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Re: [groff] A few newb questions about Troff typesetting

From: Tadziu Hoffmann
Subject: Re: [groff] A few newb questions about Troff typesetting
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2017 17:44:28 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.24 (2015-08-30)

I'll take another easy one:

> > 3) Is the `-dpaper` option the proper way to set the paper size?
> >    Are there more proper ways?

There's two parts to this.

First, the typesetter itself (which has to decide where to
place each letter of your text) has to know how large the
paper is and how large you want the margins to be.

Second, the postprocessor (which prepares the actual
device-dependent output file) has to know what paper size
to request from the device.

In principle, the two are independent: you can format a
document for A5 and print it on A4 paper.

Telling the typesetter what paper size you want depends on
what macros (if any) you use for your document.  Check the
documentation for that macro package.  Some of them will
evaluate variables set on the command line with "-d", but
not all of them do.  However, they usually provide macros
or number registers to specify the paper size and margins.
If you're running bare-bones without a macro package, use
the ".pl", ".po", and ".ll" formatter requests to specify
paper length, page offset, and line length.

The postprocessors usually have a "-p" option for requesting a
particular paper size.  To pass this option to the postprocessor
from the groff driver, use groff's "-P" option, for example,
groff -Tps -P -pa4 ...

To get a properly formatted document on the correct paper size,
you have to tell both the typesetter and the postprocessor
what size you want.

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