a2ps User Manual

Formats an ascii file for printing on a postscript printer.

     a2ps - formats an ascii file for printing  on  a  postscript

     a2ps [ global options ] [ positional options ] [ file1  [  [
     positional options ] ] file2 ... ]

     a2ps formats each named file for printing  in  a  postscript
     printer;  if  no file is given, a2ps reads from the standard
     input. The output is sent to lpr or to stdout.   The  format
     used  is nice and compact: normally two pages on each physi-
     cal page, borders surrounding  pages,  headers  with  useful
     information  (page  number, printing date, file name or sup-
     plied header), line numbering, etc.  This is very useful for
     making archive listings of programs.

     Global options offered by a2ps are the following:

     -?    Print usage information.

     -b    Force printing binary files. By default, binary  files
           printing  is  stopped  before  second  page  (see  -nb

     -c    Compact mode for a  sequence  of  files.  This  option
           allows  the printing of two files in the same physical
           page: last page of the first file in the left (or  up)
           side  and  first  page of the second file in the right
           (or down) side. This option is valid only for twinpage
           mode (two pages per physical page).

     -f    Fold lines too large to be printed inside the  borders
           (default option).  Max line size depends on format and
           font size used and whether  line  numbering  has  been

     -h    Print usage information.

           Use the specified file as the postscript prologue  for

     -i    Interpret TAB, BS and FF characters (default  option).
           TAB  is  replaced  by  enough spaces to reach next tab
           stop while BS and FF have their meanings.

     -nb   Don't print binary files (default option).  To  detect
           such a file we make use of a very simple heuristic: if
           the first page of the file contains  at  less  75%  of
           non-printing  characters,  it's  a binary file.  First
           page is always printed.

     -nc   Don't use compact mode for a sequence  of  files.  The
           beginning of each file will be printed in a new physi-
           cal page.

     -nf   Truncate lines too large (don't fold).

     -nH   Don't print page headers.

     -ni   Don't interpret TAB, BS and FF characters.  They  will
           be printed according to -v option.

     -nP   Send output to  stdout.  Default  is  to  send  output
           directly to the printer

     -nr   Sheet numbering (see -r option) must be  continue  for
           all files (don't reset on new file). Default option.

     -nv   Replace non-printing characters by a space.

     -n8   Don't print non ascii characters as ISO Latin 1  char-
           acters (see -8 option).

           Send output to the named printer. The  default  option
           is send to the default printer.

     -r    Reset  sheet  numbering  for  each  new  file.   Sheet
           numbering is used to number physical pages (sheets) as
           they are printed.  Page numbering numbers the  logical
           pages,  of  which  there  are usually two per physical
           page (i.e. unless -p or -w is specified).

     -s1   Print output in one-sided mode (only one side of  each
           sheet).  The  default  option depends on the installa-

     -s2   Print output in two-sided mode (front and backside  of
           each  sheet).  Default option depends on the installa-

     -tnum Set TAB size to  num  (default  8).   This  option  is
           ignored if -ni is specified (see below).

     -v    Replace non-printing characters so that they are visi-
           ble  and  easy  to  identify (default option). Control
           characters (ascii codes lower than 0x20)  are  printed
           like ^X for ctrl-x; the delete character (hex 0x3f) is
           printed as ^?. Non ascii characters (with the high bit
           set)  are  printed  as  M-  (for meta) followed by the
           character of the low  7  bits.  TAB,  BS  and  FF  are
           handled like non-printing characters if -ni option was

     -8    Print non ascii characters (with the high bit set)  as
           ISO  Latin  1 characters. By default, these characters
           are printed as M- (for meta) followed by the character
           of the low 7 bits.

     Positional options are applied to all  files  that  will  be
     found  in the rest of the command line. The -H option is the
     only exception: it is applied only to the next file.   Posi-
     tional options offered by a2ps are the following:

     -1    Print only one page per  physical  page  (single  page

     -2    Print two pages per  physical  page  (twinpage  mode),
           side  by  side  or  up-down, depending on the printing
           mode (landscape or portrait).

     -#num To get multiple copies of output,  where  num  is  the
           number  of  copies  desired  of  each  file  named. By
           default, you get only one copy.

     -d    Print the current date and time at the bottom  of  the
           page  (default option). This option is affected by the
           no surrounding border and the no header options.

     -Fnum Changes font size to this value.  Default  values  for
           font  size  are 6.8 in landscape mode, 6.4 in twinpage
           portrait mode and 9.0 in single  page  portrait  mode.
           Try other sizes if you think that these values are too
           small (or big).

     -B    Print using bold font.

           Use this text instead of the file  name  in  the  page
           headers  for printing next (and only next) file. Addi-
           tional  -H  directives  can  be  mixed  in  with   the

     -l    Print files in landscape mode (default  option).  This
           option may not be used with the -p option.

     -lnum Set the lines per page for printing. The font size  is
           automatically  scaled  up  to  fill in the whole page.
           This is useful  for  printing  preformatted  documents
           which have a fixed number of lines per page. The scal-
           ing of the font size will be suppressed if this option
           is  used  with  option  -fnum.   The minimum number of
           lines per page is set at 40 and maximum is at 160.  If
           a  number  less  than  40 is supplied, scaling will be
           turned off and a warning message  is  printed  on  the

     -m    Understand UNIX manual output ie: 66 lines  per  page,
           no line numbering and possible bolding and underlining
           sequences. The understanding of bolding and  underlin-
           ing is there by default even if -m is not specified.

     -n    Output lines are preceded by  line  numbers,  numbered
           sequentially from 1.

     -nd   Don't print the current date and time in the footer.

     -nn   Don't number output lines (default option).

     -ns   Don't print page surrounding borders.

     -nB   Don't print using bold font.

     -nu   Don't print filename at bottom of page. Default is  to
           print  the  filename,  centered,  at the bottom of the

     -nL   Don't print user login ID at top of page.  Default  is
           to print the user's login ID in the upper right corner
           of the page.  (available for Unix systems only)

     -p    Print files in portrait mode (horizontal pages).   The
           default option is to use landscape mode.

     -s    Print page surrounding borders (default option).

     a2ps generates postcript to its standard  output.  The  user
     could  redirect this output to a file, pipe it directly to a
     print command (like lpr), or to another filter  for  further
     processing.  By  default,  a2ps pipes directly the output to
     the print command (see -P option).

          a2ps -nP file1 > file2

          a2ps -nP -p file1 | psnup -n4 | lpr -l -Pps

     Don't forget -l option in lpr , if you want that lpr  inter-
     prets your postscript program rather than merely printing it
     as ascii text.

     This filter must be used only with text  files.  Avoid  spe-
     cially  output  from  TeX, troff or any other such text for-


     Evan Kirshenbaum (evan@csli) for the initial version.
     Miguel Santana (santana@imag.fr) for versions 1.0, 2.0, 3.0,
     4.0, 4.1 and 4.2.

     Oscar Nierstrasz (oscar@cui.uucp)
     Tim Clark (T.Clark@warwick.ac.uk)
     Henk Tullemans (tullemans@apolloway.prl.philips.nl)
     Johan Vromans (jv@mh.nl)
     Craig Stevenson (craig.r.stevenson@att.com)
     John Macdonald (jmm@eci386.uucp)
     Huub van de Wetering (wstahw@lso.win.tue.nl)
     Johan Garpendahl (garp@isy.liu.se)
     John Interrante (interran@uluru.stanford.edu)
     Larry Barbieri (lbarbieri@ll.mit.edu)
     Chris Adamo (adamo@ll.mit.edu)


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