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@macro pack a2ps

@dircategory Printing utilities @direntry * a2ps:: ASCII to PostScript converter * PreScript: (a2ps) PreScript Input language for a2ps

Copyright (C) 1988, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93 Miguel Santana

Copyright (C) 1995, 96, 97 Akim Demaille, Miguel Santana

Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this manual provided the copyright notice and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this manual under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a permission notice identical to this one.

Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this manual into another language, under the above conditions for modified versions, except that this permission notice may be stated in a translation approved by the Foundation.


This document describes @pack version 4.8.4. The latest versions may be found on (decreasing order of service quality):

  1. @url{http://www-stud.enst.fr/~demaille/a2ps.html}.
  2. @url{http://www-inf.enst.fr/~demaille/a2ps.html}.
  3. @url{http://www.enst.fr/~demaille/a2ps.html}.

Please, send us emailcards :). Whatever the comment is, or if you like @pack{}, write to us at: @email{Miguel.Santana@st.com} and @email{demaille@inf.enst.fr}. If you need to bug report, send them to @email{demaille@inf.enst.fr}.


@pack formats named files for printing in a PostScript printer; if no file is given, @pack reads from the standard input. The output may be sent to the printer or to the standard output or saved into a file.

The format used is nice and compact: normally two pages on each physical page, borders surrounding pages, headers with useful information (page number, printing date, file name or supplied header), line numbering, pretty-printing, symbol substitution etc. This is very useful for making archive listings of programs.

Compared to the previous versions, @pack version 4.8.4 provides:

  1. totally different options, to be closer to that of GNU enscript (see section Command line options);
  2. various configuration files (see section Configuration files)
  3. some powerful meta-sequences to define the headers the way you want (see section Meta sequences);
  4. a rather strong support of Latin 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 encodings, thanks to Ogonkify(see section `Overview' in Ogonkify manual), written by Juliusz Chroboczek.
  5. fully customizable output style: fonts (in the limit of the 13 standard fonts), background and foreground colors, line numbering style etc. (see section Designing prologues).
  6. and of course, the ability to pretty-print sources written in quite a few various languages (see section Pretty printing).


This section settles some terms that are going to be used through out this document.

Association of human readable characters, and computers' internal numbered representation. In other words, they are the alphabets, which are different according to your country/mother tongue.
Virtual page
Area on a physical page in which @pack draws the content of a file.
A single face of a sheet. There may be several virtual pages on a physical page.
The physical support of the printing: it may support one or two pages, depending on your printing options.
A virtual style given to some text. For instance, Keyword, Comment are faces.
Style sheet
Set of rules used by @pack to give a face to the strings of a file. In @pack{}, each programming language which is supported is defined via one style-sheet.

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