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UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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Nroff and Troff
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12.7 Escape Sequences

Sequence Effect
\\ Prevent or delay the interpretation of \.
\e

Printable version of the current \ escape character.

\'

´ (acute accent); equivalent to \(aa .

\`

` (grave accent); equivalent to \(ga .

\- - Minus sign in the current font.
\. Period (dot).
\(space)

Unpaddable space-size space character.

\(newline) Concealed (ignored) newline.
\0 Digit width space.
\|

1/6-em narrow space character (zero width in nroff).

\^

1/12-em half-narrow space character (zero width in nroff).

\&

Non-printing, zero width character.

\! Transparent line indicator.
\" Beginning of comment.
\$ n Interpolate argument 1<= n <=9.
\%

Default optional hyphenation character.

\( xx Character named xx .
\* x or \* ( xx Interpolate string x or xx .
\a Noninterpreted leader character.
\b' abc ... ' Bracket building function.
\c Make next line continuous with current.
\d

Forward (down) 1/2-em vertical motion (1/2 line in nroff).

\D'l x , y '

Draw a line from current position to coordinates x,y (ditroff only).

\D'c d '

Draw circle of diameter d with left edge at current position (ditroff only).

\D'e d1 d2 '

Draw ellipse with horizontal diameter d1 and vertical diameter d2 , with left edge at current position (ditroff only).

\D'a x1 y1 x2 y2 '

Draw arc counterclockwise from current position, with center at x1,y1 and endpoint at x1+x2,y1+y2 (ditroff only).

\D'~ x1 y1 x2 y2 ... '

Draw spline from current position through the specified coordinates (ditroff only).

\f x or \f( xx or \f n

Change to font named x or xx or to position n .

\h' n '

Local horizontal motion; move right n or if n is negative move left.

\H' n'

Set character height to n points, without changing width (ditroff only).

\k x

Mark horizontal input place in register x .

\l' nc ' Draw horizontal line of length n (optionally with c ).
\L' nc ' Draw vertical line of length n (optionally with c ).
\n x \,\n( xx Interpolate number register x or xx .
\o' abc ...' Overstrike characters a , b , c ...
\p Break and spread output line.
\r

Reverse 1-em vertical motion (reverse line in nroff).

\s n \,\s± n

Change point-size to n or increment by n . For example, \s0 returns to previous point size.

\S' n'

Slant output n degrees to the right. Negative values slant to the left. A value of zero turns off slanting (ditroff only).

\t Non-interpreted horizontal tab.
\u

Reverse (up) 1/2-em vertical motion (1/2 line in nroff).

\v' n '

Local vertical motion; move down n or if n is negative move up.

\w' string ' Interpolate width of string .
\x' n '

Extra line-space function ( n negative provides space before, n positive provides after).

\z c

Print c with zero width (without spacing).

\{ Begin multi-line conditional input.
\} End multi-line conditional input.
\ x x , any character not listed above.


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