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Man Pages
RONN-FORMAT(7) Ronn Manual RONN-FORMAT(7)

ronn-format - manual authoring format based on Markdown

name(1) -- short, single-sentence description =============================================
## SYNOPSIS
`name` [<optional>...] <flags>
## DESCRIPTION
A normal paragraph. This can span multiple lines and is terminated with two or more line endings -- just like Markdown.
Inline markup for `code`, `user input`, and **strong** are displayed boldface; <variable>, _emphasis_, *emphasis*, are displayed in italics (HTML) or underline (roff).
Manual references like sh(1), markdown(7), roff(7), etc. are hyperlinked in HTML output.
Link to sections like [STANDARDS][], [SEE ALSO][], or [WITH A DIFFERENT LINK TEXT][#SEE-ALSO].
Definition lists:
* `-a`, `--argument`=[<value>]: One or more paragraphs describing the argument.
* You can put whatever you *want* here, really: Nesting and paragraph spacing are respected.
Frequently used sections:
## OPTIONS ## SYNTAX ## ENVIRONMENT ## RETURN VALUES ## STANDARDS ## SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS ## BUGS ## HISTORY ## AUTHOR ## COPYRIGHT ## SEE ALSO

The ronn(1) command converts text in a simple markup to UNIX manual pages. The syntax includes all Markdown formatting features, plus conventions for expressing the structure and various notations present in standard UNIX manpages.
Not all roff(7) typesetting features can be expressed using ronn syntax.

Manpages have a name, section, and a one-line description. Files must start with a level one heading defining these attributes:
ls(1) -- list directory contents ================================
Indicates that the manpage is named ls in manual section 1 (

Man section headings are expressed with markdown level two headings. There are two syntaxes for level two headings.
Hash prefix syntax:
## HEADING TEXT
Dash underline syntax:
HEADING TEXT ------------
Section headings should be all uppercase and may not contain inline markup.

Manpages have a limited set of text formatting capabilities. There´s basically boldface and italics (often displayed using underline). Ronn uses the following bits of markdown(7) to accomplish this:
`backticks` (markdown compatible)
Code, flags, commands, and noun-like things; typically displayed in in boldface. All text included within backticks is displayed literally; other inline markup is not processed. HTML output: <code>.
**double-stars** (markdown compatible)
Also displayed in boldface. Unlike backticks, inline markup is processed. HTML output: <strong>.
<anglequotes> (non-compatible markdown extension)
User-specified arguments, variables, or user input. Typically displayed with underline in roff output. HTML output: <var/>.
_underbars_ (markdown compatible)
Emphasis. May be used for literal option values. Typically displayed with underline in roff output. HTML output: <em>.
Here is grep(1)´s DESCRIPTION section represented in ronn:
`Grep` searches the named input <FILE> (or standard input if no files are named, or the file name `-` is given) for lines containing a match to the given <PATTERN>. By default, `grep` prints the matching lines.

The definition list syntax is compatible with markdown´s unordered list syntax but requires that the first line of each list item be terminated with a colon
An example definition list, taken from BSD test(1)´s DESCRIPTION section:
The following primaries are used to construct expressions:
* `-b` <file>: True if <file> exists and is a block special file.
* `-c` <file>: True if _file_ exists and is a character special file.
* `-d` <file>: True if file exists and is a directory.

All markdown(7) linking features are supported.
Markdown reference-style links can be used to link to specific sections by name:
## SECTION 1
See the following section.
## SECTION 2
See [SECTION 1][] or [to put it another way][SECTION 1].
The anchor name would be #SECTION-1 and #SECTION-2. All non-word characters are removed and spaces are replaced by dashes.

ronn(1), markdown(7), roff(7)
June 2010 Ronn 0.7.0

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