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Man Pages

Manual Reference Pages  -  POD2MAN (1)

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pod2man - Convert POD data to formatted *roff input



pod2man [<B>--centerB>=string] [<B>--dateB>=string] [<B>--errorsB>=style]
[<B>--fixedB>=font] [<B>--fixedboldB>=font] [<B>--fixeditalicB>=font]
[<B>--fixedbolditalicB>=font] [<B>--nameB>=name] [<B>--nourlsB>]
[<B>--officialB>] [<B>--quotesB>=quotes] [<B>--releaseB>[=version]]
[<B>--sectionB>=manext] [<B>--stderrB>] [<B>--utf8B>] [<B>--verboseB>]
[input [output] ...]

pod2man <B>--helpB>


<B>pod2manB> is a front-end for Pod::Man, using it to generate *roff input from POD source. The resulting *roff code is suitable for display on a terminal using nroff(1), normally via man(1), or printing using troff(1).

input is the file to read for POD source (the POD can be embedded in code). If input isn’t given, it defaults to STDIN. output, if given, is the file to which to write the formatted output. If output isn’t given, the formatted output is written to STDOUT. Several POD files can be processed in the same <B>pod2manB> invocation (saving module load and compile times) by providing multiple pairs of input and output files on the command line.

<B>--sectionB>, <B>--releaseB>, <B>--centerB>, <B>--dateB>, and <B>--officialB> can be used to set the headers and footers to use; if not given, Pod::Man will assume various defaults. See below or Pod::Man for details.

<B>pod2manB> assumes that your *roff formatters have a fixed-width font named CW. If yours is called something else (like CR), use <B>--fixedB> to specify it. This generally only matters for troff output for printing. Similarly, you can set the fonts used for bold, italic, and bold italic fixed-width output.

Besides the obvious pod conversions, Pod::Man, and therefore pod2man also takes care of formatting func(), func(n), and simple variable references like $foo or @bar so you don’t have to use code escapes for them; complex expressions like $fred{stuff} will still need to be escaped, though. It also translates dashes that aren’t used as hyphens into en dashes, makes long dashes—like this—into proper em dashes, fixes paired quotes, and takes care of several other troff-specific tweaks. See Pod::Man for complete information.


<B>-cB> string, <B>--centerB>=string Sets the centered page header to string. The default is User Contributed Perl Documentation, but also see <B>--officialB> below.
<B>-dB> string, <B>--dateB>=string Set the left-hand footer string to this value. By default, the modification date of the input file will be used, or the current date if input comes from STDIN.
<B>-errorsB>=style Set the error handling style. die says to throw an exception on any POD formatting error. stderr says to report errors on standard error, but not to throw an exception. pod says to include a POD ERRORS section in the resulting documentation summarizing the errors. none ignores POD errors entirely, as much as possible.

The default is die.

<B>--fixedB>=font The fixed-width font to use for verbatim text and code. Defaults to CW. Some systems may want CR instead. Only matters for troff(1) output.
<B>--fixedboldB>=font Bold version of the fixed-width font. Defaults to CB. Only matters for troff(1) output.
<B>--fixeditalicB>=font Italic version of the fixed-width font (actually, something of a misnomer, since most fixed-width fonts only have an oblique version, not an italic version). Defaults to CI. Only matters for troff(1) output.
<B>--fixedbolditalicB>=font Bold italic (probably actually oblique) version of the fixed-width font. Pod::Man doesn’t assume you have this, and defaults to CB. Some systems (such as Solaris) have this font available as CX. Only matters for troff(1) output.
<B>-hB>, <B>--helpB> Print out usage information.
<B>-lB>, <B>--laxB> No longer used. <B>pod2manB> used to check its input for validity as a manual page, but this should now be done by podchecker(1) instead. Accepted for backward compatibility; this option no longer does anything.
<B>-nB> name, <B>--nameB>=name Set the name of the manual page to name. Without this option, the manual name is set to the uppercased base name of the file being converted unless the manual section is 3, in which case the path is parsed to see if it is a Perl module path. If it is, a path like .../lib/Pod/ is converted into a name like Pod::Man. This option, if given, overrides any automatic determination of the name.

Note that this option is probably not useful when converting multiple POD files at once. The convention for Unix man pages for commands is for the man page title to be in all-uppercase even if the command isn’t.

<B>--nourlsB> Normally, L<> formatting codes with a URL but anchor text are formatted to show both the anchor text and the URL. In other words:


is formatted as:

    foo <>

This flag, if given, suppresses the URL when anchor text is given, so this example would be formatted as just foo. This can produce less cluttered output in cases where the URLs are not particularly important.

