(Beta version : user interface may change)

Utmac: Usefull troff macros

Utmac is a set of troff macros made to be used with Heirloom Troff.

A single macro language

All the macro files follow the same language, giving the ability to produce different layouts on different type of support from the same troff source. From a single source file, researcher can interact with all their colleagues and developpers can produce all the file they need.

Various output format

Utmac can produce high quality pdf files, terminal output, plain text file (readme and license), manual pages, ReStructuredText files, and clean xml files — and so, with some xsl stylesheet, flat open document texts (fodt) and html files.

High level typographic features

Utmac use the powerfull typographic feature of Heirloom troff such as paragraph at once adjustment, micro-typography, hanging characters and OpenType fonts. While producing pdf, it informs about orphans, widows and blanks at the bottom of page, and provides macros to fix them manually.

Bibliography and indexes

Utmac has builtin macros to simply insert bibliography, indexes, table of content and summaries. Bibliography aims to follow the iso-690 standart, and replace yet cited references by ‹ idem. ›, or ‹ op. cit. p xx. › if needed.

Troff ergonomy

Utmac respect the original troff ergonomy : it is more hackable than configurable. By default, the layout is fixed and should be typographically perfect. If one wants to change the layout, he’ll have to learn the troff langage to hack the sources, or to create it’s own macros.


Look at the demonstration files, of the uh, us, ux, and ut macros, and look at their source for a quick overview.

For an example of html output, look at this website : it is entirely build by the tools it shares.

See the following files : readme, utmac, u-ref, bsd2, log, or download utroff-utmac.pdf.


Look at the list of changes and download the pre-built archive utroff-0.3.tar.gz and its md5sum to install utroff on your system, or download the RCS list of revision utroff-dev.tar.gz and its md5sum to hack the sources.