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Commands Reference, Volume 3

mm Command


Prints documents formatted with memorandum macros.


mm [ -M Media ] [ -c ] [ -e ] [ -E ] [ -t ] [ -12 ] [ -TName ] { File ... | - }


The mm command formats documents that use the nroff command and the mm macro package. The mm command has flags that specify preprocessing by the tbl and neqn commands and postprocessing by various terminal-oriented output filters. The proper pipelines and the required flags for the nroff command are generated depending on the flags that are selected.

  1. Use the -oList flag of the nroff command to specify ranges of output pages. Remember that if the mm command is called with the -e, -t, or - (minus sign) flags together with the -oList flag, and if the last page of the document is not specified by the List variable, you may receive a broken pipe message. This message is not an indication of any problem and can be ignored.
  2. The mm command calls the nroff command with the -h flag. With this flag, the nroff command assumes that the workstation has tabs set every 8 character positions.
  3. If you use the -s flag of the nroff command (to stop between pages of output), use a linefeed (rather than the Enter key or a newline character) to restart the output. The -s flag of the nroff command does not work with the -c flag of the mm command or if the mm command automatically calls the col command.
  4. Providing inaccurate information to the mm command about the kind of workstation its output is to be printed on will produce unsatisfactory results. However, if you are redirecting output to a file, use the -T37 flag. Then, use the appropriate workstation filter when you print the file.

To obtain a list of mm command flags, enter the command name with no parameters. The flags can occur in any order, but they must come before the File parameter. Any other flags (for instance, -rANumber) are passed to the nroff command.


-M Media Specifies a paper size in order to determine the amount of imageable area on the paper. Valid values for the Media variable are:

Specifies a paper size of 8.27 X 11.69 inches (210 X 297 mm).

Specifies a paper size of 6.93 X 9.84 inches (176 X 250 mm).

Specifies a paper size of 7.25 X 10.5 inches (184.2 X 266.7 mm).

Specifies a paper size of 8.5 X 14 inches (215.9 X 355.6 mm).

Specifies a paper size of 8.5 X 11 inches (215.9 X 279.4 mm). This is the default value.

Note: The Media variable is not case sensitive.
-c Calls the col command. Note that the col command is called automatically by the mm command for the following terminal names. The following devices can be specified by the -TName flag, the $TERM shell variable, or by using the default:
  • ppds
  • lp
  • 2631
  • 8510
-e Calls the neqn command; also causes the neqn command to read the /usr/share/lib/pub/eqnchar file. See the eqnchar file format.
-E Calls the -e flag of the nroff command.
-t Calls the tbl command.
-12 Uses 12-pitch font. Use this when the $TERM shell variable is set to 300, 300s, 450, or 1620. (The pitch switch on the DASI 300 and 300s workstations must be manually set to 12 if this flag is used.)
-TName Uses the workstation type specified by the Name variable.

By default, the mm command uses the value of the $TERM shell variable from the environment as the value of the Name variable. If the $TERM shell variable is not set, the mm command uses lp (the generic name for printers that can underline and tab). If several workstation types are specified, the last one listed applies.

- Forces input to be read from standard input.


File Specifies the file that the mm command formats.


  1. When the $TERM shell variable is set in the environment to the hplj command, the following two command lines are equivalent:

    mm -t -rC3 File
    tbl File | nroff -mm -Thplj -h -rC3
  2. The mm command reads the standard input when you specify a - (minus sign) flag instead of a value for the File variable. This option allows you to use the mm command as a filter, as follows:

    cat File | mm -

    Note: Using other files together with a - (minus sign) flag leads to undesired results.

Environment Variables

$TERM Specifies the terminal names.


/usr/share/lib/pub/eqnchar Contains special character definitions for the eqn command and the neqn command.

Related Information

The col command, env command, eqn command, greek command, hplj command, mmt command, neqn command, nroff command, tbl command.

The eqnchar file, profile file.

The nterm file format describes terminal driving tables for the nroff command.

The article "mm Macro Package for the mm, mmt, nroff, and troff Commands" in the troff Command.

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