groff && UTF-8

Roland Smith rsmith at
Mon Jul 18 14:59:33 UTC 2011

On Mon, Jul 18, 2011 at 12:49:39PM +0200, Matthias Apitz wrote:
> Hello,
> In the '90 I have used for a lot of my internal and external papers and
> letter the groff suite (gtbl, groff, ...) with good results.
> I've now a project where it would fit really nicely. It's making
> (Postscript or PCL) printout of some pages like this example one:
> in which most of the part is just plain text, printed in some fixed
> font, a few big letters (big font) and some OCR-B on the page (like the
> number 0000471110 in the mentioned page).
> The critical part seems to be: the text is UTF-8 and converting this
> to ISO 8859-1 is not an option. It's a Library Management System we
> just ported to Unicode, and we don't want to fall back in printing :-)

If you want to produce postscript output from groff, you will have to deal
with postscript fonts. The usual Type 1 fonts are single-byte fonts. Groff
only deals with Latin-1 characters (see groff_char(7)).

> Any other ideas?
If you use unicode character outside of the Latin-1 set, you're in
trouble. You'll have to find or make a font that includes those characters and
matches your body text font, and then replace all instances of those
characters with the appropriate font changing commands for groff.

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