groff_hdtbl(7) — Linux manual page

Name | Description | Usage | Macros and Arguments | hdtbl Customization | Bugs and Suggestions | Authors | See Also | COLOPHON

groff_hdtbl(7)        Miscellaneous Information Manual        groff_hdtbl(7)

Name         top

       groff_hdtbl - Heidelberger table macros for GNU roff

Description         top

       The hdtbl macros consist of four base and three optional macros,
       controlled by about twenty arguments.  The syntax is simple and
       similar to the HTML table model and nearly as flexible: You can write
       sequences of tokens (macro calls with their arguments and content
       data), separated by blanks and beginning with a macro call, into the
       same line to get compact and cleanly arrranged input.  An advantage
       of hdtbl is that the tables are constructed without calling a
       preprocessor; this means that groff's full macro capabilities are
       available.  On the other hand, table processing with hdtbl is much
       slower than using the tbl(1) preprocessor.  A further advantage is
       that the HTML-like syntax of hdtbl will be easily converted to HTML;
       this is not implemented yet.

Usage         top

       In this and the next section, we present examples to help users
       understand the basic workflow of hdtbl.  First of all, you must load
       the hdtbl.tmac file.  As with nearly all other groff macro packages,
       there are two possibilities to do so: Either add the line

              .mso hdtbl.tmac

       to your roff file before using any macros of the hdtbl package, or
       add the option

              -m hdtbl

       to the command line of groff (before the document file which contains
       hdtbl macros).  Then you can include on or more tables in your docu‐
       ment, where each one must be started and ended with the .TBL and .ETB
       macros, respectively.

       In this man page, we approximate the result of each example in the
       tty format to be as generic as possible since hdtbl currently only
       supports the PS and PDF output devices.

       The simplest well-formed table consists of just single calls to the
       four base table macros in the right order.  Here we construct a table
       with only one cell.

              contents of the table cell

       A tty representation is

              | contents-of-the-table-cell                           |

       Equivalent to the above is the following notation.

              .TBL .TR .TD "contents of the table cell" .ETB

       By default, the formatted table is inserted into the surrounding text
       at the place of its definition.  If the vertical space isn't suffi‐
       cient, it is placed at the top of the next page.  Tables can also be
       stored for later insertion.

       Using ‘row-number*column-number’ as the data for the table cells, a
       table with two rows and two columns can be written as

              .TBL cols=2
              .  TR .TD 1*1 .TD 1*2
              .  TR .TD 2*1 .TD 2*2

       A tty representation is

              | 1*1                      | 1*2                       |
              | 2*1                      | 2*2                       |

       Here we see a difference from HTML tables: The number of columns must
       be explicitly specified using the ‘cols=m’ argument (or indirectly
       via the ‘width’ argument, see below).

       The contents of a table cell is arbitrary; for example, it can be an‐
       other table, without restriction to the nesting depth.  A given table
       layout can be either constructed with suitably nested tables or with
       proper arguments to .TD and .TH, controlling column and row spanning.
       Note, however, that this table

              .  TR
              .    TD
              .      nop 1*1 1*2
              .  TR
              .    TD
              .      TBL cols=2 border=
              .        TR
              .          TD
              .            nop 2*1
              .          TD
              .            nop 2*2
              .      ETB

       and this table

              .TBL cols=2
              .  TR
              .    TD colspan=2
              .      nop 1*1 1*2
              .  TR
              .    TD
              .      nop 2*1
              .    TD
              .      nop 2*2

       are similar but not identical (the use of .nop is purely cosmetic to
       get proper indentation).

       The first table looks like

              | 1*1 1*2                                              |
              |                                                      |
              | 2*1                         2*2                      |
              |                                                      |

       and the second one like

              | 1*1 1*2                                              |
              | 2*1                       | 2*2                      |

       Here the latter table in a more compact form.

