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Manual Reference Pages  -  REM2PS (1)


rem2ps - draw a PostScript calendar from Remind output


Variables Available To User-supplied Postscript Code
Rem2ps Input Format
See Also


rem2ps [options]


Rem2ps reads the standard input, which should be the results of running Remind with the -p option. It emits PostScript code (which draws a calendar) to the standard output.

See the section "Rem2PS Input Format" for details about the -p data. This may be useful if you wish to create other Remind back-ends.


-v Be more verbose. This causes Rem2ps to print progress messages to the standard error stream. Normally, it is silent.
-p file Include the contents of file in the PostScript prologue. This allows you to define procedures, variables etc. which can be used by the PS and PSFILE reminders. You should not include any document structuring comments in your prologue.
-l Produce the calendar in landscape mode rather than the default portrait mode.
-c[n] If n is omitted, disables the small calendars for next and previous months which are normally generated. If n is supplied, it can range from 0 to 3, with the following meanings:
0 Disable small calendars
1 Place the small calendars at the bottom-right if there is room; otherwise, place them at the top-left.
2 Place the small calendars at the top-left if there is room; otherwise, place them at the bottom-right.
3 Place the previous month’s small calendar at the top-left and the next month’s at the bottom-right if there is room; otherwise, follow n=1. A moment’s thought reveals that an option which splits the calendars if there is room and otherwise follows n=2 yields the same results as n=3.
-i Use ISO 8859-1 standard encoding for the PostScript fonts. If you do not use this option, the default encoding is used.
-e Make the calendar fill the entire page. By default, the calendar is slightly smaller than the page. This allows days with many reminders to "expand" as needed. However, if you don’t have days which expand, you can use this option to make all of the boxes slightly bigger. One caveat: If you do use the -e option and one day has many reminders, the calendar may expand off the page, losing some information. Experiment!
-m media Set the page size. If you use the -m option, you must specify the media type, which can be one of the following. (Sizes are approximate.)
Letter 8.5 x 11 in.
Legal 8.5 x 14 in.
Ledger 11 x 17 in.
  5.5 x 8.5 in.
  7.5 x 10 in.
A3 29.7 x 42 cm.
A4 21 x 29.7 cm.
A5 14.8 x 21 cm.
B4 25.7 x 36.4 cm.
B5 18.3 x 25.7 cm.
Folio 8.5 x 13 in.
Quarto 8.5 x 10.8 in.
10x14 10 x 14 in.
XxYin X by Y inches, where X and Y can be floating-point numbers.
XxYcm X by Y centimetres, where X and Y can be floating-point numbers.

Type "rem2ps -m help" for a list of available media. Note that the media type (and all Rem2ps options) are case-sensitive. If you don’t use the -m option, the media defaults to a compiled-in default - this is usually Letter for North America and A4 for Europe. The "-m help" option will display the compiled-in default.
-f[tshed] font
  Set the font for the calendar title, the small calendars, the day-of-week headings, the calendar entries, and the day numbers, respectively. Font must be the name of a valid PostScript font. The default fonts are equivalent to specifying:

        -ftshe Helvetica -fd Helvetica-BoldOblique

In other words, the heading, entry and small-calendar fonts are set to Helvetica, and the font for the day numbers is set to Helvetica-BoldOblique.

-s[thed] size
  Set the size (in points) of the text for the the calendar title, day-of-week headings, the calendar entries, and the day numbers, respectively. Size must be a decimal number. The default sizes are equivalent to specifying:

        -sthd 14 -se 8

In other words, the heading and day numbers are 14-point fonts, and the calendar entries are printed in 8-point text.

-b size Set the size of the blank white border in each calendar box to size points. The default border size is 6 points, or 1/12 in.
-t size Set the thickness of the black calendar grid lines. The default is 1, for a line thickness of one point (1/72 in.)
-o[lrtb] size
  Set the left, right, top, and/or bottom margins to size points. For this option only, size must be an integer. It represents the margin size in units of 1/72 in. The default margin sizes are 36, for half-inch margins. If you wish to punch holes in the calendar page to insert it into a binder, you may wish to increase the left margin to one inch. In that case, you should also decrease the heading font size to 12 points for good output:
        # This gives good results for putting into a binder
        rem2ps -ol 72 -sh 12


To use Rem2ps, you should pipe the output of Remind with the -p option to Rem2ps, and then send the result to a printer. This is most easily illustrated with examples:

        remind -p12 /dev/null 1 jan 1994 | rem2ps | lpr -Plaser

That example creates a blank calendar for the entire year of 1994, and sends it the the printer named "laser."

        remind -p ~/.reminders | rem2ps -l -sd 18 >

This reminder creates a calendar for the current month, filling in entries from the reminder file "~/.reminders." The calendar is produced in landscape mode, with a font size of 18 for the day numbers. The result is put in the PostScript file ""


The following variables are available to PS and PSFILE-type reminders. (This material is duplicated in the Remind manual page.)
  The width of the black grid lines making up the calendar.
Border The border between the center of the grid lines and the space used to print calendar entries. This border is normally blank space.
BoxWidth and BoxHeight
  The width and height of the calendar box, from center-to-center of the black gridlines.
  The height from the center of the bottom black gridline to the top of the regular calendar entry area. The space from here to the top of the box is used only to draw the day number.
/DayFont, /TitleFont, /EntryFont, /SmallFont and /HeadFont
  The fonts used to draw the day numbers, the month and year title, the calendar entries, the small calendars, and the day-of-week headings, respectively.
DaySize, TitleSize, EntrySize and HeadSize
  The sizes of the above fonts. (The size of the small calendar font is not defined here.) For example, if you wanted to print the Hebrew date next to the regular day number in the calendar, use:
        REM PS Border BoxHeight Border sub DaySize sub moveto \
           /DayFont findfont DaySize scalefont setfont \
           ([hebday(today())] [hebmon(today())]) show

