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Re: Learning troff - where to start?

From: Pierre-Jean Fichet
Subject: Re: Learning troff - where to start?
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2020 16:37:13 +0200
User-agent: neatmail (git://

Hello alls,

I'm a neatroff user, and feels, as a result, compelled to give my
opinion. I'll second everyone stating that "Nroff/Troff User Manual"
(CSTR 54) is the manual of choice. It's 37 pages of well written
documentation, and should cover all your needs:

Then, you'll need to know what are the differences between the old
troff and neatroff:

If you use preprocessors (refer, pic, tbl...), you'll have to read
their documentation separately.

Then, if you want to write your own macros, you'll probably want to
begin by adapting one of them, and get used with its internals.
Maybe ms is a good candidate, as it's quite short, and yet used that
way by Ali Gholami Rudi for neatroff, with:

To fetch for ideas on how to do this or that, maybe can I also point
to my macros, as they'll work with neatroff too, and implement a lot
of things:

I figured that despite appearing unreadable at first glance, the troff
formatting language is easy. I quickly could have my first working
layout. Then comes the harder part of the work when complexity
increases the risk of glitches, and glitches become harder to track
and fix. But in the end, the journey is worth the effort, imho.

Hoping that helps!

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