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MANDOC_CHAR(7)         Miscellaneous Information Manual         MANDOC_CHAR(7)

     mandoc_char - mandoc special characters

     This page documents the roff(7) escape sequences accepted by mandoc(1) to
     represent special characters in mdoc(7) and man(7) documents.

     The rendering depends on the mandoc(1) output mode; it can be inspected
     by calling man(1) on the mandoc_char manual page with different -T
     arguments.  In ASCII output, the rendering of some characters may be hard
     to interpret for the reader.  Many are rendered as descriptive strings
     like "<integral>", "<degree>", or "<Gamma>", which may look ugly, and
     many are replaced by similar ASCII characters.  In particular, accented
     characters are usually shown without the accent.  For that reason, try to
     avoid using any of the special characters documented here except those
     discussed in the DESCRIPTION, unless they are essential for explaining
     the subject matter at hand, for example when documenting complicated
     mathematical functions.

     In particular, in English manual pages, do not use special-character
     escape sequences to represent national language characters in author
     names; instead, provide ASCII transcriptions of the names.

   Dashes and Hyphens
     In typography there are different types of dashes of various width: the
     hyphen (-), the en-dash (-), the em-dash (--), and the mathematical minus
     sign (-).

     Hyphens are used for adjectives; to separate the two parts of a compound
     word; or to separate a word across two successive lines of text.  The
     hyphen does not need to be escaped:


     The en-dash is used to separate the two elements of a range, or can be
     used the same way as an em-dash.  It should be written as `\(en':

           pp. 95\(en97.
           Go away \(en or else!

     The em-dash can be used to show an interruption or can be used the same
     way as colons, semi-colons, or parentheses.  It should be written as

           Three things \(em apples, oranges, and bananas.
           This is not that \(em rather, this is that.

     In roff(7) documents, the minus sign is normally written as `\-'.  In
     manual pages, some style guides recommend to also use `\-' if an ASCII
     0x2d "hyphen-minus" output glyph that can be copied and pasted is desired
     in output modes supporting it, for example in -T utf8 and -T html.  But
     currently, no practically relevant manual page formatter actually
     requires that subtlety, so in manual pages just write plain `-' to
     represent hyphen, minus, and hyphen-minus.

     If a word on a text input line contains a hyphen, a formatter may decide
     to insert an output line break after the hyphen if that helps filling the
     current output line, but the whole word would overflow the line.  If it
     is important that the word is not broken across lines in this way, a
     zero-width space (`\&') can be inserted before or after the hyphen.
     While mandoc(1) never breaks the output line after hyphens adjacent to a
     zero-width space, after any of the other dash- or hyphen-like characters
     represented by escape sequences, or after hyphens inside words in macro
     arguments, other software may not respect these rules and may break the
     line even in such cases.

     Some roff(7) implementations contains dictionaries allowing to break the
     line at syllable boundaries even inside words that contain no hyphens.
     Such automatic hyphenation is not supported by mandoc(1), which only
     breaks the line at whitespace, and inside words only after existing

     To separate words in normal text, for indenting and alignment in literal
     context, and when none of the following special cases apply, just use the
     normal space character (` ').

     When filling text, output lines may be broken between words, i.e. at
     space characters.  To prevent a line break between two particular words,
     use the unpaddable non-breaking space escape sequence (`\ ') instead of
     the normal space character.  For example, the input string "number\ 1"
     will be kept together as "number 1" on the same output line.

     On request and macro lines, the normal space character serves as an
     argument delimiter.  To include whitespace into arguments, quoting is
     usually the best choice; see the MACRO SYNTAX section in roff(7).  In
     some cases, using the non-breaking space escape sequence (`\ ') may be

     To escape macro names and to protect whitespace at the end of input
     lines, the zero-width space (`\&') is often useful.  For example, in
     mdoc(7), a normal space character can be displayed in single quotes in
     either of the following ways:

           .Sq " "
           .Sq \ \&

     On request and macro lines, the double-quote character (`"') is handled
     specially to allow quoting.  One way to prevent this special handling is
     by using the `\(dq' escape sequence.

     Note that on text lines, literal double-quote characters can be used
     verbatim.  All other quote-like characters can be used verbatim as well,
     even on request and macro lines.

