synopsis — A general-purpose element for representing the syntax of commands or functions.


synopsis ::= [-]


Common attributes and common linking attributes.

Additional attributes:

  • All of:
    • continuation (enumeration)
      • “continues”
      • “restarts”
    • linenumbering (enumeration)
      • “numbered”
      • “unnumbered”
    • startinglinenumber (integer)
    • xml:space (enumeration)
      • “preserve”
    • language
  • label

Additional Constraints

  • If this element is the root element, it must have a version attribute.


A synopsis is a verbatim environment for displaying command, function, and other syntax summaries.

Unlike cmdsynopsis and funcsynopsis which have a complex interior structure, synopsis is simply a verbatim environment.

Processing expectations

This element is displayed “verbatim”; whitespace and line breaks within this element are significant. A synopsis element is usually displayed in a fixed-width font.


Common attributes and common linking attributes.


Determines whether line numbering continues from the previous element or restarts.

Enumerated values:

Line numbering continues from the immediately preceding element with the same name.


Line numbering restarts (begins at 1, usually).


Specifies an identifying string for presentation purposes


Identifies the language (i.e. programming language) of the verbatim content.


Determines whether lines are numbered.

Enumerated values:

Lines are numbered.


Lines are not numbered.


Specifies the initial line number.


Can be used to indicate explicitly that whitespace in the verbatim environment is preserved. Whitespace must always be preserved in verbatim environments whether this attribute is specified or not.

Enumerated values:

Whitespace must be preserved.


<article xmlns=''>
<title>Example synopsis</title>

<synopsis>chgrp [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-f] group file...</synopsis>

chgrp [-R [-H | -L | -P]] [-f] group file...
<article xmlns=''>
<title>Example synopsis</title>

<synopsis>int max(int int1, int int2);</synopsis>

int max(int int1, int int2);
Last revised by Norman Walsh on (git hash: c3457cab689d8fd89ba4252de204cf9a14e40acd 6a501344525f32f9834f0e4a5c3c3f8131803fa4 47fe34b28bad7941a61b9c1c17d47f6eed36cd04)