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    Command:

    units

    
    
    

    OVERVIEW OF 'UNITS'

           The  'units' program converts quantities expressed in various scales to
           their equivalents in other scales.  The 'units' program can handle mul-
           tiplicative  scale  changes  as  well  as nonlinear conversions such as
           Fahrenheit to Celsius.  Temperature conversions require a special  syn-
           tax.  See the examples below.
    
           The units are defined in an external data file.  You can use the exten-
           sive data file that comes with this program, or you  can  provide  your
           own data file to suit your needs.
    
           You  can  use the program interactively with prompts, or you can use it
           from the command line.
    
    
    

    INTERACTING WITH 'UNITS'

           To invoke units for interactive use, type 'units' at your shell prompt.
           The program will print something like this:
    
               2131 units, 53 prefixes, 24 nonlinear units
    
               You have:
    
           At  the  'You  have:'  prompt, type the quantity and units that you are
           converting from.  For example, if you want to  convert  ten  meters  to
           feet,  type  '10  meters'.   Next, 'units' will print 'You want:'.  You
           should type the type of units you want to convert to.   To  convert  to
           feet,  you  would  type  'feet'.  Note that if the readline library was
           compiled in then the tab key can be used to complete unit  names.   See
           Readline support, for more information about readline.
    
           The  answer  will  be displayed in two ways.  The first line of output,
           which is marked with a '*' to indicate multiplication, gives the result
           of the conversion you have asked for.  The second line of output, which
           is marked with a '/' to indicate division, gives  the  inverse  of  the
           conversion  factor.   If  you  convert  10 meters to feet, 'units' will
           print
    
                   * 32.808399
                   / 0.03048
    
           which tells you that 10 meters equals about 32.8 feet.  The second num-
           ber  gives  the conversion in the opposite direction.  In this case, it
           tells you that 1 foot is equal  to  about  0.03  dekameters  since  the
           dekameter is 10 meters.  It also tells you that 1/32.8 is about .03.
    
           The  'units'  program prints the inverse because sometimes it is a more
           convenient number.  In the example  above,  for  example,  the  inverse
           value is an exact conversion: a foot is exactly .03048 dekameters.  But
           the number given the other direction is inexact.
    
           If you try to convert grains to pounds, you will see the following:
                       grain = (1 / 9600) aeginamina
    
           If  you  request  a  conversion  between units which measure reciprocal
           dimensions, then 'units' will display the conversion  results  with  an
           extra note indicating that reciprocal conversion has been done:
    
               You have: 6 ohms
               You want: siemens
                       reciprocal conversion
                       * 0.16666667
                       / 6
    
           Reciprocal conversion can be suppressed by using the '--strict' option.
           As usual, use the '--verbose' option to get more comprehensible output:
    
               You have: tex
               You want: typp
                       reciprocal conversion
                       1 / tex = 496.05465 typp
                       1 / tex = (1 / 0.0020159069) typp
    
               You have: 20 mph
               You want: sec/mile
                       reciprocal conversion
                       1 / 20 mph = 180 sec/mile
                       1 / 20 mph = (1 / 0.0055555556) sec/mile
    
           If  you enter incompatible unit types, the 'units' program will print a
           message indicating that the units are not conformable and it will  dis-
           play the reduced form for each unit:
    
               You have: ergs/hour
               You want: fathoms kg^2 / day
               conformability error
                       2.7777778e-11 kg m^2 / sec^3
                       2.1166667e-05 kg^2 m / sec
    
           If you only want to find the reduced form or definition of a unit, sim-
           ply press return at the 'You want:' prompt.  Here is an example:
    
               You have: jansky
               You want:
                       Definition: fluxunit = 1e-26 W/m^2 Hz = 1e-26 kg / s^2
    
           The output from 'units' indicates that the  jansky  is  defined  to  be
           equal  to  a fluxunit which in turn is defined to be a certain combina-
           tion of watts, meters, and hertz.  The fully reduced (and in this  case
           somewhat more cryptic) form appears on the far right.
    
