I want to try a classic groff macro package for structured technical documents as a replacement for the arguably more complex LaTeX and DocBook.

I understand ms was the earliest macro package, and mm and me came later. How do I choose between ms, mm or me?

What problems were mm and me trying to solve over ms? How do I choose between mm or me should ms be too simple?

2 Answers 2


I applaud your use of old school text processing. But I'm a bit of a dinosaur.

groff has a command line flag "-m" so for the "ms" macros, you'd do this:

groff -m ms ....

That said, I don't recall a lot of functional difference between mm and me. I kept my resume in groff until very recently, and apparently, I found the "ms" macro package to be entirely sufficient. I did write a couple of macros I wrote in low-level direct groff commands to differentiate between major projects I worked on at a long-running corporate job.


You can look through man groff_mm, or the actual macro definition file (/usr/share/groff/*/tmac/m.tmac) to see that the mm macros are by far the larger, and more complete of the three original troff packages. However, they have all been overtaken by the gnu mom macro package developed specially for groff and postscript/pdf output.

If you are interested in a clean, easy-to-read, markup language you should also look at restructuredtext and especially the sphinx tool that uses it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .