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TBL(1)			    General Commands Manual			TBL(1)

NAME
       tbl - format tables for troff

SYNOPSIS
       tbl [ -Cv ] [ files... ]

DESCRIPTION
       This manual page	describes the GNU version of tbl, which	is part	of the
       groff document formatting system.  tbl compiles descriptions of	tables
       embedded	 within	troff input files into commands	that are understood by
       troff.  Normally, it should be invoked using the	-t  option  of	groff.
       It is highly compatible with Unix tbl.  The output generated by GNU tbl
       cannot be processed with	Unix troff; it	must  be  processed  with  GNU
       troff.	If  no files are given on the command line, the	standard input
       will be read.  A	filename of - will cause  the  standard	 input	to  be
       read.

OPTIONS
       -C     Enable  compatibility  mode  to  recognize .TS and .TE even when
	      followed by a character other than  space	 or  newline.	Leader
	      characters (\a) are handled as interpreted.

       -v     Print the	version	number.

USAGE
       tbl expects to find table descriptions wrapped in the .TS (table	start)
       and .TE (table end) macros.  The	line  immediately  following  the  .TS
       macro  may  contain  any	 of the	following global options (ignoring the
       case of characters -- Unix tbl only accepts options with	all characters
       lowercase or all	characters uppercase):

       center Centers  the table (default is left-justified).  The alternative
	      keyword name centre is also recognized (this is a	GNU tbl	exten-
	      sion).

       delim(xy)
	      Use x and	y as start and end delimiters for eqn(1).

       expand Makes the	table as wide as the current line length.

       box    Encloses the table in a box.

       doublebox
	      Encloses the table in a double box.

       allbox Encloses each item of the	table in a box.

       frame  Same as box (GNU tbl only).

       doubleframe
	      Same as doublebox	(GNU tbl only).

       tab(x) Uses  the	 character  x  instead of a tab	to separate items in a
	      line of input data.

       linesize(n)
	      Sets lines or rules (e.g.	from box) in n-point type.

       nokeep Don't use	diversions to prevent  page  breaks  (GNU  tbl	only).
	      Normally tbl attempts to prevent undesirable breaks in the table
	      by using diversions.  This can  sometimes	 interact  badly  with
	      macro packages' own use of diversions, when footnotes, for exam-
	      ple, are used.

       decimalpoint(c)
	      Set the character	to be recognized as the	decimal	point  in  nu-
	      meric columns (GNU tbl only).

       nospaces
	      Ignore leading and trailing spaces in data items (GNU tbl	only).

       The  global  options  must end with a semicolon.	 There might be	white-
       space after an option and its argument in parentheses.

       After global options come lines describing the format of	each  line  of
       the  table.   Each such format line describes one line of the table it-
       self, except that the last format line (which you must end with	a  pe-
       riod) describes all remaining lines of the table.  A single key charac-
       ter describes each column of each line of the table.  You may run  for-
       mat  specs  for	multiple lines together	on the same line by separating
       them with commas.

       You may follow each key character with specifiers  that	determine  the
       font  and  point	 size of the corresponding item, that determine	column
       width, inter-column spacing, etc.

       The longest format line defines the number of  columns  in  the	table;
       missing format descriptors at the end of	format lines are assumed to be
       `L'.  Extra columns in the data (which have no corresponding format en-
       try) are	ignored.

       The available key characters are:

       c,C    Centers item within the column.

       r,R    Right-justifies item within the column.

       l,L    Left-justifies item within the column.

       n,N    Numerically  justifies  item  in	the column: Units positions of
	      numbers are aligned vertically.

       s,S    Spans previous item on the left into this	column.

       a,A    Centers longest line in this column and then left-justifies  all
	      other lines in this column with respect to that centered line.

       ^      Spans down entry from previous row in this column.

       _,-    Replaces this entry with a horizontal line.

       =      Replaces this entry with a double	horizontal line.

       |      The  corresponding  column  becomes  a  vertical rule (if	two of
	      these are	adjacent, a double vertical rule).

       A vertical bar to the left of the first key-letter or to	the  right  of
       the last	one produces a line at the edge	of the table.

       Here  are the specifiers	that can appear	in suffixes to column key let-
       ters:

       b,B    Short form of fB (make affected entries bold).

       i,I    Short form of fI (make affected entries italic).

       t,T    Start an item vertically spanning	rows at	the top	of  its	 range
	      rather than vertically centering it.

       d,D    Start  an	 item  vertically  spanning  rows at the bottom	of its
	      range rather than	vertically centering it	(GNU tbl only).

       v,V    Followed by a number, this indicates the vertical	 line  spacing
	      to  be used in a multi-line table	entry.	If signed, the current
	      vertical line spacing is incremented  or	decremented  (using  a
	      signed number instead of a signed	digit is a GNU tbl extension).
	      A	vertical line spacing specifier	followed by a  column  separa-
	      tion  number must	be separated by	one or more blanks.  No	effect
	      if the corresponding table entry isn't a text block.

       f,F    Either of	these specifiers may be	followed by a font  name  (ei-
	      ther  one	or two characters long), font number (a	single digit),
	      or long name in parentheses (the last form is a GNU  tbl	exten-
	      sion).   A one-letter font name must be separated	by one or more
	      blanks from whatever follows.

       p,P    Followed by a number, this does a	point size change for the  af-
	      fected fields.  If signed, the current point size	is incremented
	      or decremented (using a signed number instead of a signed	 digit
	      is  a  GNU tbl extension).  A point size specifier followed by a
	      column separation	number	must  be  separated  by	 one  or  more
	      blanks.

