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.\" DO NOT MODIFY THIS FILE! It was generated by help2man 1.43.3.
.TH M4 "1" "September 2013" "GNU M4 1.4.17" "User Commands"
m4 \- macro processor
.B m4
[\fIOPTION\fR]... [\fIFILE\fR]...
Process macros in FILEs. If no FILE or if FILE is `\-', standard input
is read.
Mandatory or optional arguments to long options are mandatory or optional
for short options too.
.SS "Operation modes:"
display this help and exit
output version information and exit
\fB\-E\fR, \fB\-\-fatal\-warnings\fR
once: warnings become errors, twice: stop
execution at first error
\fB\-i\fR, \fB\-\-interactive\fR
unbuffer output, ignore interrupts
\fB\-P\fR, \fB\-\-prefix\-builtins\fR
force a `m4_' prefix to all builtins
\fB\-Q\fR, \fB\-\-quiet\fR, \fB\-\-silent\fR
suppress some warnings for builtins
warn if macro definition matches REGEXP,
default \e$\e({[^}]*}\e|[0\-9][0\-9]+\e)
.SS "Preprocessor features:"
\fB\-D\fR, \fB\-\-define=NAME\fR[=\fIVALUE\fR]
define NAME as having VALUE, or empty
\fB\-I\fR, \fB\-\-include\fR=\fIDIRECTORY\fR
append DIRECTORY to include path
\fB\-s\fR, \fB\-\-synclines\fR
generate `#line NUM "FILE"' lines
\fB\-U\fR, \fB\-\-undefine\fR=\fINAME\fR
undefine NAME
.SS "Limits control:"
\fB\-g\fR, \fB\-\-gnu\fR
override \fB\-G\fR to re\-enable GNU extensions
\fB\-G\fR, \fB\-\-traditional\fR
suppress all GNU extensions
\fB\-H\fR, \fB\-\-hashsize\fR=\fIPRIME\fR
set symbol lookup hash table size [509]
\fB\-L\fR, \fB\-\-nesting\-limit\fR=\fINUMBER\fR
change nesting limit, 0 for unlimited [0]
.SS "Frozen state files:"
\fB\-F\fR, \fB\-\-freeze\-state\fR=\fIFILE\fR
produce a frozen state on FILE at end
\fB\-R\fR, \fB\-\-reload\-state\fR=\fIFILE\fR
reload a frozen state from FILE at start
.SS "Debugging:"
\fB\-d\fR, \fB\-\-debug\fR[=\fIFLAGS\fR]
set debug level (no FLAGS implies `aeq')
redirect debug and trace output to FILE
(default stderr, discard if empty string)
\fB\-l\fR, \fB\-\-arglength\fR=\fINUM\fR
restrict macro tracing size
\fB\-t\fR, \fB\-\-trace\fR=\fINAME\fR
trace NAME when it is defined
.SS "FLAGS is any of:"
show actual arguments
show before collect, after collect and after call
show expansion
say current input file name
show changes in input files
say current input line number
show results of path searches
quote values as necessary, with a or e flag
trace for all macro calls, not only traceon'ed
add a unique macro call id, useful with c flag
shorthand for all of the above flags
If defined, the environment variable `M4PATH' is a colon\-separated list
of directories included after any specified by `\-I'.
Exit status is 0 for success, 1 for failure, 63 for frozen file version
mismatch, or whatever value was passed to the m4exit macro.
Written by Rene' Seindal.
Report bugs to: bug\
GNU M4 home page: <>
General help using GNU software: <>
Copyright \(co 2013 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>.
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
The full documentation for
.B m4
is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the
.B info
.B m4
programs are properly installed at your site, the command
.B info m4
should give you access to the complete manual.