     In output modes supporting such special output characters, for example -T
     pdf, and sometimes less consistently in -T utf8, some roff(7) formatters
     convert the following ASCII input characters to the following Unicode
     special output characters:

           `       U+2018    left single quotation mark
           '       U+2019    right single quotation mark
           ~       U+02DC    small tilde
           ^       U+02C6    modifier letter circumflex

     In prose, this automatic substitution is often desirable; but when these
     characters have to be displayed as plain ASCII characters, for example in
     source code samples, they require escaping to render as follows:

           \(ga    U+0060    grave accent
           \(aq    U+0027    apostrophe
           \(ti    U+007E    tilde
           \(ha    U+005E    circumflex accent

     The period (`.') is handled specially at the beginning of an input line,
     where it introduces a roff(7) request or a macro, and when appearing
     alone as a macro argument in mdoc(7).  In such situations, prepend a
     zero-width space (`\&.') to make it behave like normal text.

     Do not use the `\.' escape sequence.  It does not prevent special
     handling of the period.

     To include a literal backslash (`\') into the output, use the (`\e')
     escape sequence.

     Note that doubling it (`\\') is not the right way to output a backslash.
     Because mandoc(1) does not implement full roff(7) functionality, it may
     work with mandoc(1), but it may have weird effects on complete roff(7)

     Special characters are encoded as `\X' (for a one-character escape),
     `\(XX' (two-character), and `\[N]' (N-character).  For details, see the
     Special Characters subsection of the roff(7) manual.

           Input    Description
           `\ '     unpaddable non-breaking space
           \~       paddable non-breaking space
           \0       digit-width space allowing line break
           \|       one-sixth \(em narrow space, zero width in nroff mode
           \^       one-twelfth \(em half-narrow space, zero width in nroff
           \&       zero-width non-breaking space
           \)       zero-width space transparent to end-of-sentence detection
           \%       zero-width space allowing hyphenation
           \:       zero-width space allowing line break

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(ba     |           bar
           \(br     |           box rule
           \(ul     _           underscore
           \(ru     _           underscore (width 0.5m)
           \(rn     -           overline
           \(bb     |           broken bar
           \(sl     /           forward slash
           \(rs     \           backward slash

     Text markers:
           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(ci     O           circle
           \(bu     ⊕           bullet
           \(dd     <**>        double dagger
           \(dg     <*>         dagger
           \(lz     <>          lozenge
           \(sq     []          white square
           \(ps     <paragraph> paragraph
           \(sc     <section>   section
           \(lh     <=          left hand
           \(rh     =>          right hand
           \(at     @           at
           \(sh     #           hash (pound)
           \(CR     <cr>        carriage return
           \(OK     \/          check mark
           \(CL     C           club suit
           \(SP     S           spade suit
           \(HE     H           heart suit
           \(DI     D           diamond suit

     Legal symbols:
           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(co     (C)         copyright
           \(rg     (R)         registered
           \(tm     tm          trademarked

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(em     --          em-dash
           \(en     -           en-dash
           \(hy     -           hyphen
           \e       \           back-slash
           \.       .           period
           \(r!     !           upside-down exclamation
           \(r?     ?           upside-down question

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(Bq     ,,          right low double-quote
           \(bq     ,           right low single-quote
           \(lq     "           left double-quote
           \(rq     "           right double-quote
           \(oq     `           left single-quote
           \(cq     '           right single-quote
           \(aq     '           apostrophe quote (ASCII character)
           \(dq     "           double quote (ASCII character)
           \(Fo     <<          left guillemet
           \(Fc     >>          right guillemet
           \(fo     <           left single guillemet
           \(fc     >           right single guillemet

           Input                Rendered    Description
           \(lB                 [           left bracket
           \(rB                 ]           right bracket
           \(lC                 {           left brace
           \(rC                 }           right brace
           \(la                 <           left angle
           \(ra                 >           right angle
           \(bv                 |           brace extension (special font)
           \[braceex]           |           brace extension
           \[bracketlefttp]     |           top-left hooked bracket
           \[bracketleftbt]     |           bottom-left hooked bracket
           \[bracketleftex]     |           left hooked bracket extension
           \[bracketrighttp]    |           top-right hooked bracket
           \[bracketrightbt]    |           bottom-right hooked bracket
           \[bracketrightex]    |           right hooked bracket extension
           \(lt                 ,-          top-left hooked brace
           \[bracelefttp]       ,-          top-left hooked brace
           \(lk                 {           mid-left hooked brace
           \[braceleftmid]      {           mid-left hooked brace
           \(lb                 `-          bottom-left hooked brace
           \[braceleftbt]       `-          bottom-left hooked brace
           \[braceleftex]       |           left hooked brace extension
           \(rt                 -.          top-left hooked brace
           \[bracerighttp]      -.          top-right hooked brace
           \(rk                 }           mid-right hooked brace
           \[bracerightmid]     }           mid-right hooked brace
           \(rb                 -'          bottom-right hooked brace
           \[bracerightbt]      -'          bottom-right hooked brace
           \[bracerightex]      |           right hooked brace extension
           \[parenlefttp]       /           top-left hooked parenthesis
           \[parenleftbt]       \           bottom-left hooked parenthesis
           \[parenleftex]       |           left hooked parenthesis extension
           \[parenrighttp]      \           top-right hooked parenthesis
           \[parenrightbt]      /           bottom-right hooked parenthesis
           \[parenrightex]      |           right hooked parenthesis extension

