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SCO Unix/System V Printing FAQ

Some material is very old and may be incorrect today

© December 2003 (various)

How do I print man pages from the SCO Unix command line?

The problem is that "man" formats the text with Ctrl-H backspaces and multiple letters to make bold text. Your printer probably will make a mess of it.

One way to strip all that out is to use "col -b":

 man ls | col -b | lp

The "-t" option to "man" produces Postscript output, so if your printer (or printer driver) can handle that, you are all set. Linux cups can do that:


man -t ls | lpr

Another way on Mac is to use Preview and print from there (which gives you access to gui print options):

Mac OS X Version:

man -t ls | open -f -a /Applications/Preview.app/ 

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-> (SCO Unix) How do I print man pages from the command line?


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Thu Feb 14 10:18:23 2008: 3642   anonymous

man -t <command> | lpr

e.g.: man -t ls | lpr

This will give you a very nice fully formatted, comfortably readable print-out of you man page, including title and page-numbers.

2 cent.

Thu Feb 14 10:40:38 2008: 3643   TonyLawrence

On a modern Linux or BSD system, yes.. but not on the old SCO boxes this was written for..

Tue Aug 25 15:17:17 2009: 6784   anonymous

Example to produce a pdf file for grep:
man -t `man -w grep` | ps2pdf - grep.pdf
Bye. SB

Tue Aug 25 17:21:32 2009: 6785   TonyLawrence

Again, yes,but not for the crappy old systems this post referenced.

Sun Sep 6 02:20:27 2009: 6861   bofors

The solutions proposed above did not work so great for OS X or at least choked my printer.

Here is what did:

man -t "_cmd_" | open -f -a /Applications/Preview.app/

Where you replace _cmd_ with the name of the command you want to print the man page for. For example, diskutil:

man -t "diskutil" | open -f -a /Applications/Preview.app/

That generates a nice PDF to print out.


Sun Sep 6 10:00:36 2009: 6862   TonyLawrence


Having this old stuff here can be confusing - that's why I have the warning ahead of the article.

It is nice to have more modern answers in the comments.

Tue Sep 15 21:38:32 2009: 6912   anonymous

man -t expect | lpr

did exactly what the man said it would.
thank you it's what i needed.
ubuntu 9.04

Sat Dec 25 07:01:45 2010: 9180   Josh


I've been looking for a command like this for quite some time now, and I use it often enough that I went ahead and made a little shell script that I find useful because remembering all of those flags is a pain in the butt. I named it "manprint" but you can name it whatever you like. Just as a side-note, errors are passed through automatically, at least on my system.

if [ $# -ne 1 ]
echo "Error in $0 - Invalid Argument Count"

echo "Expect this to take a while; that is normal... Go get some coffe while y$

man -t $1 | open -f -a /Applications/Preview.app/



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