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gropdf - PDF driver for groff


gropdf [-delvs] [-F dir] [-p papersize] [-y foundry] [-u [cmapfile]] [files ...]

It is possible to have whitespace between a command line option and its parameter.


gropdf 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 -P option.

See section FONT INSTALLATION below for a guide how to install fonts for gropdf.


-d Include debug information as comments within the PDF. Also produces an
uncompressed PDF.

-e Force all fonts to be embedded in the PDF.

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

-l 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 details.

-v Print the version number.

Set the foundry to use for selecting fonts of the same name.

-e Forces gropdf to embed ALL fonts (even the 14 base PDF fonts).

-s 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.


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

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 1000.

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

internalname psname

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 format.

Any downloadable fonts which should, when required, be included by gropdf must be listed
in the file /usr/share/groff/1.22.3/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
(spaces are not allowed); 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:

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. 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

gropdf understands some of the X commands produced using the \X escape sequences supported
by grops. Specifically, the following is supported.

\X'ps: invis'
Suppress output.

\X'ps: endinvis'
Stop suppressing output.

\X'ps: exec gsave currentpoint 2 copy translate n rotate neg exch neg exch translate'
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: exec n setlinejoin'
where n can be one of the following values.

0 = Miter join
1 = Round join
2 = Bevel join

\X'ps: exec n setlinecap'
where n can be one of the following values.

0 = Butt cap
1 = Round cap, and
2 = Projecting square cap

\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 PDF

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 page.

In addition, gropdf supports its own suite of pdf: tags. The following tags are

\X'pdf: pdfpic file alignment width height line-length'
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.

\X'pdf: xrev'
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 definition'
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.

\X'pdf: markend'
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.

\X'pdf: marksuspend'
\X'pdf: markrestart'
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.)

Importing graphics
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 the command:

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).


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

· 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 call is

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 ‘Fcq] thus the following
line should be added to ‘download’:

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 foundry.


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.

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

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