groff_me - “me” macro package for formatting documents with GNU roff


groff -me

[option ...] [input-file ...]

groff -m

me [option ...] [input-file ...]


The me package of macro definitions for the roff language provides a convenient facility for preparing technical papers in various formats. This manual page describes the GNU version of the me macros, which is part of the groff document formatting system. This version can be used with both GNU troff and Unix troff.

Many roff requests are unsafe in conjunction with this package; however, the following requests may be used with impunity after the first .pp:

Note: In contrast to its behavior with other macro packages and “raw” roff, when using the me package, the .sp request will not put space at the top of a page.

Output of the pic, eqn, refer, and tbl preprocessors is acceptable as input.

Macro Reference
Numeric arguments to macros are denoted with lowercase letters and string arguments with uppercase. An optional macro argument such as x appears in brackets, [x]. Note that arguments to macros generally must be quoted if they contain whitespace. An exception is the argument to header and footer macros, which require some explanation. They take the form “c left c middle c right c”, with spaces added here for clarity. The strings left, middle, and right correspond to their page placement and can contain unprotected whitespace, but must not contain the (non-space) character c, which delimits them. For brevity, the table presents header and footer arguments as clcmcrc. Popular choices for c are the ASCII apostrophe “'” and the ASCII double quote “"”.

This list is incomplete; some requests are too complex to summarize in a table, and some that are listed below accept additional arguments not shown. See the -me Reference Manual for interesting details.


/usr/share/groff/1.22.4/tmac/me.tmac (a wrapper file for e.tmac)


Early roff macro packages limited themselves to a single-letter namespace (mm, ms, mv, mn, etc.). The “e” in “me” stands for “Eric P. Allman”, who wrote the macro package and the original technical papers documenting it while an undergraduate at the University of California.


groff(1), troff(1)

Two manuals are available in source and rendered form. On your system, they may be compressed and/or available in additional formats.

is Writing Papers with Groff Using -me, by Eric P. Allman and James Clark.


is the -me Reference Manual, by Eric P. Allman and James Clark.

For preprocessors supported by me, see eqn(1), grn(1), pic(1), refer(1), and tbl(1).