           Some  named  units  are  treated  as  dimensionless in some situations.
           These include the radian and steradian.  These units will be treated as
           equal  to 1 in units conversions.  Power is equal to torque times angu-
           formable  with  the  unit  that  you  entered at the 'You have:' prompt
           above.  Note that conformable unit combinations will not appear on this
           list.
    
           Typing  'help' at either prompt displays a short help message.  You can
           also type 'help' followed by a unit name.  This will invoke a pager  on
           the  units  data base at the point where that unit is defined.  You can
           read the definition and comments that may give more details or histori-
           cal information about the unit.
    
           Typing  'search  text'  will  display  a list of all of the units whose
           names contain 'text' as a substring along with their definitions.  This
           may help in the case where you aren't sure of the right unit name.
    
    
    

    USING 'UNITS' NON-INTERACTIVELY

           The  'units'  program  can  perform units conversions non-interactively
           from the command line.  To do this, type the command, type the original
           units  expression,  and type the new units you want.  You will probably
           need to protect the units expressions from interpretation by the  shell
           using single quote characters.
    
           If you type
    
               units '2 liters' 'quarts'
    
           then 'units' will print
    
                   * 2.1133764
                   / 0.47317647
    
           and then exit.  The output tells you that 2 liters is about 2.1 quarts,
           or alternatively that a quart is about 0.47 times 2 liters.
    
           If the conversion is successful, then 'units' will return  success  (0)
           to  the calling environment.  If 'units' is given non-conformable units
           to convert, it will print a message giving the  reduced  form  of  each
           unit and it will return failure (nonzero) to the calling environment.
    
           When  'units'  is invoked with only one argument, it will print out the
           definition of the specified unit.  It will return failure if  the  unit
           is not defined and success if the unit is defined.
    
    
    

    UNIT EXPRESSIONS

           In order to enter more complicated units or fractions, you will need to
           use operations such as powers, products and division.  Powers of  units
           can  be  specified  using  the  '^' character as shown in the following
           example, or by simple concatenation: 'cm3' is equivalent to 'cm^3'.  If
           the  exponent is more than one digit, the '^' is required.  An exponent
           like '2^3^2' is evaluated right to left.  The '^' operator has the sec-
           ond  highest  precedence.  The '**' operator is provided as an alterna-
           hyphen ('-') also acts as a multiplication operator.  Division of units
           is indicated by the slash ('/') or by 'per'.
    
               You have: furlongs per fortnight
               You want: m/s
                       * 0.00016630986
                       / 6012.8727
    
           Historically,  multiplication in units was assigned a higher precedence
           than division.  This disagrees with the usual  precedence  rules  which
           give  multiplication  and  division equal precedence, and it has been a
           source of confusion for people who think of units as a calculator.
    
           By default, multiplication using the star ('*') now has the same prece-
           dence  as  division  and  hence follows the usual precedence rules.  If
           units is invoked with the the '--oldstar'  option  then  then  the  old
           behavior  is  activated  and  '*'  will have the same precedence as the
           other multiplication operators described next.
    
           Multiplication using a space or using the hyphen has  a  higher  prece-
           dence  than  division  and  is  evaluated  left to right.  So @samp{m/s
           s/day} is equivalent to 'm / s s day' and has dimensions of length  per
           time  cubed.   Similarly,  '1/2  meter'  refers to a unit of reciprocal
           length equivalent to .5/meter, which is probably  not  what  you  would
           intend if you entered that expression.
    
           You  can  indicate division of numbers with the vertical dash ('|'), so
           if you wanted half a meter you  could  write  @samp{1|2  meter}.   This
           operator  has  the  highest precedence so the square root of two thirds
           could be written '2|3^1|2'.
    
               You have: 1|2 inch
               You want: cm
                       * 1.27
                       / 0.78740157
    
           Parentheses can be used for grouping as desired.
    
