first line in a PFA/PFB file contains this:
A PFB file has this also in the first line, but the string is
preceded with some binary bytes.
• Convert the AFM file to a groff font
description file with the afmtodit(1) program. An example
afmtodit Foo-Bar-Bold.afm map/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 normal, bold, italic, and bold italic faces, it is
recommended to use the letters R, B, I, and
BI, respectively, as postfixes 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 ’devpdf’ subdirectory of the font
path which groff finds. See the ENVIRONMENT section in the
troff(1) man page which lists 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 ’devpdf/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) and belongs to foundry ’F’,
thus the following line should be added to
F XY-Foo-Bar-Bold Foo-Bar-Bold.pfa
Use a tab character to separate the fields, and the
’foundry’ field should be null for the default
The input to gropdf 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
pdf device uses a resolution of 72000 and a sizescale of
The device description file must contain a valid paper size; see
groff_font(5) for more information. gropdf uses the
same Type 1 Adobe postscript fonts as the grops
device driver. Although the PDF Standard allows the use of other
font types (like TrueType) this implementation only accepts the
Type 1 postscript font. Fewer Type 1 fonts are
supported natively in PDF documents than the standard 35 fonts
supported by grops and all postscript printers, but all
the fonts are available since any which aren’t supported
natively are automatically embedded in the PDF.
gropdf supports the concept of foundries, that is
different versions of basically the same font. During install a
Foundry file controls where fonts are found and builds
groff fonts from the files it discovers on your system.
Each font description file must contain a command
which says that the PostScript name of the font is psname.
Lines starting with # and blank lines are ignored. The
code for each character given in the font file must correspond to
the code in the default encoding for the font. 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 exist in the PostScript
font, and the widths given in the font file must match the widths
used in the PostScript font.
Note that gropdf is currently only able to display the
first 256 glyphs in any font. This restriction will be lifted in
a later version.
gropdf can automatically include the downloadable fonts
necessary to print the document. Fonts may be in PFA or PFB
Any downloadable fonts which should, when required, be included
by gropdf must be listed in the file
/usr/share/groff/1.22.1/font/devpdf/download; this should
consist of lines of the form
foundry font filename
where foundry is the foundry name or blank for the default
foundry. 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
must be separated by tabs; filename is searched for using
the same mechanism that is used for groff font metric files. The
download file itself is also searched for using this
mechanism; currently, only the first found file in the font path
is used. Foundry names are usually a single character (such as
’U’ for the URW Foundry) or blank for the default
foundry. This default uses the same fonts as ghostscript
uses when it embeds fonts in a PDF file.
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:
There is also the following font which is not a member of a
There are also some special fonts called S for the PS
Symbol font. The lower case greek characters are automatically
slanted (to match the SymbolSlanted font (SS) available to
postscript). Zapf Dingbats is available as ZD, the "hand
pointing left" glyph (\lh) is available since it has been defined
using the \X’pdf: xrev’ extension which reverses the
direction of letters within words.
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.
gropdf understands some of the X commands produced
using the \X escape sequences supported by grops.
Specifically it supports:-
Stop suppressing output.
\X’ps: exec gsave currentpoint 2 copy translate
n rotate neg exch neg
where n is the angle of rotation. This is to support the
align command in gpic.
\X’ps: exec grestore’
Again used by gpic to restore after rotation.
\X’ps: ... pdfmark’
All the pdfmark macros installed by using -m
pdfmark or -m mspdf (see documentation in
’pdfmark.pdf’). A subset of these macros are
installed automatically when you use -Tpdf so you should
not need to use ’-m pdfmark’ for using most of the
All other ps: tags are silently ignored.
One \X special used by the DVI driver is also recognised:
where the paper-size parameter is the same as the
papersize command. See groff_font(5) for details.
This means that you can alter the page size at will within the
PDF file being created by gropdf. If you do want to change
the paper size, it must be done before you start creating the
In addition, gropdf supports its own suite of pdf:
tags. The following tags are supported:
\X’pdf: pdfpic file alignment width height
Place an image of the specified width containing the PDF
drawing from file file of desired width and
height (if height is missing or zero then it is
scaled proportionally). If alignment is -L the
drawing is left aligned. If it is -C or -R a
linelength greater than the width of the drawing is
required as well. If width is specified as zero then the
width is scaled in proportion to the height.
This toggles a flag which reverses the direction of printing
letter by letter, i.e., each separate letter is reversed,
not the entire word. This is useful for reversing the direction
of glyphs in the Dingbats font. To return to normal printing
repeat the command again.
\X’pdf: markstart /ANN
The macros which support PDF Bookmarks use this call internally
to start the definition of bookmark hotspot (user will have
called ’.pdfhref L’ with the text which will
become the ’hot spot’ region). Normally this is never
used except from within the pdfmark macros.
The macros which support PDF Bookmarks use this call internally
to stop the definition of bookmark hotspot (user will have called
’.pdfhref L’ with the text which will become the
’hot spot’ region). Normally this is never used
except from within the pdfmark macros.
If you are using page traps to produce headings, footings, etc.,
you need to use these in case a ’hot spot’ crosses a
page boundary, otherwise any text output by the heading or
footing macro will be marked as part of the ’hot
spot’. To stop this happening just place
’.pdfmarksuspend’ and ’.pdfmarkrestart’
at the start and end of the page trap macro, respectively. (These
are just convenience macros which emit the \X code. These macros
must only be used within page traps.)
gropdf only supports importing other PDF files as graphics.
But that PDF file may contain any of the graphic formats
supported by the PDF standard (such as JPEG, PNG, GIF, etc.). So
any application which outputs PDF can be used as an embedded file
in gropdf. The PDF file you wish to insert must be a
single page and the drawing must just fit inside the media size
of the PDF file. So, in inkscape(1) or gimp(1) (for
example) make sure the canvas size just fits the image.
The PDF parser used in gropdf has not been rigorously
tested with all possible applications which produce PDFs. If you
find a single page PDF which fails to import properly, it is
worth running it through the pdftk(1) program by issuing
pdftk oldfile.pdf output newfile.pdf
You may find that newfile.pdf will now load successfully.
TrueType and other font formats
gropdf does not support any other fonts except Adobe Type 1
(PFA or PFB).
groff , grops , troff ,
grops, pfbtops , groff_out,