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(<-     <-          left arrow
           \(->     ->          right arrow
           \(<>     <->         left-right arrow
           \(da     |v           down arrow
           \(ua     |^           up arrow
           \(va     ^v          up-down arrow
           \(lA     <=          left double-arrow
           \(rA     =>          right double-arrow
           \(hA     <=>         left-right double-arrow
           \(uA     =^           up double-arrow
           \(dA     =v           down double-arrow
           \(vA     ^=v         up-down double-arrow
           \(an     -           horizontal arrow extension

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(AN     ^           logical and
           \(OR     v           logical or
           \[tno]   ~           logical not (text font)
           \(no     ~           logical not (special font)
           \(te     <there exists>
                                existential quantifier
           \(fa     <for all>   universal quantifier
           \(st     <such that> such that
           \(tf     <therefore> therefore
           \(3d     <therefore> therefore
           \(or     |           bitwise or

           Input            Rendered    Description
           \-               -           minus (text font)
           \(mi             -           minus (special font)
           +                +           plus (text font)
           \(pl             +           plus (special font)
           \(-+             -+          minus-plus
           \[t+-]           +-          plus-minus (text font)
           \(+-             +-          plus-minus (special font)
           \(pc             .           center-dot
           \[tmu]           x           multiply (text font)
           \(mu             x           multiply (special font)
           \(c*             Ox           circle-multiply
           \(c+             O+           circle-plus
           \[tdi]           /           divide (text font)
           \(di             /           divide (special font)
           \(f/             /           fraction
           \(**             *           asterisk
           \(<=             <=          less-than-equal
           \(>=             >=          greater-than-equal
           \(<<             <<          much less
           \(>>             >>          much greater
           \(eq             =           equal
           \(!=             !=          not equal
           \(==             ==          equivalent
           \(ne             !==         not equivalent
           \(ap             ~           tilde operator
           \(|=             -~          asymptotically equal
           \(=~             =~          approximately equal
           \(~~             ~~          almost equal
           \(~=             ~=          almost equal
           \(pt             <proportional to>
           \(es             {}          empty set
           \(mo             <element of>
           \(nm             <not element of>
                                        not element
           \(sb             <proper subset>
                                        proper subset
           \(nb             <not subset>
                                        not subset
           \(sp             <proper superset>
                                        proper superset
           \(nc             <not superset>
                                        not superset
           \(ib             <subset or equal>
                                        reflexive subset
           \(ip             <superset or equal>
                                        reflexive superset
           \(ca             <intersection>
           \(cu             <union>     union
           \(/_             <angle>     angle
           \(pp             <perpendicular>
           \(is             <integral>  integral
           \[integral]      <integral>  integral
           \[sum]           <sum>       summation
           \[product]       <product>   product
           \[coproduct]     <coproduct> coproduct
           \(gr             <nabla>     gradient
           \(sr             <sqrt>      square root
           \[sqrt]          <sqrt>      square root
           \(lc             |~          left-ceiling
           \(rc             ~|          right-ceiling
           \(lf             |_          left-floor
           \(rf             _|          right-floor
           \(if             <infinity>  infinity
           \(Ah             <Aleph>     aleph
           \(Im             <Im>        imaginary
           \(Re             <Re>        real
           \(wp             p           Weierstrass p
           \(pd             <del>       partial differential
           \(-h             /h          Planck constant over 2<pi>
           \[hbar]          /h          Planck constant over 2<pi>
           \(12             1/2         one-half
           \(14             1/4         one-fourth
           \(34             3/4         three-fourths
           \(18             1/8         one-eighth
           \(38             3/8         three-eighths
           \(58             5/8         five-eighths
           \(78             7/8         seven-eighths
           \(S1             ^1          superscript 1
           \(S2             ^2          superscript 2
           \(S3             ^3          superscript 3

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(ff     ff          ff ligature
           \(fi     fi          fi ligature
           \(fl     fl          fl ligature
           \(Fi     ffi         ffi ligature
           \(Fl     ffl         ffl ligature
           \(AE     AE          AE
           \(ae     ae          ae
           \(OE     OE          OE
           \(oe     oe          oe
           \(ss     ss          German eszett
           \(IJ     IJ          IJ ligature
           \(ij     ij          ij ligature