               You have: (1/2) kg / (kg/meter)
               You want: league
                       * 0.00010356166
                       / 9656.0833
    
           Prefixes are defined separately from base units.  In order to get  cen-
           timeters,  the  units  database  defines 'centi-' and 'c-' as prefixes.
           Prefixes can appear alone with no unit  following  them.   An  exponent
           applies  only  to the immediately preceding unit and its prefix so that
           'cm^3' or 'centimeter^3' refer to cubic centimeters but 'centi*meter^3'
           refers to hundredths of cubic meters.  Only one prefix is permitted per
           unit, so 'micromicrofarad' will fail, but 'micro*microfarad' will work,
           as will 'micro microfarad'..
    
    
           And the second example shows how the dollar sign in the  units  conver-
           sion  can  precede  the five.  Be careful:  'units' will interpret '$5'
           with no space as equivalent to dollars^5.
    
           Outside of the SI system, it is often desirable to add values  of  dif-
           ferent  units together.  You may also wish to use 'units' as a calcula-
           tor that keeps track of units.  Sums of conformable units  are  written
           with the '+' character.
    
               You have: 2 hours + 23 minutes + 32 seconds
               You want: seconds
                       * 8612
                       / 0.00011611705
    
               You have: 12 ft + 3 in
               You want: cm
                       * 373.38
                       / 0.0026782366
    
               You have: 2 btu + 450 ft lbf
               You want: btu
                       * 2.5782804
                       / 0.38785542
    
           The  expressions  which  are  added  together  must reduce to identical
           expressions in primitive units, or an error message will be displayed:
    
               You have: 12 printerspoint + 4 heredium
                                                     ^
               Illegal sum of non-conformable units
    
           Historically '-' has been used for products of units, which complicates
           its  iterpretation  in 'units'.  Because 'units' provides several other
           ways to obtain unit products, and because '-' is a subtraction operator
           in  general  algebraic  expressions, 'units' treats the binary '-' as a
           subtraction operator by default.  This behavior can  be  altered  using
           the  '--product'  option  which  causes 'units' to treat the binary '-'
           operator as a product operator.  Note that when '-' is a multiplication
           operator  it has the same precedence as '*', but when '-' is a subtrac-
           tion operator it has the lower precedence as the addition operator.
    
           When '-' is used as a unary operator it negates its  operand.   Regard-
           less of the 'units' options, if '-' appears after '(' or after '+' then
           it will act as a negation operator.   So  you  can  always  compute  20
           degrees  minus  12  minutes by entering '20 degrees + -12 arcmin'.  You
           must use this construction when you define new units because you cannot
           know what options will be in force when your definition is processed.
    
           The  '+' character sometimes appears in exponents like '3.43e+8'.  This
           leads to an ambiguity in an expression like '3e+2 yC'.  The unit 'e' is
           a  small  unit  of  charge,  so  this  can be regarded as equivalent to
                       Definition: 1
    
               You have: sin(3 kg)
                                 ^
               Unit not dimensionless
    
           The other functions on the list require dimensionless  arguments.   The
           inverse  trigonometric  functions  return  arguments with dimensions of
           angle.
    
           If you wish to take roots of units, you may use the  'sqrt'  or  'cube-
           root'  functions.   These  functions require that the argument have the
           appropriate root.  Higher roots can  be obtained  by  using  fractional
           exponents:
    
               You have: sqrt(acre)
               You want: feet
                       * 208.71074
                       / 0.0047913202
    
               You have: (400 W/m^2 / stefanboltzmann)^(1/4)
               You have:
                       Definition: 289.80882 K
    
               You have: cuberoot(hectare)
                                         ^
               Unit not a root
    
           Nonlinear  units  are represented using functional notation.  They make
           possible nonlinear unit conversions such temperature.  This is  differ-
           ent  from  the linear units that convert temperature differences.  Note
           the difference below.  The absolute temperature conversions are handled
           by  units  starting  with 'temp', and you must use functional notation.
           The temperature differences are done using units  starting  with  'deg'
           and they do not require functional notation.
    