              .TBL cols=2 .TR ".TD colspan=2" 1*1 1*2
              .            TR .TD 2*1 .TD 2*2 .ETB

       If a macro has one or more arguments (see below), and it is not
       starting a line, everything belonging to this macro including the
       macro itself must be enclosed in double quotes.

Macros and Arguments         top

       The order of macro calls and other tokens follows the HTML model.  In
       the following list, valid predecessors and successors of all hdtbl
       macros are given, together with the possible arguments.

       Macro arguments are separated by blanks.  The order of arguments is
       arbitrary; they are of the form



              key='value1 [value2 [...]]'

       with the only exception of the optional argument of the macro .ETB,
       which is the string ‘hold’.  Another possible form is

              "key=value1 [value2 [...]]"

       However, this is limited to the case where the macro is the first one
       in the line and not already enclosed in double quotes.

       Argument values specified below as c are colors predefined by groff
       or colors defined by the user with the .defcolor request.  Argument
       values d are decimal numbers with or without decimal point.  Argument
       values m are natural numbers.  Argument values n are numerical values
       with the usual groff scaling indicators.  Some of the arguments are
       specific to one or two macros, but most of them can be specified with
       .TBL, .TR, .TD, and .TH.  These common arguments are explained in the
       next subsection.

       Most of the argument default values can be changed by the user by
       setting corresponding default registers or strings, as listed below.

       .TBL [args]
              Begin a new table.

              predecessor: .TD, .TH, .ETB, cell contents
              successor: .CPTN, .TR
                            Thickness of the surrounding box border.
                            ‘border=’ (no value) means neither a surrounding
                            box border nor any horizontal or vertical
                            separator lines between the table rows and
                            cells.  ‘border=0’ suppresses the surrounding
                            box border, but still allows separator lines
                            between cells and rows.
                            Default: ‘border=.1n’ (register ‘t*b’).
                     bc=c   Border color.
                            Default: ‘bc=red4’ (string ‘t*bc’).
                     cols=m Number of table columns.  This argument is
                            necessary if more than one column is in the
                            table and no ‘width’ arguments are present.
                            Default: ‘cols=1’ (register ‘t*cols’).
                     cpd=n  Cell padding, i.e., the extra space between the
                            cell space border and the cell contents.
                            Default: ‘cpd=.5n’ (register ‘t*cpd’).
                     csp=n  Cell spacing, i.e., the extra space between the
                            table border or vertical or horizontal lines
                            between cells and the cellspace.
                            Default: ‘csp=.5n’ (register ‘t*csp’).
                            Horizontal alignment of the table, if it is
                            smaller than the line width.  ‘tal=l’: left
                            alignment.  ‘tal=c’: centered alignment.
                            ‘tal=r’: right alignment.
                            Default: ‘tal=l’ (register ‘t*tal’).
                     width='w1 [w2 [...]]'
                            Widths of table cells.  w1, w2, ... are either
                            numbers of type n or natural numbers with the
                            pseudo-scaling indicator ‘%’, with the meaning
                            “percent of the actual line length (or column
                            length for inner tables, respectively)”.  If
                            there are less width values than table columns,
                            the last width value is used for the remaining
                            cells.  The argument

                                   width='1.5i 10%'

                            for example indicates that the first column is
                            1.5 inches wide; the remaining columns take 1/10
                            of the column length each.
                            Default: The table width equals the outer line
                            length or column length; the columns have equal
                            Height of the table.  If the table with its
                            contents is lower than n, the last row is
                            stretched to this value.

       .CPTN [args]
              Text of caption.

              The (optionally numbered) table caption.  .CPTN is optional.

              predecessor: .TBL
              successor: .TR
                            Vertical alignment of the table caption.
                            ‘val=t’: The caption is placed above the table.
                            ‘val=b’: The caption is placed below the table.
                            Default: ‘val=t’ (string ‘t*cptn’).

