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TBL(1)			    General Commands Manual			TBL(1)

       tbl - format tables for troff

       tbl [-Cv] [files ...]

       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 or a filename of - is
       given, the standard input is read.

       -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.

       tbl expects to find table descriptions wrapped in the .TS (table start)
       and .TE (table end) macros.

   Global options
       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), separated by spaces, tabs, or commas:

       allbox Enclose each item of the table in a box.

       box    Enclose the table in a box.

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

	      Set the character to be  recognized  as  the  decimal  point  in
	      numeric columns (GNU tbl only).

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

	      Enclose the table in a double box.

	      Same as doublebox (GNU tbl only).

       expand Make  the	 table as wide as the current line length (providing a
	      column separation factor).  Ignored if one or  more  `x'	column
	      specifiers are used (see below).

	      In  case the sum of the column widths is larger than the current
	      line length, the column separation factor is set to  zero;  such
	      tables extend into the right margin, and there is no column sep-
	      aration at all.

       frame  Same as box (GNU tbl only).

	      Set 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 boxed
	      tables by using diversions.  This can sometimes  interact	 badly
	      with  macro packages' own use of diversions, when footnotes, for
	      example, are used.

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

       nowarn Turn off warnings related to tables exceeding the	 current  line
	      width (GNU tbl only).

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

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

   Table format specification
       After  global  options come lines describing the format of each line of
       the table.  Each such format line  describes  one  line	of  the	 table
       itself,	except	that  the  last format line (which you must end with a
       period) describes all remaining lines of the table.  A single-key char-
       acter  describes each column of each line of the table.	Key characters
       can be separated by spaces or tabs.  You may run format	specifications
       for  multiple  lines  together on the same line by separating them with

       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
       entry) are ignored.

       The available key characters are:

       a,A    Center  longest  line in this column and then left-justifies all
	      other lines in this column with respect to that  centered	 line.
	      The idea is to use such alphabetic subcolumns (hence the name of
	      the key character) in combination with L; they are  called  sub-
	      columns	because	 A  items  are	indented  by  1n  relative  to
	      L entries.  Example:

		     item one;1
		     subitem two;2
		     subitem three;3
		     item eleven;11
		     subitem twentytwo;22
		     subitem thirtythree;33


		     item one		      1
		      subitem two	      2
		      subitem three	      3
		     item eleven	     11
		      subitem twentytwo	     22
		      subitem thirtythree    33

       c,C    Center item within the column.

       l,L    Left-justify item within the column.

       n,N    Numerically justify item in the column: Units positions of  num-
	      bers are aligned vertically.  If there is one or more dots adja-
	      cent to a digit, use the rightmost one for  vertical  alignment.
	      If  there is no dot, use the rightmost digit for vertical align-
	      ment; otherwise, center the item within the  column.   Alignment
	      can  be forced to a certain position using `\&'; if there is one
	      or more  instances  of  this  special  (non-printing)  character
	      present  within  the  data,  use the leftmost one for alignment.




	      If numerical entries are combined with L or R entries - this can
	      happen  if  the  table  format is changed with .T& -, center the
	      widest number (of the data entered under the N specifier regime)
	      relative to the widest L or R entry, preserving the alignment of
	      all numerical entries.  Contrary to A type entries, there is  no
	      extra indentation.

	      Using  equations (to be processed with eqn) within columns which
	      use the N specifier is problematic in most cases	due  to	 tbl's
	      algorithm	 for  finding  the  vertical  alignment,  as described
	      above.  Using the global delim option, however, it  is  possible
	      to  make tbl ignore the data within eqn delimiters for that pur-

       r,R    Right-justify item within the column.

       s,S    Span previous item on the left into this	column.	  Not  allowed
	      for the first column.

       ^      Span  down  entry from previous row in this column.  Not allowed
	      for the first row.

       _,-    Replace this entry with a horizontal line.  Note	that  `_'  and
	      `-'  can be used for table fields only, not for column separator

       =      Replace this entry with a double horizontal line.	 Note that `='
	      can  be  used  for  table	 fields only, not for column separator

       |      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.

       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.

   Column specifiers
       Here are the specifiers that can appear in suffixes to column key  let-
       ters (in any order):

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

       d,D    Start  an	 item that vertically spans rows, using the `^' column
	      specifier or `\^' data item, at the bottom of its	 range	rather
	      than vertically centering it (GNU tbl only).  Example:

		     tab(;) allbox;
		     l l
		     l ld
		     r ^
		     l rd.


		     |0000 | foobar |
		     |1111 |	    |
		     |2222 |	    |
		     +-----+	    |
		     |	 r | foo    |
		     |3333 |	    |
		     |4444 |	bar |
       e,E    Make equally-spaced columns.  All columns marked with this spec-
	      ifier get the same width; this happens after the affected column
	      widths  have  been  computed  (this means that the largest width
	      value rules).

