ditroff(7) — Linux manual page

Name | Description | Authors | See Also | COLOPHON

ditroff(7)            Miscellaneous Information Manual            ditroff(7)

Name         top

       ditroff - classical device-independent roff

Description         top

       The name ditroff refers to a historical development stage of the
       roff(7) text processing system.  In roff systems extant today, the
       name troff is a synonym for ditroff.

       Early versions of roff by Joe Ossanna generated two programs from the
       same sources, using conditional compilation to distinguish them.
       nroff produced text-oriented TTY output, while troff generated
       graphical output for exactly one output device, the Wang Graphic
       Systems CAT phototypesetter.

       In 1979, Brian Kernighan rewrote troff to support more devices by
       creating an intermediate output format for troff that could be fed
       into postprocessor programs which actually do the printout on the
       device.  Kernighan's version marks what is known as “classical troff”
       today.  In order to distinguish it from Ossanna's original version,
       it was called ditroff (device independent troff) on some systems,
       though this naming isn't mentioned in the classical documentation.

       Today, all existing roff systems are based on Kernighan's multi-
       device troff.  The distinction between troff and ditroff is no longer
       necessary; each modern troff provides the complete functionality of

       The easiest way to use ditroff is via the GNU roff system, groff.
       The groff(1) program is a wrapper around (di)troff that automatically
       handles device postprocessing.

Authors         top

       This document was written by Bernd Warken ⟨groff-bernd.warken-72@

See Also         top

       CSTR #54
              refers to the 1992 revision of the Nroff/Troff User's Manual
              by J. F. Ossanna and Brian Kernighan.

       CSTR #97
              refers to A Typesetter-independent TROFF, by Brian Kernighan
              and is the original documentation of the first multi-device
              troff (ditroff).

              provides a history and conceptual overview of roff systems.

              describes the GNU implementation of (di)troff.

              documents the GNU roff program and includes pointers to
              further documentation about groff.

              describes the groff version of the intermediate output
              language, the basis for multi-device output.

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the groff (GNU troff) project.  Information
       about the project can be found at 
       ⟨http://www.gnu.org/software/groff/⟩.  If you have a bug report for
       this manual page, see ⟨http://www.gnu.org/software/groff/⟩.  This
       page was obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨https://git.savannah.gnu.org/git/groff.git⟩ on 2020-08-13.  (At that
       time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the repos‐
       itory was 2020-08-12.)  If you discover any rendering problems in
       this HTML version of the page, or you believe there is a better or
       more up-to-date source for the page, or you have corrections or
       improvements to the information in this COLOPHON (which is not part
       of the original manual page), send a mail to man-pages@man7.org

groff            16 May 2020                      ditroff(7)

Pages that refer to this page: groff(1)groff_out(5)roff(7)