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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  MP (1)


mp - POSTSCRIPT pretty printer




mp [ -a4 ] [ -addhdr type ] [ -article ] [ -chars # ] [ -columns # ] [ -content ] [ -digest ] [ -elm ] [ -filofax ] [ -folder ] [ -franklin ] [ -from ] [ -help ] [ -landscape ] [ -linelength # ] [ -modtime ] [ -nobanner ] [ -number ] [ -pagelength # ] [ -postscript ] [ -printer name ] [ -prologue name ] [ -remhdr type ] [ -subject text ] [ -tab # ] [ -text ] [ -timeman ] [ -timesys ] [ -us ] [ -version ] [ -words # ] [ -wrap ] [ -F ] [ filename ... ]

digestp [ options] file ...

filep [ options] file ...

filofaxp [ options] file ...

franklinp [ options] file ...

mailp [ options] file ...

newsp [ options] file ...

timemanp [ options] file ...

timesysp [ options] file ...


The mp program reads each filename in sequence and generates a prettified version of the contents in POSTSCRIPT format. By default the output is sent to standard output. If you use one of the different names, output is sent direct to the printer.

mailp will print out mail messages.

newsp will print out USENET news articles.

digestp will print out USENET digest files.

filep will print out ordinary ASCII files.

filofaxp will print out in Filofax personal organiser format.

franklinp will print out in Franklin Planner personal organiser format.

timemanp will print out in Time Manager personal organiser format.

timesysp will print out in Time/System International personal organiser format.

These programs will use the PRINTER or LPDEST environment variables to determine which printer the output is sent to.

If no filename argument is provided, mp reads the standard input. If the standard input is a terminal, input is terminated by an EOF signal, usually Ctrl-D.

Mail items, news articles, ordinary ASCII files, complete mail folders, and digests are all acceptable input formats for mp. The output format includes grayscale lozenges containing banner information at the top and bottom of every page.

The program is conveniently used in conjunction with the print button of the SunView/xnews(1) mailtool(1) programs, or the pipe command provided by mail(1). Add the following two lines to your .mailrc file:

set printmail=’mp -printer’ set cmd="mp -printer &"

Source the .mailrc file, and you are ready to use mp. For printing ordinary ASCII files, the following alias (to be placed in your .cshrc file) may also prove useful:

alias print ’mp -o -printer -s "\!*" <\!*’


-a4 Use A4 paper size (8.5 x 11.4 inches).
-addhdr type
  Add type to the list of mail or news headers to be printed.
-article Format the file as a news article. The top banner contains the text: "Article from newsgroup ", where newsgroup is the first news group found on the Newsgroups: line.
-chars #
  The maximum number of characters to extract from the gecos field of the users /etc/passwd entry. The default is 18.
-columns #
  Number of columns of output per page. This value will override the default value in the prologue file.
-content Instead of using "\nFrom" to denote the start of new mail messages, mp will look for (and use) the value of the Content-Length: mail header. If the Content-Length doesn’t take you to the next "\nFrom", then it’s wrong, and mp falls back to looking for the next "\nFrom" in the mail folder.
-digest Format the file as a digest.
-elm Assume the ELM mail frontend intermediate file format. Used when printing messages from within ELM (using the "p" command), especially for printing tagged messages. This option must be specified in your ELM option setup.
-filofax Format the file for use with a Filofax personal organiser.
-folder Format the file as a mail folder, printing multiple messages.
  Format the file for use with a Franklin Planner personal organiser.
-from Instead of printing who the mail article is for, the top header will contain who the mail article is from. A useful option for people with their own personal printer.
-F Synonym for -from for backwards compatiblity with earier versions.
-help Print the usage message for mp
  Format output in landscape mode. Two pages of text will be printed per sheet of paper.
-linelength #
  Maximum number of characters on each line of output. This value will override the default value in the prologue file.
-modtime Use the files last modification time (rather than the current time) in the mp banner. Note that this only works when the files are supplied on the command line (as opposed to standard input).
  If the output is destined for a printer, than banner printing is disabled. Most of the information that typically appears on the banner sheet is output in the mp banners.
-number Print the line number on each line output.
-pagelength #
  Maximum number of lines on each page of output. This value will override the default value in the prologue file.
-printer name
  Send output to the named printer. Otherwise send output to the printer named in the PRINTER or LPDEST environment variables.
-ps If the mail or digest message just has PostScript as the text of the message, then this is normally just passed straight through. Specifying this option, causes PostScript to be printed as text.
-prologue name
  Employ the file name as the POSTSCRIPT prologue file, overriding any previously defined file names.
-remhdr type
  Add type to the list of mail or news headers which will not be printed.
-subject text
  Use text as the new subject for the printout. If you are printing ordinary ASCII files which have been specified on the command line, the the subject will default to the name of each of these files.
-tab # The number of spaces to output when encountering a tab character.
-text Format the file as an ordinary ASCII text file.
  Format the file for use with the Time Manager personal organiser.
-timesys format the file for use with the Time/System International personal organiser.
-us Use US paper size (8.5 x 11 inches).
-version Print the version number of this release of mp.
-words #
  The maximum number of words to extract from the gecos field of the users /etc/passwd entry. The default is 3.
-wrap Wrap words onto the next line of output.


The default output printer is determined by looking at the PRINTER environment variable for BSD systems or the LPDEST environment variable for System V systems.

The mp prologue file is determined by first looking for the environment variable MP_PROLOGUE, which specifies the directory where mp prologue files are to be found. If MP_PROLOGUE is not found, then the default directory is assumed (/usr/local/share/mp/


The following prologue files are provided:
  Used by default
  Used by the -l landscape mode option
  Used if the -ff option is in effect
  Used if the -fp option is in effect
  Used if the -tm option is in effect
  Used if the -ts option is in effect
  An alternative modification of the default prologue file which outputs the page number in the right corner of the bottom banner.
  An alternative landscape option mode prologue file.


.cshrc initialization file for csh(1)
  initialization file for mail(1)
  POSTSCRIPT prologue for mail printing
  POSTSCRIPT prologue for landscape format
  alternative "default" POSTSCRIPT prologue, inserts page numbers in the bottom right corner of each page
  alternative "landscape" POSTSCRIPT prologue.
  POSTSCRIPT prologue for Filofax format
  POSTSCRIPT prologue for Franklin Planner format.
  POSTSCRIPT prologue for Time Manager format
  POSTSCRIPT prologue for Time/System International format.


mail(1), mailtool(1), xnews(1)


Original version by Steve Holden.

Converted to C then C++, modified and maintained by Rich Burridge, SunSoft Inc.

Original modified to handle net news articles and MH mail by Bruno Pillard, Chorus Systemes, France.

Handling of mail digests added by Dave Glowacki of Public Works Computer Services, St Paul, MN.

Original manual page revised by Rick Rodgers, UCSF School of Pharmacy, San Francicso.

Support for Personal Organiser printing style added by Douglas Buchanan, Sun Microsystems Europe.

Substantial modifications to header parsing by Jeremy Webber, Computer Science Department, University of Adelaide, Australia.

Support for printing multiple files and subject line filename print for ordinary ASCII files added by Sam Manoharan, Edinburgh University.

Support for landscape mode written by Michael Tuchiarone.

Revision of the POSTSCRIPT structuring and the way that the prologue files are handled was included by Johan Vromans.

New style POSTSCRIPT prologue files by John Macdonald.

Support for the ISO8859 character set by Bertrand DeCouty.

Rich Burridge.  PHONE: (USA) (415) 336 6261  MAIL: richb@Eng.Sun.COM

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--> MP (1) 2 August 1993

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