       w,W    Minimal  column  width  value.   Must  be	 followed  either by a
	      troff(1) width expression	in parentheses or a unitless  integer.
	      If  no  unit  is given, en units are used.  Also used as the de-
	      fault line length	for included text blocks.   If	used  multiple
	      times to specify the width for a particular column, the last en-
	      try takes	effect.

       x,X    This is a	GNU tbl	extension.  Either of these specifiers may  be
	      followed by a macro name (either one or two characters long), or
	      long name	in parentheses.	 A one-letter macro name must be sepa-
	      rated  by	 one  or more blanks from whatever follows.  The macro
	      which name can be	specified here must be defined before creating
	      the  table.   It	is called just before the table's cell text is
	      output.  As implemented currently, this macro is only called  if
	      block  input  is used, that is, text between `T{'	and `T}'.  The
	      macro should contain only	simple troff requests  to  change  the
	      text  block formatting, like text	adjustment, hyphenation, size,
	      or font.	The macro is called  after  other  cell	 modifications
	      like  b,	f or v are output.  Thus the macro can overwrite other
	      modification specifiers.

       e,E    Make equally-spaced columns.

       u,U    Move the corresponding column up one half-line.

       z,Z    Ignore the corresponding column for width-calculation purposes.

       A number	suffix on a key	character is interpreted as a  column  separa-
       tion in ens (multiplied in proportion if	the expand option is on).  De-
       fault separation	is 3n.

       The format lines	are followed by	lines containing the actual  data  for
       the  table, followed finally by .TE.  Within such data lines, items are
       normally	separated by tab characters (or	the character  specified  with
       the  tab	option).  Long input lines can be broken across	multiple lines
       if the last character on	the line is `\'	(which vanishes	after concate-
       nation).

       A dot starting a	line, followed by anything but a digit is handled as a
       troff command, passed through without changes.  The table  position  is
       unchanged in this case.

       If  a  data  line consists of only `_' or `=', a	single or double line,
       respectively, is	drawn across the table at that point; if a single item
       in  a data line consists	of only	`_' or `=', then that item is replaced
       by a single or double line, joining its neighbours.   If	 a  data  item
       consists	 only  of `\_' or `\=',	a single or double line, respectively,
       is drawn	across the field at that point which does not join its	neigh-
       bours.

       A data item consisting only of `\Rx' (`x' any character)	is replaced by
       repetitions of character	`x' as wide as the  column  (not  joining  its
       neighbours).

       A  data	item  consisting only of `\^' indicates	that the field immedi-
       ately above spans downward over this row.

       A text block can	be used	to enter data as a single entry	which would be
       too  long as a simple string between tabs.  It is started with `T{' and
       closed with `T}'.  The former must end a	 line,	and  the  latter  must
       start  a	 line, probably	followed by other data columns (separated with
       tabs).  By default, the text block is formatted with the	settings which
       were active before entering the table, possibly overridden by the v and
       w tbl specifiers.  For example, to make all text	 blocks	 ragged-right,
       insert .na right	before the starting .TS	(and .ad after the table).

       To  change  the data format within a table, use the .T& command (at the
       start of	a line).  It is	followed by format  and	 data  lines  (but  no
       global options) similar to the .TS request.

INTERACTION WITH EQN
       tbl(1)  should  always  be called before	eqn(1) (groff(1) automatically
       takes care of the correct order of preprocessors).

GNU TBL	ENHANCEMENTS
       There is	no limit on the	number of columns in a table, nor any limit on
       the  number of text blocks.  All	the lines of a table are considered in
       deciding	column widths, not just	the  first  200.   Table  continuation
       (.T&) lines are not restricted to the first 200 lines.

       Numeric and alphabetic items may	appear in the same column.

       Numeric and alphabetic items may	span horizontally.

       tbl uses	register, string, macro	and diversion names beginning with the
       digit 3.	 When using tbl	you should avoid  using	 any  names  beginning
       with a 3.

BUGS
       You should use .TS H/.TH	in conjunction with a supporting macro package
       for all multi-page boxed	tables.	 If there is no	header that  you  wish
       to  appear at the top of	each page of the table,	place the .TH line im-
       mediately after the format section.  Do not enclose a multi-page	 table
       within keep/release macros, or divert it	in any other way.

       A text block within a table must	be able	to fit on one page.

       The bp request cannot be	used to	force a	page-break in a	multi-page ta-
       ble.  Instead, define BP	as follows

	      .de BP
	      .ie '\\n(.z'' .bp	\\$1
	      .el \!.BP	\\$1
	      ..

       and use BP instead of bp.

       Using \a	directly in a table to get leaders will	not  work  (except  in
       compatibility mode).  This is correct behaviour:	\a is an uninterpreted
       leader.	To get leaders use a real leader, either by using a control  A
       or like this:

	      .ds a \a
	      .TS
	      tab(;);
	      lw(1i) l.
	      A\*a;B
	      .TE

REFERENCE
       Lesk, M.E.: "TBL	-- A Program to	Format Tables".	 For copyright reasons
       it cannot be included in	the groff  distribution,  but  copies  can  be
       found with a title search on the	World Wide Web.

SEE ALSO
       groff(1), troff(1)

Groff Version 1.19.2	       4 September 2005				TBL(1)

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | OPTIONS | USAGE | INTERACTION WITH EQN | GNU TBL ENHANCEMENTS | BUGS | REFERENCE | SEE ALSO

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