               You have: tempF(45)
               You want: tempC
                       7.2222222
    
               You have: 45 degF
               You want: degC
                       * 25
                       / 0.04
    
           Think of 'tempF(x)' not as a function but as a notation which indicates
           that 'x' should have units of 'tempF' attached to  it.   See  Nonlinear
           units.   The  first conversion shows that if it's 45 degrees Fahrehneit
           outside it's 7.2 degrees Celsius.   The  second  conversions  indicates
           that  a  change  of 45 degrees Fahrenheit corresponds to a change of 25
           degrees Celsius.
    
                       * 0.348
                       / 2.8735632
    
               You have: 1 mm
               You want: wiregauge
                       18.201919
    
    
    

    INVOKING 'UNITS'

           You invoke 'units' like this:
    
               units [OPTIONS] [FROM-UNIT [TO-UNIT]]
    
           If  the  FROM-UNIT  and  TO-UNIT are omitted, then the program will use
           interactive prompts to determine which  conversions  to  perform.   See
           Interactive use.  If both FROM-UNIT and TO-UNIT are given, 'units' will
           print the result of that single conversion  and  then  exit.   If  only
           FROM-UNIT appears on the command line, 'units' will display the defini-
           tion of that unit and exit.  Units specified on the command  line  will
           need  to  be  quoted  to  protect them from shell interpretation and to
           group them into two arguments.  See Command line use.
    
           The following options allow you to read in an alternative  units  file,
           check your units file, or change the output format:
    
           -c, --check
                  Check that all units and prefixes defined in the units data file
                  reduce to primitive units.  Print a list of all units that  can-
                  not  be reduced.  Also display some other diagnostics about sus-
                  picious definitions in the units data file.  Note that only def-
                  initions active in the current locale are checked.
    
           --check-verbose
                  Like  the  '-check'  option,  this option prints a list of units
                  that cannot be reduced.  But to help find unit  definitions that
                  cause endless loops, it lists the units as they are checked.  If
                  'units' hangs, then the last unit to be printed has a bad  defi-
                  nition.  Note that only definitions active in the current locale
                  are checked.
    
           -o format, --output-format format
                  Use the specified format for numeric output.  Format is the same
                  as  that  for  the  printf function in the ANSI C standard.  For
                  example, if you want more precision you might use '-o %.15g'.
    
           -f filename, --file filename
                  Instruct 'units' to load the units file 'filename'.   If  'file-
                  name'  is  the empty string ('-f "') then the default units file
    
           -p, --product
                  Causes '-' to be interpreted as a multiplication  operator  when
                  it has two operands.  It will as a negation operator when it has
                  only one operand: '(-3)'.  Note that by default '-'  is  treated
                  as a subtraction operator.
    
           ,  --oldstar  Causes  '*' to have the old style precedence, higher than
           the precedence of division so that '1/2*3' will equal '6'.
    
           , --newstar Forces '*' to have the new (default) precedence which  fol-
           lows  the  usual rules of algebra: the precedence of '*' is the same as
           the precedence of '/', so that '1/2*3' will equal '3/2'.
    
           , --compact Give compact output featuring only the  conversion  factor.
           This turns off the '--verbose' option.
    
           -q, --quiet, --silent
                  Suppress  prompting  of  the  user  for units and the display of
                  statistics about the number of units loaded.
    
           -s, --strict
                  Suppress conversion of units to  their  reciprocal  units.   For
                  example,  'units' will normally convert hertz to seconds because
                  these units are reciprocals of each other.   The  strict  option
                  requires that units be strictly conformable to perform a conver-
                  sion, and will give an error if you attempt to convert hertz  to
                  seconds.
    
           -1, --one-line
                  Give  only  one line of output (the forward conversion).  Do not
                  print the reverse conversion.  Note that if a reciprocal conver-
                  sion  is  performed  then  'units'  will  print  still print the
                  "reciprocal conversion" line.
    
