The name ditroff refers to a historical development stage of the
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 ditroff.
The easiest way to use ditroff is via the GNU roff system, groff.
The program is a wrapper around (di)troff that automatically
handles device postprocessing.
refers to the 1992 revision of the Nroff/Troff User'sManual by J. F. Ossanna and Brian Kernighan.
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
describes the GNU implementation of
documents the GNU
roff program and includes pointers to further
documentation about groff.
groff version of the intermediate output language, the
basis for multi-device output.
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 2023-06-23. (At
that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in
the repository was 2023-06-23.) 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
groff 1.23.0.rc1.1931-35c9b 30 January 2022 ditroff(7)