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(a"     "           Hungarian umlaut
           \(a-     -           macron
           \(a.     .           dotted
           \(a^     ^           circumflex
           \(aa     '           acute
           \'       '           acute
           \(ga     `           grave
           \`       `           grave
           \(ab     '`           breve
           \(ac     ,           cedilla
           \(ad     "           dieresis
           \(ah     v           caron
           \(ao     o           ring
           \(a~     ~           tilde
           \(ho     ,           ogonek
           \(ha     ^           hat (ASCII character)
           \(ti     ~           tilde (ASCII character)

     Accented letters:
           Input    Rendered    Description
           \('A     'A           acute A
           \('E     'E           acute E
           \('I     'I           acute I
           \('O     'O           acute O
           \('U     'U           acute U
           \('Y     'Y           acute Y
           \('a     'a           acute a
           \('e     'e           acute e
           \('i     'i           acute i
           \('o     'o           acute o
           \('u     'u           acute u
           \('y     'y           acute y
           \(`A     `A           grave A
           \(`E     `E           grave E
           \(`I     `I           grave I
           \(`O     `O           grave O
           \(`U     `U           grave U
           \(`a     `a           grave a
           \(`e     `e           grave e
           \(`i     `i           grave i
           \(`o     `i           grave o
           \(`u     `u           grave u
           \(~A     ~A           tilde A
           \(~N     ~N           tilde N
           \(~O     ~O           tilde O
           \(~a     ~a           tilde a
           \(~n     ~n           tilde n
           \(~o     ~o           tilde o
           \(:A     "A           dieresis A
           \(:E     "E           dieresis E
           \(:I     "I           dieresis I
           \(:O     "O           dieresis O
           \(:U     "U           dieresis U
           \(:a     "a           dieresis a
           \(:e     "e           dieresis e
           \(:i     "i           dieresis i
           \(:o     "o           dieresis o
           \(:u     "u           dieresis u
           \(:y     "y           dieresis y
           \(^A     ^A           circumflex A
           \(^E     ^E           circumflex E
           \(^I     ^I           circumflex I
           \(^O     ^O           circumflex O
           \(^U     ^U           circumflex U
           \(^a     ^a           circumflex a
           \(^e     ^e           circumflex e
           \(^i     ^i           circumflex i
           \(^o     ^o           circumflex o
           \(^u     ^u           circumflex u
           \(,C     ,C           cedilla C
           \(,c     ,c           cedilla c
           \(/L     /L           stroke L
           \(/l     /l           stroke l
           \(/O     /O           stroke O
           \(/o     /o           stroke o
           \(oA     oA           ring A
           \(oa     oa           ring a

     Special letters:
           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(-D     Dh          Eth
           \(Sd     dh          eth
           \(TP     Th          Thorn
           \(Tp     th          thorn
           \(.i     i           dotless i
           \(.j     j           dotless j

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(Do     $           dollar
           \(ct     /c           cent
           \(Eu     EUR         Euro symbol
           \(eu     EUR         Euro symbol
           \(Ye     =Y           yen
           \(Po     -L           pound
           \(Cs     ox           Scandinavian
           \(Fn     ,f           florin

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(de     <degree>    degree
           \(%0     <permille>  per-thousand
           \(fm     '           minute
           \(sd     ''          second
           \(mc     <micro>     micro
           \(Of     a           Spanish female ordinal
           \(Om     o           Spanish masculine ordinal

