ditroff - Linux


ditroff is a device-independent text formatter primarily used to create high-quality printed output from digital documents. It is particularly valuable for producing technical manuals, scientific papers, and documents with complex formatting requirements.


ditroff [options] [files]


| Option | Description |
| -D | Suppress page headers, footers, and page numbers |
| -f font | Specify a font for printing |
| -H | Suppress printing headers |
| -L | Print the document in landscape orientation |
| -n n | Print only the specified page ranges (e.g., -n 1-3) |
| -P | Suppress printing of page numbers |
| -Q | Quiet mode (suppress diagnostic messages) |
| -r | Print the document in reverse order |
| -s | Suppress printing of the footer |
| -T | Specify the output format (e.g., -T postscript) |
| -v | Verbose mode (display diagnostic messages) |


Basic usage:

ditroff document.troff

Print a specific page range:

ditroff -n 5-10 document.troff

Create a PostScript output:

ditroff -T postscript document.troff > output.ps

Suppress page headers and footers:

ditroff -D document.troff

Common Issues

  • Missing fonts: Ensure the necessary fonts are installed on your system.
  • Document rendering issues: Check the document’s formatting and ensure it conforms to the Troff syntax.
  • Incorrect output format: Verify that the specified output format (-T option) is supported by your system.


Ditroff can be integrated with other Linux commands and tools:

  • enscript can be used to print formatted text documents directly to a printer.
  • groff provides a more comprehensive suite of formatting tools, including ditroff.
  • tmac files can be used to define custom macros for advanced formatting.

Related Commands

  • nroff: Non-device-oriented text formatter (precursor to ditroff)
  • enscript: Printer filter for formatted text
  • groff: Document formatting system that includes ditroff
  • tex: Typesetting system popular for scientific and mathematical texts