           -t, --terse
                  Give terse output when converting units.   This  option  can  be
                  used  when calling 'units' from another program so that the out-
                  put is easy to parse.  This option has the  combined  effect  of
                  these options:  '--strict' '--quiet' '--one-line' '--compact'.
    
           -v, --verbose
                  Give  slightly  more verbose output when converting units.  When
                  combined with the '-c' option this  gives  the  same  effect  as
                  '--check-verbose'.
    
           Many constants of nature are defined, including these:
    
                  pi         ratio of circumference to diameter
                  c          speed of light
                  e          charge on an electron
                  force      acceleration of gravity
                  mole       Avogadro's number
                  water      pressure per unit height of water
                  Hg         pressure per unit height of mercury
                  au         astronomical unit
                  k          Boltzman's constant
                  mu0        permeability of vacuum
                  epsilon0   permitivity of vacuum
                  G          gravitational constant
                  mach       speed of sound
           The database includes atomic masses for all of the elements and  numer-
           ous other constants.  Also included are the densities of various ingre-
           dients used in baking so that '2 cups flour_sifted' can be converted to
           'grams'.   This is not an exhaustive list.  Consult the units data file
           to see the complete list, or to see the definitions that are used.
    
           The unit 'pound' is a unit of mass.  To  get  force,  multiply  by  the
           force  conversion  unit 'force' or use the shorthand 'lbf'.  (Note that
           'g' is already taken as the standard abbreviation for the  gram.)   The
           unit  'ounce'  is also a unit of mass.  The fluid ounce is 'fluidounce'
           or 'floz'.  British capacity units that differ from their  US  counter-
           parts,  such  as  the  British Imperial gallon, are prefixed with 'br'.
           Currency is prefixed with its country name:  'belgiumfranc',  'britain-
           pound'.
    
           The  US  Survey  foot, yard, and mile can be obtained by using the 'US'
           prefix.  These units differ  slightly  from  the  international  length
           units.   They  were  in  general use until 1959, and are still used for
           geographic surveys.  The acre is officially defined in terms of the  US
           Survey  foot.   If  you  want an acre defined according to the interna-
           tional foot, use 'intacre'.  The  difference  between  these  units  is
           about  4 parts per million.  The British also used a slightly different
           length measure before 1959.  These can  be  obtained  with  the  prefix
           'UK'.
    
           When  searching  for  a  unit,  if the specified string does not appear
           exactly as a unit name, then the 'units' program will try to  remove  a
           trailing 's' or a trailing 'es'.  If that fails, 'units' will check for
           a prefix.  All of the standard metric prefixes are defined.
    
           To find out what units and prefixes are available,  read  the  standard
           units data file.
    
    
    

    DEFINING NEW UNITS

           All  of  the units and prefixes that 'units' can convert are defined in
           the units data file.  If you want to add your own units, you can supply
           Unit  names  must  not contain any of the operator characters '+', '-',
           '*', '/', '|', '^' or the parentheses.  They cannot begin with a  digit
           or  a  decimal  point  ('.'), nor can they end with a digit (except for
           zero).  Be careful to define new units in terms of old ones so  that  a
           reduction leads to the primitive units, which are marked with '!' char-
           acters.  Dimensionless units are indicated by using the string '!dimen-
           sionless' for the unit definition.
    
           When adding new units, be sure to use the '-c' option to check that the
           new units reduce properly.  If you create a loop in the  units  defini-
           tions,  then 'units' will hang when invoked with the '-c' options.  You
           will need to use the '--check-verbose' option  which  prints  out  each
           unit as it checks them.  The program will still hang, but the last unit
           printed will be the unit which caused the infinite loop.
    
           If you define any units which contain '+' characters,  carefully  check
           them  because  the '-c' option will not catch non-conformable sums.  Be
           careful with the '-' operator as well.  When used as a binary operator,
           the  '-'  character can perform addition or multiplication depending on
           the options used to invoke 'units'.  To ensure consistent behavior  use
           '-'  only  as a unary negation operator when writing units definitions.
           To multiply two units leave a space or use the '*' operator with  care,
           recalling  that  it  has two possible precedence values and may require
           parentheses to ensure consistent behavior.  To compute  the  difference
           of 'foo' and 'bar' write 'foo+(-bar)' or even 'foo+-bar'.
    
