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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

Technical documentation

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hp — handle special functions of HP2640 and HP2621-series terminals


hp [-e] [-m]


hp supports special functions of the Hewlett-Packard HP 2640 and HP 2621 series of terminals, with the primary purpose of producing accurate representations of most nroff output. A typical use is:

nroff -h files ... | hp

Regardless of the hardware options on a given terminal, hp tries to do sensible things with underlining and reverse line-feeds. If the terminal has the ``display enhancements'' feature, subscripts and superscripts can be indicated in distinct ways. If it has the ``mathematical-symbol'' feature, Greek and other special characters can be displayed.


hp recognizes the following options:


Specify that your terminal has the ``display enhancements'' feature, to make maximal use of the added display modes. Overstruck characters are presented in the Underline mode. Superscripts are shown in Half-bright mode, and subscripts in Half-bright, Underlined mode. If this flag is omitted, hp assumes that your terminal lacks the ``display enhancements'' feature. In this case, all overstruck characters, subscripts, and superscripts are displayed in Inverse Video mode; that is, dark-on-light, rather than light-on-dark.


Request minimization of output by removing new-lines. Any contiguous sequence of 3 or more new-lines is converted into a sequence of only 2 new-lines; that is, any number of successive blank lines produces only a single blank output line. This allows you to retain more actual text on the screen.


line too long

The representation of a line exceeds 1,024 characters.


hp returns zero for normal termination, and 2 for all errors.


An ``overstriking sequence'' is defined as a printing character followed by a backspace followed by another printing character. In such sequences, if either printing character is an underscore, the other printing character is shown underlined or in Inverse Video; otherwise, only the first printing character is shown (again, underlined or in Inverse Video). Nothing special is done if a backspace is adjacent to an ASCII control character. Sequences of control characters (e.g., reverse line-feeds, backspaces) can make text ``disappear''; in particular, tables generated by tbl that contain vertical lines will often be missing the lines of text that contain the ``foot'' of a vertical line, unless the input to hp is piped through col (see col(1)).

Although some terminals do support numerical superscript characters, no attempt is made to display them.

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