       .TR [args]
              Begin a new table row.

              predecessor: .TBL, .CPTN, .TD, .TH, .ETB, cell contents
              successor: .TD, .TH
                            The height of the row.  If a cell in the row is
                            higher than n, this value is ignored; otherwise
                            the row height is stretched to n.

       .TD [args [cell contents]]
              Begin a table data cell.
       .TH [args [cell contents]]
              Begin a table header cell.

              Arguments and cell contents can be mixed.  The macro .TH is
              not really necessary and differs from .TD only in three
              default settings, similar to the <TH> and <TD> HTML tags: The
              contents of .TH is horizontally and vertically centered and
              typeset in boldface.

              predecessor: .TR, .TD, .TH, .ETB, cell contents
              successor: .TD, .TH, .TR, .ETB, cell contents
                            The width of this cell is the sum of the widths
                            of the m cells above and below this row.
                            The height of this cell is the sum of the
                            heights of the m cells left and right of this

                            Remark: Overlapping of column and row spanning,
                            as in the following table fragment (the
                            overlapping happens in the second cell in the
                            second row), is invalid and causes incorrect

                                   .TR .TD 1*1 ".TD 1*2 rowspan=2" .TD 1*3
                                   .TR ".TD 2*1 colspan=2"         .TD 2*3

                     A working example for headers and cells with colspan is

                            .TBL cols=3
                            .  TR ".TH colspan=2" header1+2 .TH header3
                            .  TR .TD 1*1 .TD 1*2 .TD 1*3
                            .  TR .TD 2*1 ".TD colspan=2" 2*2+3

                     This looks like

                            |          header1+2           |    header3    |
                            | 1*1          | 1*2           | 1*3           |
                            | 2*1          | 2*2+3                         |

                     A working example with rowspan is

                            .TBL cols=3
                            .  TR
                            .  TD 1*1
                            .  TD rowspan=2 1+2*2
                            .  TD 1*3
                            .  TR
                            .  TD 2*1
                            .  TD 2*3

                     which looks like

                            | 1*1          | 1+2*2         | 1*3           |
                            +--------------+               +---------------+
                            | 2*1          |               | 2*3           |

       .ETB [hold]
              End of the table.

              This macro finishes a table.  It causes one of the following

              ·  If the argument ‘hold’ is given, the table is held until it
                 is freed by calling the macro .t*free, which in turn prints
                 the table immediately, either at the current position or at
                 the top of the next page if its height is larger than the
                 remaining space on the page.

              ·  Otherwise, if the table is higher than the remaining space
                 on the page, it is printed at the top of the next page.

              ·  If neither of the two above constraints hold, the table is
                 printed immediately at the place of its definition.

              predecessor: .TD, .TH, .ETB, cell contents
              successor: .TBL, .TR, .TD, .TH, .ETB, cell contents
                     hold   Prevent the table from being printed until it is
                            freed by calling the macro .t*free.  This argu‐
                            ment is ignored for inner (nested) tables.

       .t*free [n]
              Free the next held table or n held tables.  Call this utility
              macro to print tables which are held by using the ‘hold’ argu‐
              ment of the .ETB macro.

   Arguments common to .TBL, .TR, .TD, and .TH
       The arguments described in this section can be specified with the
       .TBL and .TR macros, but they are eventually passed on to the table
       cells.  If omitted, the defaults take place, which the user can
       change by setting the corresponding default registers or strings, as
       documented below.  Setting an argument with the .TBL macro has the
       same effect as setting it for all rows in the table.  Setting an ar‐
       gument with a .TR macro has the same effect as setting it for all the
       .TH or .TD macro in this row.