           Here is an example of a short units file that defines some basic units:
    
                  m        !                # The meter is a primitive unit
                  sec      !                # The second is a primitive unit
                  rad      !dimensionless   # The second is a primitive unit
                  micro-   1e-6             # Define a prefix
                  minute   60 sec           # A minute is 60 seconds
                  hour     60 min           # An hour is 60 minutes
                  inch     0.0254 m         # Inch defined in terms of meters
                  ft       12 inches        # The foot defined in terms of inches
                  mile     5280 ft          # And the mile
    
                         A unit which ends with a '-' character is a prefix.  If a
                         prefix  definition  contains  any '/' characters, be sure
                         they are protected by parentheses.  If you define  'half-
                         1/2'  then  'halfmeter'  would  be  equivalent  to '1 / 2
                         meter'.
    
    
    

    DEFINING NONLINEAR UNITS

           Some units conversions of interest are nonlinear; for example, tempera-
           ture  conversions  between  the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales cannot be
           done by simply multiplying by conversions factors.
    
           When you give a linear unit definition such as 'inch 2.54 cm'  you  are
           providing  information  that  'units'  uses to convert values in inches
    
           A  nonlinear  unit  definition comprises a unit name, a dummy parameter
           name, two functions, and two corresponding units.  The  functions  tell
           'units'  how  to convert to and from the new unit.  In order to produce
           valid results, the arguments of these functions need to have  the  cor-
           rect  dimensions.   To  facilitate  error checking, you may specify the
           dimensions.
    
           The definition begins with the unit name followed immediately (with  no
           spaces)  by a '(' character.  In parentheses is the name of the parame-
           ter.  Next is an optional specification of the units  required  by  the
           functions  in this definition.  In the example above, the 'tempF' func-
           tion requires an input argument conformable with '1'.  For normal  non-
           linear units definitions the forward function will always take a dimen-
           sionless argument.  The inverse function  requires  an  input  argument
           conformable  with 'K'.  In general the inverse function will need units
           that match the quantity measured by your nonlinear unit.  The sole pur-
           pose  of  the expression in brackets to enable 'units' to perform error
           checking on function arguments.
    
           Next the function  definitions  appear.   In  the  example  above,  the
           'tempF' function is defined by
    
               tempF(x) = (x+(-32)) degF + stdtemp
    
           This  gives  a  rule  for converting 'x' in the units 'tempF' to linear
           units of absolute temperature, which makes it possible to convert  from
           tempF to other units.
    
           In  order  to  make conversions to Fahrenheit possible, you must give a
           rule for the inverse conversions. The inverse will  be  'x(tempF)'  and
           its  definition  appears  after  a  ';' character.  In our example, the
           inverse is
    
               x(tempF) = (tempF+(-stdtemp))/degF + 32
    
           This inverse definition takes an absolute temperature as  its  argument
           and  converts  it  to  the  Fahrenheit temperature.  The inverse can be
           omitted by leaving out the ';' character, but then conversions  to  the
           unit  will be impossible.  If the inverse is omitted then the '--check'
           option will display a warning.  It is up to you to calculate and  enter
           the  correct  inverse  function  to  obtain  proper  conversions.   The
           '--check' option tests the inverse at one point and print an  error  if
           it is not valid there, but this is not a guarantee that your inverse is
           correct.
    