  Note how /DayFont and DaySize are used.
Note that if you supply PostScript code, it is possible to produce invalid PostScript files. Always test your PostScript thoroughly with a PostScript viewer before sending it to the printer. You should not use any document structuring comments in your PostScript code.
In addition, prior to drawing a calendar page, Rem2ps emits the following PostScript code:
        save (mon) (yr) PreCal restore

where mon and yr are the month and year of the calendar page. The default PreCal procedure simply pops the arguments and does nothing. However, you can define a PreCal function in your prologue file to do whatever you want - it can draw a background for the entire calendar, for instance.
In the context of the PreCal procedure, the following conditions hold:
o The PostScript origin is at the bottom left-hand corner of the page, and PostScript units of 1/72" are in effect.
o The variables MinX, MinY, MaxX and MaxY define the bounding box within which the calendar will be drawn.
o The font and font-size variables, as well as Border and LineWidth described previously, are valid.
For an example, create a file called "myprolog" whose contents are:

                /PreCal {
                 /yr exch def
                 /mon exch def
                 /xsiz1 MaxX MinX sub def
                 /ysiz1 MaxY MinY sub def
                 /xsiz xsiz1 MinX sub MinX sub def
                 /ysiz ysiz1 MinY sub MinY sub def
                 {/len xsiz 1.41 mul def
                  MinX MinX add ysiz1 xsiz1 sub 2 div MinY add MinY add moveto}
                 {/len ysiz 1.41 mul def
                  xsiz1 ysiz1 sub 2 div MinX add MinX add MinY MinY add moveto}
                 /Helvetica-Bold findfont 1 scalefont setfont
                 mon stringwidth pop
                 ( ) stringwidth pop add
                 yr stringwidth pop add
                 len exch div /len exch def
                 /Helvetica-Bold findfont len scalefont setfont
                 0.95 setgray
                 45 rotate
                 mon show
                 ( ) show
                 yr show
                } bind def

Use that file with the Rem2ps -p option to create calendars with the year and month in large grey letters in the background of the calendar.


Remind -p sends the following lines to standard output. The information is designed to be easily parsed by back-end programs:
# rem2ps begin
  This line signifies the start of calendar data. Back-ends can search for it to verify they are being fed correct information.
month_name year num_days first_day monday_first
  On this line, month_name is the name of the month whose calendar information is about to follow. num_days is the number of days in this month. first_day is the weekday of the first day of the month (0 = Sunday, 1 = Monday, 6 = Saturday.) And monday_first is 1 if the -m flag was supplied to Remind, or 0 if it was not. All this information is supplied so back-ends don’t need any date calculation facilities.
sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
  This line consists of space-separated names of days in whatever language Remind was compiled for. This information can be used by back-ends to annotate calendars, and means they don’t have to be created for a specific language.
next_mon next_days
  The name of the next month and the number of days in it.
prev_mon prev_days
  The name of the previous month and the number of days in it. The next_mon and prev_mon lines could be used to generate small inset calendars for the next and previous months.
The remaining data consists of calendar entries, in the following format:

yyyy/mm/dd special tag dur time body

Here, yyyy is the year, mm is the month (01-12) and dd is the day of the month. Note that the date components are always separated by "/" even if the date separator in Remind has been set to "-". The consistent use of "/" is designed to ease parsing.

special is a string used for "out-of-band" communication with back-ends. If the reminder is a normal reminder, special is "*". The Rem2PS back-end understands the specials PostScript and PSFile. Other back-ends may understand other specials. A back end should silently ignore a reminder with a special it doesn’t understand.

tag is whatever tag the user provided with the TAG clause, or "*" if no tag was provided. If there is more than one TAG clause, the tags appear in a comma-separated list. For example, the command REM TAG foo TAG bar TAG quux would result in foo,bar,quux in the tag field.

dur is the DURATION value in minutes, or "*" if no duration was provided.

time is the time of the reminder in minutes past midnight, or "*" if the reminder was not a timed reminder.

body is the body of the reminder.

After a month’s worth of reminders have been emitted, Remind emits the line:

# rem2ps end

However, back-ends should keep reading until EOF in case more data for subsequent months is forthcoming.

If you supply the -l option to remind, then reminders may be preceded by a line that looks like this:

# fileinfo lineno filename

The word fileinfo is literal; lineno and filename specify the line number and file name of the file containing the reminder. Back-ends that don’t care about this information should ignore lines starting with "#" (except, of course, for the # rem2ps lines.)


Rem2PS is now supported by Roaring Penguin Software Inc. (

Rem2PS was written by Dianne Skoll <>.


All Rem2ps options are case-sensitive, unlike Remind. Any time you supply a font name or size, line thickness, or border width, it is treated as a string and sent straight to the PostScript interpreter. Thus, if you supply invalid fonts or sizes, Rem2ps will not complain, but the resulting PostScript output will probably not work.

You should ensure that the values you supply for margin widths are sensible. If they are too big for the media size, Rem2ps will not complain, but again, the PostScript output will probably not work.


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