The Unix® System Document Preparation Tools: A Retrospective

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The family of programs in the UNIX system's document‐preparation suite has grown over the years to encompass facilities for typesetting mathematics, tables, diagrams, and graphs on a variety of output devices. These programs—the troff formatter, the eqn language for mathematics, tbl for tables, pic and ideal for diagrams, grap for graphs—have been widely used, and some features have been emulated in other systems. In this paper, we will examine these programs, focusing on their most characteristic aspects, and on the lessons we have learned about both document preparation and software development. Although “retrospective” implies only a backward look, there will also be some description of work in progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalAT&T Technical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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