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What is it?   SDF is a freely available documentation system designed and developed by Ian Clatworthy, with help from many others. Based on a simple, readable markup language, SDF generates high quality output in multiple formats, all derived from a single document source. Supported output formats include HTML, PostScript, PDF, man pages, POD, LaTeX, SGML, MIMS HTX and F6 help, MIF, RTF, Windows help and plain text. If you want to:

  publish documents or reports on the Web or in multiple formats
  maintain a large documentation suite using rule-based formatting and hypertext generation
  embed documentation in source code or pretty print source code

then SDF may be for you.

What does it need?     Perl 5.005 or later.
  For generating PostScript, the freely available HTMLDOC program or pod2ps program or SGML-Tools and LaTeX packages. Alternatively, you need a word processor which can import MIF or RTF - Adobe's FrameMaker is preferred.
  For generating PDF, Adobe's Acrobat is recommended.
  For generating Windows Help files, a help compiler is required.
Where can I get it?   The current version is 2.001, released 25-May-99. You can download the latest release from in a variety of formats. SDF templates are also available from
Support?   An on-line bug database provides information on known bugs and requested enhancements. Any problems with the software or the documentation can be reported to the mailing list For general queries, mail To subscribe to either list, send a message to with subscribe sdf-bugs or subscribe sdf-users as the message body.

Questions about these pages? Send some mail to