     Greek letters:
           Input    Rendered    Description
           \(*A     A           Alpha
           \(*B     B           Beta
           \(*G     <Gamma>     Gamma
           \(*D     <Delta>     Delta
           \(*E     E           Epsilon
           \(*Z     Z           Zeta
           \(*Y     H           Eta
           \(*H     <Theta>     Theta
           \(*I     I           Iota
           \(*K     K           Kappa
           \(*L     <Lambda>    Lambda
           \(*M     M           Mu
           \(*N     N           Nu
           \(*C     <Xi>        Xi
           \(*O     O           Omicron
           \(*P     <Pi>        Pi
           \(*R     P           Rho
           \(*S     <Sigma>     Sigma
           \(*T     T           Tau
           \(*U     Y           Upsilon
           \(*F     <Phi>       Phi
           \(*X     X           Chi
           \(*Q     <Psi>       Psi
           \(*W     <Omega>     Omega
           \(*a     <alpha>     alpha
           \(*b     <beta>      beta
           \(*g     <gamma>     gamma
           \(*d     <delta>     delta
           \(*e     <epsilon>   epsilon
           \(*z     <zeta>      zeta
           \(*y     <eta>       eta
           \(*h     <theta>     theta
           \(*i     <iota>      iota
           \(*k     <kappa>     kappa
           \(*l     <lambda>    lambda
           \(*m     <mu>        mu
           \(*n     <nu>        nu
           \(*c     <xi>        xi
           \(*o     o           omicron
           \(*p     <pi>        pi
           \(*r     <rho>       rho
           \(*s     <sigma>     sigma
           \(*t     <tau>       tau
           \(*u     <upsilon>   upsilon
           \(*f     <phi>       phi
           \(*x     <chi>       chi
           \(*q     <psi>       psi
           \(*w     <omega>     omega
           \(+h     <theta>     theta variant
           \(+f     <phi>       phi variant
           \(+p     <pi>        pi variant
           \(+e     <epsilon>   epsilon variant
           \(ts     <sigma>     sigma terminal

     Predefined strings are inherited from the macro packages of historical
     troff implementations.  They are not recommended for use, as they differ
     across implementations.  Manuals using these predefined strings are
     almost certainly not portable.

     Their syntax is similar to special characters, using `\*X' (for a
     one-character escape), `\*(XX' (two-character), and `\*[N]'
     (N-character).  For details, see the Predefined Strings subsection of the
     roff(7) manual.

           Input    Rendered    Description
           \*(Ba    |           vertical bar
           \*(Ne    !=          not equal
           \*(Ge    >=          greater-than-equal
           \*(Le    <=          less-than-equal
           \*(Gt    >           greater-than
           \*(Lt    <           less-than
           \*(Pm    +-          plus-minus
           \*(If    infinity    infinity
           \*(Pi    pi          pi
           \*(Na    NaN         NaN
           \*(Am    &           ampersand
           \*R      (R)         restricted mark
           \*(Tm    (Tm)        trade mark
           \*q      "           double-quote
           \*(Rq    "           right-double-quote
           \*(Lq    "           left-double-quote
           \*(lp    (           right-parenthesis
           \*(rp    )           left-parenthesis
           \*(lq    "           left double-quote
           \*(rq    "           right double-quote
           \*(ua    |^           up arrow
           \*(va    ^v          up-down arrow
           \*(<=    <=          less-than-equal
           \*(>=    >=          greater-than-equal
           \*(aa    '           acute
           \*(ga    `           grave
           \*(Px    POSIX       POSIX standard name
           \*(Ai    ANSI        ANSI standard name

     The escape sequences

           \[uXXXX] and \C'uXXXX'

     are interpreted as Unicode codepoints.  The codepoint must be in the
     range above U+0080 and less than U+10FFFF.  For compatibility, the
     hexadecimal digits `A' to `F' must be given as uppercase characters, and
     points must be zero-padded to four characters; if greater than four
     characters, no zero padding is allowed.  Unicode surrogates are not

     For backward compatibility with existing manuals, mandoc(1) also supports

           \N'number' and \[charnumber]

     escape sequences, inserting the character number from the current
     character set into the output.  Of course, this is inherently non-
     portable and is already marked as deprecated in the Heirloom roff manual;
     on top of that, the second form is a GNU extension.  For example, do not
     use \N'34' or \[char34], use \(dq, or even the plain `"' character where

     This section documents compatibility between mandoc and other troff
     implementations, at this time limited to GNU troff ("groff").

     -   The \N'' escape sequence is limited to printable characters; in
         groff, it accepts arbitrary character numbers.
     -   In -Tascii, the \(ss, \(nm, \(nb, \(nc, \(ib, \(ip, \(pp, \[sum],
         \[product], \[coproduct], \(gr, \(-h, and \(a. special characters
         render differently between mandoc and groff.
     -   In -Thtml, the \(~=, \(nb, and \(nc special characters render
         differently between mandoc and groff.
     -   The -Tps and -Tpdf modes format like -Tascii instead of rendering
         glyphs as in groff.
     -   The \[radicalex], \[sqrtex], and \(ru special characters have been
         omitted from mandoc either because they are poorly documented or they
         have no known representation.

     mandoc(1), man(7), mdoc(7), roff(7)

     The mandoc_char manual page was written by Kristaps Dzonsons

     The predefined string `\*(Ba' mimics the behaviour of the `|' character
     in mdoc(7); thus, if you wish to render a vertical bar with no side
     effects, use the `\(ba' escape.

NetBSD 10.99                   December 15, 2018                  NetBSD 10.99