troff -ms  Prologue


The commands in the document prologue have two functions; one, they establish basic settings that should take effect even on the first page; two, they define what is on the cover page.

Generally, the cover sheet commands are optional, but must appear in a fixed order (the order used in this document), and some demand each other. Some special cases of this rule are:

Accent macros

turns on "new-style" accent marks, which are those you want (see below for a list). If present, it must be the first command in the file.

Date or no date

.DA  [date]
Makes troff print the date as the center page footer. (The current date if date is omitted, otherwise whatever the arguments are.)
.ND  [date]
If date is present, it is printed once on a cover sheet in .RP format and nowhere else. If .ND is invoked without arguments, no date is printed.

Thesis mode

Puts page numbers in the upper right corner, numbers the first page, suppresses the date, and sets everything double-spaced except quotes, displays, and keeps. Defines .CT.

Released paper format

Causes the title sheet to be printed separately; if present, it immediately precedes the .TL.


All these fields can contain more than one line, and continue until the next request.

Author and Author's institution

Authors' institution(s)
When formatting for multiple authors, repeat as many pairs of .AU and .AI as necessary.


.AB [no]
Abstract as it appears on the cover
The main text must be preceded by either a paragraph start or a section heading.  If you want a title, but no abstract, use .AB no.