Man Page BSD-ism And Terminal Width

Warren Block wblock at
Thu May 4 01:49:58 UTC 2017

On Wed, 3 May 2017, derek thomas wrote:

> Not all man pages on my system fit the width of my terminal. The MANWIDTH variable as described in man(1) should be the solution, but I've discovered that many if not all man page sources in base at least don't seem to respect the  variable.  As though width was hard-coded.   Other sources do respect it, such as /usr/share/man/man1/nroff.1.gz, and notably others in ports. So I suppose there is some FreeBSD-ism going on in the source format.
> I ruled out my processing pipeline.
> nroff -man [sourcefile] demonstrates the same differences in files.
> Should I dig further for a proper man-macro code fix? Or am I overlooking something?  Is this expected behaviour?

setenv MANWIDTH tty

works here in csh, and

export MANWIDTH 200

in sh.  Both tested with 'man ls'.  I don't remember much of anything 
about nroff, please test with mandoc or groff.

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