Original Book CoverUnix Text Processing

UTP is one of the best books on Unix from a user's perspective. -- Jack Redman

Version 1.0 is released!

The project is now released: the book is ready for use. This is the "UTP Revival" stage, aiming to simply reproduce the original book without changes beyond a few typo fixes. The next stage, "UTP Revisited," aims to modernize the book, covering groff rather than troff and adding new material.

You can choose from several formats:

The source files require groff for formatting; we made no effort to make the recreated source (or macros) compatible with the original troff.

About Unix Text Processing

Originally published in 1987, Unix Text Processing (UTP) (written by Dale Dougherty and Tim O'Reilly) provides one of the few comprehensive looks at all the tools involved in a typical troff-based writing workflow. It covers:

The appendices provide a collection of reference material and other useful pointers.

UTP was originally published by Hayden Books (which was acquired by Howard W. Sams before the book was actually published). Recently, the authors made the book available at the Open Books Project under the Creative Commons Attribution License. Scanned pages are available in PBM (Portable BitMap) and PDF formats. The original troff markup is lost.

Some members of the groff mailing list transcribed the book, recreated the source code, and we hope to modernize the book later on. Somehow or another, yours truly managed to open his mouth too often (not surprising to anyone who knows me) and I got the job of coordinating the transcription project.


Individuals who worked on various chapters follow.

Chapter TitleTranscriberMarkupIndexing
Front matterRalph CorderoyRalph Corderoyn/a
PrefaceStewart RussellLarry Kollarn/a
From Typewriters to Word ProcessorsStewart RussellMichael HobgoodMichael Hobgood
UNIX FundamentalsStewart RussellMichael HobgoodHeinz-Jürgen Oertel
Learning viHeinz-Jürgen OertelHeinz-Jürgen OertelJack Redman
nroff and troffColin WatsonMichael HobgoodHeinz-Jürgen Oertel
The ms macrosLarry KollarLarry KollarLarry Kollar
The mm macrosLarry KollarLarry KollarLarry Kollar
Advanced EditingHeinz-Jürgen OertelHeinz-Jürgen OertelJack Redman
Formatting with tblMichael HobgoodMichael HobgoodMichael Hobgood
Typesetting Equations with eqnMichael HobgoodMichael HobgoodJack Redman
Drawing PicturesMichael HobgoodMichael HobgoodJack Redman
A Miscellany of UNIX CommandsManas LahaManas LahaManas Laha
Let the Computer do the Dirty WorkLarry KollarLarry KollarLarry Kollar
The awk Programming LanguageLarry KollarLarry KollarJack Redman
Writing nroff and troff MacrosMichael HobgoodMichael Hobgood
Figures and Special EffectsMichael HobgoodMichael HobgoodLarry Kollar
What's in a Macro Package?Michael HobgoodMichael Hobgood
An Extended ms Macro PackageMichael HobgoodMichael Hobgood
Putting it All TogetherMichael HobgoodMichael HobgoodMichael Hobgood
Editor Command SummaryHeinz-Jürgen OertelHeinz-Jürgen OertelHeinz-Jürgen Oertel
Formatter Command SummaryManas LahaManas LahaManas Laha
Shell Command SummaryRalph CorderoyRalph Corderoy
Format of troff Width TablesRalph CorderoyRalph Corderoy
Comparing mm and msRalph CorderoyRalph Corderoy
The format MacrosRalph CorderoyRalph Corderoy
Selected ReadingsRalph CorderoyRalph Corderoy

Last update: 15 June 2004