Making Man Pages

Subject: Making Man Pages
From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 13:14:57 -0600

Forwarded on request.

Joanne grey wrote:

<<After years of escaping this, it's finally come up. I'm going to have
>write man pages. I've scoured for a book on this, but the
>only books I can find are from 1986 and out of print. Can anyone
>recommend a good primer on writing these beasts? I'm not even sure what
>to write them *in*. TROFF?>>

First I just want to say I'm sorry you are in the position to *have* to
man pages. I would ask why on Earth is this the case, but I guess it

matter --- it just is. Since you mentioned TROFF, I'm assuming this is on

In the late 1980's I single-sourced manuals and online help on UNIX in
NROFF. With some help from our programmers, it worked pretty slick.
Quite efficient. The drawback is that it was real ugly. Your choice of
fonts was one size of non-proportional command line text in normal or bold.

You might find a Hewlett-Packard house and ask if they still have the
*Text Formatters* volume of *HP-UX Concepts and Tutorials*.

I hope you are able to find something.

Betsy Callahan
Technical Documentation Specialist
bbcallah -at- visionael -dot- com

Eric J. Ray RayComm, Inc. ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com

*Award-winning author of several popular computer books
*Syndicated columnist: Rays on Computing
*Technology Department Editor, _Technical Communication_

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