              The background color of the table cells.  This includes the
              area specified with the ‘csp’ argument.  The argument ‘bgc=’
              (no value) suppresses a background color; this makes the back‐
              ground transparent.
              Default: ‘bgc=bisque’ (string ‘t*bgc’).
       fgc=c  The foreground color of the cell contents.
              Default: ‘fgc=red4’ (string ‘t*fgc’).
              The font family for the table.  name is one of the groff font
              families, for example A for the AvantGarde fonts or HN for
              Default: The font family found before the table (string
              The font style for the table.  One of R, B, I, or BI for ro‐
              man, bold, italic, or bold italic, respectively.  As with
              roff's .ft request the ‘fst’ argument can be used to specify
              the font family and font style together, for example ‘fst=HN‐
              BI’ instead of ‘ff=HN’ and ‘fst=BI’.
              Default: The font style in use right before the table (string
       fsz='d1 [d2]'
              A decimal or fractional factor d1, by which the point size for
              the table is changed, and d2, by which the vertical line spac‐
              ing is changed.  If d2 is omitted, value d1 is taken for both.
              Default: ‘fsz='1.0 1.0'’ (string ‘t*fsz’).
              Horizontal alignment of the cell contents in the table.
              ‘hal=l’: left alignment.  ‘hal=c’: centered alignment.
              ‘hal=b’: both (left and right) alignment.  ‘hal=r’: right
              Default: ‘hal=b’ (string ‘t*hal’).
              Vertical alignment of the cell contents in the table for cells
              lower than the current row.  ‘val=t’: alignment below the top
              of the cell.  ‘val=m’: alignment in the middle of the cell.
              ‘val=b’: alignment above the cell bottom.
              Default: ‘val=t’ (string ‘t*val’).
              Horizontal line between the rows.  If specified with .TD or
              .TH this is a separator line to the cell below.  ‘hl=’ (no
              value): no separator line.  ‘hl=s’: a single separator line
              between the rows.  ‘hl=d’: a double separator line.

              The thickness of the separator lines is the half of the border
              thickness, but at least 0.1 inches.  The distance between the
              double lines is equal to the line thickness.

              Remark: Together with ‘border=0’ for proper formatting the
              value of ‘csp’ must be at least .05 inches for single separa‐
              tor lines and .15 inches for double separator lines.
              Default: ‘hl=s’ (string ‘t*hl’).
              Vertical separator line between the cells.  If specified with
              .TD or .TH this is a separator line to the cell on the right.
              ‘vl=s’: a single separator line between the cells.  ‘vl=d’: a
              double separator line.  ‘vl=’ (no value): no vertical cell
              separator lines.  For more information see the documentation
              of the ‘hl’ argument above.
              Default: ‘vl=s’ (string ‘t*vl’).

hdtbl Customization         top

       Before creating the first table, you should configure default values
       to minimize the markup needed in each table.  The following example
       sets up defaults suitable for typical papers:

              .ds t*bgc white\" background color
              .ds t*fgc black\" foreground color
              .ds t*bc black\"  border color
              .nr t*cpd 0.1n\"  cell padding

       The file examples/common.roff provides another example setup in the
       “minimal Page setup” section.

       A table which does not fit on a partially filled page is printed
       automatically on the top of the next page if you append the little
       utility macro t*hm to the page header macro of your document's main
       macro package.  For example, say

              .am pg@top
              .  t*hm

       if you use the ms macro package.

       The macro t*EM checks for held or kept tables, and for missing ETB
       macros (table not closed).  You can append this macro to the “end”
       macro of your document's main macro package.  For example:

              .am pg@end-text
              .  t*EM

       If you use the ms macro package.

Bugs and Suggestions         top

       Please send your commments to the groff mailing list ⟨⟩
       or directly to the author.

Authors         top

       The hdtbl macro package was written by Joachim Walsdorff

See Also         top

              provides an overview of GNU roff and details how to invoke
              groff at the command line.

              summarizes the roff language and GNU extensions to it.

       tbl(1) describes the traditional roff preprocessor for tables.

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the groff (GNU troff) project.  Information
       about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for
       this manual page, see ⟨⟩.  This
       page was obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨⟩ on 2020-07-14.  (At that
       time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in the repos‐
       itory was 2020-07-12.)  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

groff            16 May 2020                  groff_hdtbl(7)

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