roff is a good typewriter

UNIX is the least bad operating system that i’ve used. UNIX comes with lots of tools that can help you to do many things. One of those useful things is the roff document formatter. There’s also the GNU implementation of roff called “groff”. They do basically the same.

Only a mentally deranged person would use roff in its own, so they created macros to make groff easier, I use ms and mom macros, depending on what I’m trying to accomplish. ms macros are mostly used for manpages and mom macros for other stuff.

This is an example of a nroff document:

.TL
"This is a title"
.AU
qorg11

.NH
This is a numbered heading

.PP
This is a paragraph, lorem ipsum blah blah blah blah blah blah

.SH
This is a subheading

You can read the document in the terminal like this: nroff -ms < file.ms

Or you can use groff to convert it to ps/pdfs: groff -ms -Tpdf < file.ms > output.pdf

You can change the -T flag to other outputs like html or ps.

Supports for other things

You can preprocess roff documents to give them support to do more things, such as Unicode (using preconv) and equations supports (using eqn). Here’s an example:

.TL
This is another document
.AU
qorg11

.NH
This is a numbered header

.EQ
4 sup 2 = 16
.EN

.EQ
a sup 2 over 2
.EN
.EQ
x = {
b +- sqrt {-b sup 2 - 4ac}
} over 2a
.EN

.EQ
Spurdo -> N,N-DMT
.EN

.PP 
This thing contais unicode ñññ áéíóú

If you compile it like the last document, you’ll see weird stuff that has nothing to do with what you have written. So you have to use the preprocessors. So compile it like this: preconv <file.ms |eqn | groff -ms > file.ps

TODO