man page formatting with groff-1.18.1 vs groff-1.17.2

Steve Jones sljones3 at
Mon Oct 28 20:28:01 PST 2002

Bruce Dubbs wrote:
> Steve Jones wrote:
> >I have encountered a frustrating problem with the formatting of man
> >pages on my lfs-cvs system.  First of all since I've got a big monitor I
> >use 132 columns, If I use groff-1.18.1 the manpages do not format for my
> >screen width, they keep comming up at 80 cols.  I have tried all the
> >obvious fixes like the groff compatability switch in man.conf.  If I
> >downgrade to 1.17.2 then the man pages format corectly at 132 cols.
> >This really bothers me and I can find no information out there.
> >
> >What little I have found on the groff mailing list is that some groff
> >default action has dissapeared and the man package needs to be changed
> >to reassert this action.  Since I know nothing about using groff macros
> >I was wondering if anyone else has a clue of how to fix this.
> >
> This message should probably be posted to blfs-support.
> I don't know the answer to your problem, but I believe that you may find
> reading 132 character output difficult and undesirable. Your eye has to
> move too much and loses its place from one line to to next.  I have a
> 21" monitor and have to decrease the width of browser output to make it
> easier to read.
>   -- Bruce

Actually I have verry poor eyesight but I read by lines and not words,
also with a 19 inch monitor makes 80 col painfully slow reading because
of frequent scrolling.  If I can't get this fixed then I'm just going to
stick with the down graded groff.

Steve Jones
sljones3 at
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