<B>-oB>, <B>--officialB> Set the default header to indicate that this page is part of the standard Perl release, if <B>--centerB> is not also given.
<B>-qB> quotes, <B>--quotesB>=quotes Sets the quote marks used to surround C<> text to quotes. If quotes is a single character, it is used as both the left and right quote; if quotes is two characters, the first character is used as the left quote and the second as the right quoted; and if quotes is four characters, the first two are used as the left quote and the second two as the right quote.

quotes may also be set to the special value none, in which case no quote marks are added around C<> text (but the font is still changed for troff output).

<B>-rB>, <B>--releaseB> Set the centered footer. By default, this is the version of Perl you run <B>pod2manB> under. Note that some system an macro sets assume that the centered footer will be a modification date and will prepend something like Last modified: ; if this is the case, you may want to set <B>--releaseB> to the last modified date and <B>--dateB> to the version number.
<B>-sB>, <B>--sectionB> Set the section for the .TH macro. The standard section numbering convention is to use 1 for user commands, 2 for system calls, 3 for functions, 4 for devices, 5 for file formats, 6 for games, 7 for miscellaneous information, and 8 for administrator commands. There is a lot of variation here, however; some systems (like Solaris) use 4 for file formats, 5 for miscellaneous information, and 7 for devices. Still others use 1m instead of 8, or some mix of both. About the only section numbers that are reliably consistent are 1, 2, and 3.

By default, section 1 will be used unless the file ends in .pm, in which case section 3 will be selected.

<B>--stderrB> By default, <B>pod2manB> dies if any errors are detected in the POD input. If <B>--stderrB> is given and no <B>--errorsB> flag is present, errors are sent to standard error, but <B>pod2manB> does not abort. This is equivalent to --errors=stderr and is supported for backward compatibility.
<B>-uB>, <B>--utf8B> By default, <B>pod2manB> produces the most conservative possible *roff output to try to ensure that it will work with as many different *roff implementations as possible. Many *roff implementations cannot handle non-ASCII characters, so this means all non-ASCII characters are converted either to a *roff escape sequence that tries to create a properly accented character (at least for troff output) or to X.

This option says to instead output literal UTF-8 characters. If your *roff implementation can handle it, this is the best output format to use and avoids corruption of documents containing non-ASCII characters. However, be warned that *roff source with literal UTF-8 characters is not supported by many implementations and may even result in segfaults and other bad behavior.

Be aware that, when using this option, the input encoding of your POD source must be properly declared unless it is US-ASCII or Latin-1. POD input without an =encoding command will be assumed to be in Latin-1, and if it’s actually in UTF-8, the output will be double-encoded. See perlpod(1) for more information on the =encoding command.

<B>-vB>, <B>--verboseB> Print out the name of each output file as it is being generated.


As long as all documents processed result in some output, even if that output includes errata (a POD ERRORS section generated with --errors=pod), <B>pod2manB> will exit with status 0. If any of the documents being processed do not result in an output document, <B>pod2manB> will exit with status 1. If there are syntax errors in a POD document being processed and the error handling style is set to the default of die, <B>pod2manB> will abort immediately with exit status 255.


If <B>pod2manB> fails with errors, see Pod::Man and Pod::Simple for information about what those errors might mean.


    pod2man program > program.1
    pod2man /usr/perl/man/man3/SomeModule.3
    pod2man --section=7 note.pod > note.7

If you would like to print out a lot of man page continuously, you probably want to set the C and D registers to set contiguous page numbering and even/odd paging, at least on some versions of man(7).

    troff -man -rC1 -rD1 perl.1 perldata.1 perlsyn.1 ...

To get index entries on STDERR, turn on the F register, as in:

    troff -man -rF1 perl.1

The indexing merely outputs messages via .tm for each major page, section, subsection, item, and any X<> directives. See Pod::Man for more details.


Lots of this documentation is duplicated from Pod::Man.


Pod::Man, Pod::Simple, man(1), nroff(1), perlpod(1), podchecker(1), perlpodstyle(1), troff(1), man(7)

The man page documenting the an macro set may be man(5) instead of man(7) on your system.

The current version of this script is always available from its web site at <>. It is also part of the Perl core distribution as of 5.6.0.


Russ Allbery <>, based very heavily on the original <B>pod2manB> by Larry Wall and Tom Christiansen.


Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 Russ Allbery <>.

This program is free software; you may redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

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