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118. How Do I Format Man Pages without man or groff?




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This article is from the Frequently Asked Questions for Linux, the Free/Open Source UNIX-like operating system kernel that runs on many modern computer systems. Maintained by David C. Merrill with numerous contributions by others. (v1.0).

118. How Do I Format Man Pages without man or groff?

A: The man2html program translates groff text to HTML, which you can view with a Web browser. The man2html program, and many like it, are availble on the Web. Look for them with your favorite search engine.

The unformatted manual pages are stored in subdirectories of /usr/man, /usr/ local/man, and elsewhere.

If you want to view text, use nroff and less. Both of these programs have MSDOS versions with an implementation of the man macro package available as well. An example would be:

 $ nroff -man /usr/man/man1/ls.1 | less                                      

If you know where to find a good implementation of the man macros without installing groff, please let the FAQ maintainer know.

If the manual page filename ends in .gz, then you'll need to uncompress it before formatting it, using gzip -d or gunzip. A one-line example would be:

 $ gzip -dc /usr/man/man1/ls.1.gz | nroff -man | less                        

 

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