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  1. #1

    groff page breaks

    I'm using plain groff to format pages for printing but I am using it without any of the macro packages such as ms or me. I want a way of setting a command at the head of the file which will allow me to let page breaks just happen automatically rather than having to put the .bp command in by hand at the end of each page. I was wondering whether someone was using a macro from plain groff that can do this reliably and share it?

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer drl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Saint Paul, MN, USA / CentOS, Debian, Slackware, {Free, Open, Net}BSD, Solaris

    The core of this solution is simply to pipe groff output into utility pr:
    #!/usr/bin/env bash
    # @(#) s1	Demonstrate pagination form groff through pr.
    # Utility functions: print-as-echo, print-line-with-visual-space, debug.
    # export PATH="/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin"
    pe() { for _i;do printf "%s" "$_i";done; printf "\n"; }
    pl() { pe;pe "-----" ;pe "$*"; }
    db() { ( printf " db, ";for _i;do printf "%s" "$_i";done;printf "\n" ) >&2 ; }
    db() { : ; }
    C=$HOME/bin/context && [ -f $C ] && $C pll specimen groff pr
    # Default data file is Lincoln's Cooper Union.
    pl " Input data file $FILE, long lines shortened to fit:"
    pll -w 70 $FILE | specimen 3:3:3 -n
    pl " Results:"
    groff -T ascii $FILE |
    pr -F -l 20 |
    head -35 |
    sed 's/\o014/^L -- Form Feed/'
    exit 0
    % ./s1
    Environment: LC_ALL = C, LANG = C
    (Versions displayed with local utility "version")
    OS, ker|rel, machine: Linux, 2.6.26-2-amd64, x86_64
    Distribution        : Debian GNU/Linux 5.0.8 (lenny) 
    bash GNU bash 3.2.39
    pll (local) 1.18
    specimen (local) 1.17
    groff GNU groff version 1.18.1
    pr (GNU coreutils) 6.10
     Input data file data2, long lines shortened to fit:
     (Longest line: 1880; fit into lines of length 70)
    Edges: 3:3:3 of 156 lines in file "-"
         1	         1         2         3 ...        186        187        1
         2	1234567890123456789012345678901...8901234567890123456789012345678
         3	# Sun Nov 11 23:11:09 CST 2007 ... fellow citizens of New York: -
        79	Now, and here, let me guard a l...od the question better than we.
       155	Neither let us be slandered fro...DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT
    2013-05-31 12:48                                                  Page 1
    #    Sun    Nov    11    23:11:09   CST   2007   #   http://show-  #   fmt
    -66 Mr. President and fellow citizens of New York: -
    The facts with which I shall deal this evening are mainly old and
    familiar; nor is there anything new in the general  use  I  shall
    make  of  them.  If there shall be any novelty, it will be in the
    mode of presenting the facts, and the inferences and observations
    following that presentation.
    ^L -- Form Feed
    2013-05-31 12:48                                                  Page 2
    In his speech last autumn, at Columbus, Ohio, as reported in "The
    New-York Times," Senator Douglas said:
    "Our fathers, when they framed  the  Government  under  which  we
    live,  understood  this  question  just as well, and even better,
    than we do now."
    I fully indorse this, and I adopt it as  a  text  for  this  dis-
    course.  I  so  adopt  it  because  it furnishes a precise and an
    agreed starting point for a discussion  between  Republicans  and
    ^L -- Form Feed
    2013-05-31 12:48                                                  Page 3
    This uses groff to process the long lines of the data file. This produces a default right-left-justified stream, but without pagination.

    The pr utility with suitable options will place a form-feed character, control-L, at appropriate places.

    To make this apparent, I have shortened the page length to 20 lines, and printed only a few pages. The control-L is normally not visible, so I used a trick with sed to convert it to a long string that shows up in the output.

    See man pages for details.

    Best wishes ... cheers, drl
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  3. #3
    Hello drl,

    Wow! That's a wonderful piece of work you have offered for which I am very grateful, and an approach I hadn't considered. Thanks heaps.


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