tcldocstrip man page

tcldocstrip — Tcl-based Docstrip Processor


tcldocstrip output ?options? input ?guards?

tcldocstrip ?options? output (?options? input guards)...

tcldocstrip -guards input


The application described by this document, tcldocstrip, is a relative of docstrip, a simple literate programming tool for LaTeX.

tcldocstrip is based upon the package docstrip.

Use Cases

tcldocstrip was written with the following three use cases in mind.


Conversion of a single input file according to the listed guards into the stripped output. This handles the most simple case of a set of guards specifying a single document found in a single input file.


Stitching, or the assembly of an output from several sets of guards, in a specific order, and possibly from different files. This is the second common case. One document spread over several inputs, and/or spread over different guard sets.


Extraction and listing of all the unique guard expressions and guards used within a document to help a person which did not author the document in question in familiarizing itself with it.

Command Line

tcldocstrip output ?options? input ?guards?

This is the form for use case [1]. It converts the input file according to the specified guards and options. The result is written to the named output file. Usage of the string - as the name of the output signals that the result should be written to stdout. The guards are document-specific and have to be known to the caller. The options will be explained later, in section Options.

path output (in)

This argument specifies where to write the generated document. It can be the path to a file or directory, or -. The last value causes the application to write the generated documented to stdout.

If the output does not exist then [file dirname $output] has to exist and must be a writable directory.

path inputfile (in)

This argument specifies the path to the file to process. It has to exist, must be readable, and written in docstrip format.

tcldocstrip ?options? output (?options? input guards)...

This is the form for use case [2]. It differs from the form for use case [1] by the possibility of having options before the output file, which apply in general, and specifying more than one inputfile, each with its own set of input specific options and guards.

It extracts data from the various input files, according to the specified options and guards, and writes the result to the given output, in the order of their specification on the command line. Options specified before the output are global settings, whereas the options specified before each input are valid only just for this input file. Unspecified values are taken from the global settings, or defaults. As for form [1] using the string - as output causes the application to write to stdout. Using the string . for an input file signals that the last input file should be used again. This enables the assembly of the output from one input file using multiple and different sets of guards, without having to specify the full name of the file every time.

tcldocstrip -guards input

This is the form for use case [3]. It determines the guards, and unique guard expressions used within the provided input document. The found strings are written to stdout, one string per line.


This section describes all the options available to the user of the application, with the exception of the option -guards. This option was described already, in section Command Line.

-metaprefix string

This option is inherited from the command docstrip::extract provided by the package docstrip.

It specifies the string by which the '%%' prefix of a metacomment line will be replaced. Defaults to '%%'. For Tcl code this would typically be '#'.

-onerror mode

This option is inherited from the command docstrip::extract provided by the package docstrip.

It controls what will be done when a format error in the text being processed is detected. The settings are:


Just ignore the error; continue as if nothing happened.


Write an error message to stderr, then continue processing.


Throw an error. ::errorCode is set to a list whose first element is DOCSTRIP, second element is the type of error, and third element is the line number where the error is detected. This is the default.

-trimlines bool

This option is inherited from the command docstrip::extract provided by the package docstrip.

Controls whether spaces at the end of a line should be trimmed away before the line is processed. Defaults to true.

-preamble text
-postamble text

The -no*amble options deactivate file pre- and postambles altogether, whereas the -*amble options specify the user part of the file pre- and postambles. This part can be empty, in that case only the standard parts are shown. This is the default.

Preambles, when active, are written before the actual content of a generated file. In the same manner postambles are, when active, written after the actual content of a generated file.

Bugs, Ideas, Feedback

This document, and the package it describes, will undoubtedly contain bugs and other problems. Please report such in the category docstrip of the Tcllib Trackers []. Please also report any ideas for enhancements you may have for either package and/or documentation.

See Also



\.dtx, LaTeX, conversion, docstrip, documentation, literate programming, markup, source


Documentation tools


1.0 tcllib Textprocessing toolbox