#328 man: Add "default indentation" customization support

output: manpages
XSL (399)

The groff_man(7) and the section on the man macros
in the groff info page refer to something called
the "default indentation" value. That same value
also forms the base for what the man(7) man page
calls the "prevailing indent".

The groff_man page says the starting value for
default indentation is 7.2n. The man(7) man page
says that default value for prevailing indent
is 0.5 inches.

In the real world, looking at existing man pages,
one can see that the starting value of that indent
is 8 characters wide in console output.

I have no idea who originally decided it should be
8 characters instead of, say 4 characters, or why
they decided it, but it seems to me to be ridiculously
too wide. So I plan to set the default in DocBook
manpages output to either 3 or 4 characters, and
the provide a new option so that users can adjust
it to their pleasuse and/or turn of the adjustment
completely and just go back to the traditional
default man behavior.

It will require two new params:

man.indentation.default.adjust (boolean)
man.indentation.default.value (number)

Note: Internally within roff, the value of this
is stored in the "IN" register.


  • Logged In: YES

    A change for this issue has been added to the current codebase.
    Please test the change with the latest snapshot from:


  • Logged In: YES

    • status: open --> closed-fixed