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

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

       m,M    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.

       p,P    Followed by a number, this does a	 point	size  change  for  the
	      affected	fields.	  If  signed, the current point size is incre-
	      mented 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

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

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

       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.

       w,W    Minimum 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
	      default  line length for included text blocks.  If used multiple
	      times to specify the width for a	particular  column,  the  last
	      entry takes effect.

       x,X    An  expanded  column.  After computing all column widths without
	      an x specifier, use the remaining line width  for	 this  column.
	      If  there	 is  more  than	 one  expanded	column, distribute the
	      remaining horizontal space evenly	 among	the  affected  columns
	      (this  is a GNU extension).  This feature has the same effect as
	      specifying a minimum column width.

       z,Z    Ignore the corresponding column for width-calculation  purposes,
	      this  is,	 don't	use the fields but only the specifiers of this
	      column to compute its width.

       A number suffix on a key character is interpreted as a  column  separa-
       tion in en units (multiplied in proportion if the expand option is on -
       in case of overfull tables this might be zero).	Default separation  is

       The column specifier x is mutually exclusive with e and w (but e is not
       mutually exclusive with w); if specified multiple times for a  particu-
       lar  column,  the last entry takes effect: x unsets both e and w, while
       either e or w overrides x.

   Table data
       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-

       Note  that  tbl computes the column widths line by line, applying \w on
       each entry which isn't a text block.  As a  consequence,	 constructions


       fail; you must either say




       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-

       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

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

   Text blocks
       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 or the character given with the tab global option).

       By default, the text block is formatted with the	 settings  which  were
       active  before entering the table, possibly overridden by the m, 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).

       If either `w' or `x' specifiers are not given for all columns of a text
       block span, the default length of the text block (to be	more  precise,
       the  line  length used to process the text block diversion) is computed
       as LxC/(N+1), where `L' is the current line length, `C' the  number  of
       columns	spanned by the text block, and `N' the total number of columns
       in the table.  Note,  however,  that  the  actual  diversion  width  as
       returned in register \n[dl] is used eventually as the text block width.
       If necessary, you can also control the text block width with  a	direct
       insertion of a .ll request right after `T{'.

       The  number  register  \n[TW]  holds  the table width; it can't be used
       within the table itself but is defined right before calling .TE so that
       this macro can make use of it.

       tbl  also  defines a macro .T# which produces the bottom and side lines
       of a boxed table.  While tbl does call this macro itself at the end  of
       the  table, it can be used by macro packages to create boxes for multi-
       page tables by calling it within the page footer.  An example  of  this
       is  shown by the -ms macros which provide this functionality if a table
       starts with .TS H instead of the standard call to the .TS macro.

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

       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.

       Since tbl defines its own macros (right before each table) it is neces-
       sary  to use an `end-of-macro' macro.  Additionally, the escape charac-
       ter has to be switched off.  Here an example.

	      .de ATABLE ..
	      allbox tab(;);
	      .ATABLE A table
	      .ATABLE Another table
	      .ATABLE And "another one"

       Note, however, that not all features of tbl can be wrapped into a macro
       because	tbl  sees  the	input earlier than troff.  For example, number
       formatting with vertically aligned decimal points fails if  those  num-
       bers  are passed on as macro parameters because decimal point alignment
       is handled by tbl itself: It only sees `\$1', `\$2', etc.,  and	there-
       fore can't recognize the decimal point.

       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
       immediately after the format section.  Do not enclose a multi-page  ta-
       ble 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 does 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
	      lw(1i) l.

       A leading and/or trailing `|' in a format line, such as

	      |l r|.

       gives  output which has a 1n space between the resulting bordering ver-
       tical rule and the content of the adjacent column, as in

	      |l r|.
	      left column#right column

       If it is desired to have zero space (so that the rule touches the  con-
       tent),  this can be achieved by introducing extra "dummy" columns, with
       no content and zero separation, before and/or after, as in

	      r0|l r0|l.
	      #left column#right column#

       The resulting "dummy" columns are invisible and have zero  width;  note
       that such columns usually don't work with TTY devices.

       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.

       groff(1), troff(1)

Groff Version 1.22.2		7 February 2013				TBL(1)