           If you wish to make synonyms for nonlinear units,  you  still  need  to
           define  both  the forward and inverse functions.  Inverse functions can
           be obtained using the '~' operator.  So to create a synonym for 'tempF'
           you could write
    
               fahrenheit(x) [1;K] tempF(x); ~tempF(fahrenheit)
    
               zincgauge[in] 1 0.002, 10 0.02, 15 0.04, 19 0.06, 23 0.1
    
           In this example, 'zincgauge' is the name of the piecewise linear  unit.
           The  definition of such a unit is indicated by the embedded '[' charac-
           ter.  After the bracket, you should indicate the units to  be  attached
           to the numbers in the table.  No spaces can appear before the ']' char-
           acter, so a definition like 'foo[kg meters]' is illegal; instead  write
           'foo[kg*meters]'.   The  definition  of  the unit consists of a list of
           pairs optionally separated by commas.  This list defines a function for
           converting  from  the piecewise linear unit to linear units.  The first
           item in each pair is the function argument;  the  second  item  is  the
           value  of  the  function  at  that  argument (in the units specified in
           brackets).  In this example, we define 'zincgauge' at five points.  For
           example,  we  set 'zincgauge(1)' equal to '0.002 in'.  Definitions like
           this may be  more readable  if written using   continuation  characters
           as
                  zincgauge[in]         \
                          1        0.002 \
                          10        0.02 \
                          15        0.04 \
                          19        0.06 \
                          23        0.1
    
           With  the  preceeding  definition, the following conversion can be per-
           formed:
    
               You have: zincgauge(10)
               You want: in
                   * 0.02
                   / 50
               You have: .01 inch
               You want: zincgauge
                   5
    
           If you define a piecewise linear unit that is not  strictly  monotonic,
           then the inverse will not be well defined.  If the inverse is requested
           for such a  unit,  'units'  will  return  the  smallest  inverse.   The
           '--check' option will print a warning if a non-monotonic piecewise lin-
           ear unit is encountered.
    
    
    

    LOCALIZATION

           Some units have different values in different locations.  The localiza-
           tion feature accomodates this by allowing the units database to specify
           region dependent definitions.   A locale region in the  units  database
           begins  with '!locale' followed by the name of the locale.  The leading
           '!' must appear in the first column of the units database.  The  locale
           region  is terminated by '!endlocale'.  The following example shows how
           to define a couple units in a locale.
    
           !locale en_GB
                  units database are specific to certain locales.
    
           PAGER  Specifies  the pager to use for help and for displaying the con-
                  formable units.  The help function browses  the  units  database
                  and calls the pager using the '+nn' syntax for specifying a line
                  number.  The default pager is 'more', but  'less',  'emacs',  or
                  'vi' are possible alternatives.
    
           UNITSFILE
                  Specifies  the  units  database  file  to  use  (instead  of the
                  default). This will be overridden by the '-f' option.  Note that
                  you can only specify a single units database using this environ-
                  ment variable.
    
    
    

    READLINE SUPPORT

           If the 'readline' package has been compiled in, then  when  'units'  is
           used  interactively,  numerous command line editing features are avail-
           able.  To check if your  version  of  'units'  includes  the  readline,
           invoke the program with the '--version' option.
    
           For  complete information about readline, consult the documentation for
           the readline package.  Without any configuration,  'units'  will  allow
           editing  in the style of emacs.  Of particular use with 'units' are the
           completion commands.
    
           If you type a few characters and then hit 'ESC' followed by the '?' key
           then  'units' will display a list of all the units which start with the
           characters typed.  For example, if you type  'metr'  and  then  request
           completion, you will see something like this:
    
           You have: metr
           metre             metriccup         metrichorsepower  metrictenth
           metretes          metricfifth       metricounce       metricton
           metriccarat       metricgrain       metricquart       metricyarncount
           You have: metr
    
           If  there  is  a unique way to complete a unitname, you can hit the tab
           key and 'units' will provide the rest of the  unit  name.   If  'units'
           beeps,  it  means that there is no unique completion.  Pressing the tab
           key a second time will print the list of all completions.
    
    
    

    FILES

           /usr/share/misc/units.dat - the standard units data file
    
    
    

    AUTHOR

           Adrian Mariano (adrian@cam.cornell.edu)
    
    
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