ditroff(7) — Linux manual page

Name | Description | Authors | See also | COLOPHON

ditroff(7)          Miscellaneous Information Manual          ditroff(7)

Name         top

       ditroff - device-independent typesetter roff

Description         top

       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.

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

       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 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)