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Highly configurable text format for writing documentation


Minimal version of asciidoc not suitable for pdf


a2x - A toolchain manager for AsciiDoc (converts Asciidoc text files to other file formats)




A DocBook toolchain manager that translates an AsciiDoc text file SOURCE_FILE to PDF, EPUB, DVI, PS, LaTeX, XHTML (single page or chunked), man page, HTML Help or plain text formats using asciidoc(1) and other applications (see REQUISITES section). SOURCE_FILE can also be a DocBook file with an .xml extension.


-a, --attribute=ATTRIBUTE
Set asciidoc(1) attribute value (shortcut for --asciidoc-opts="-a ATTRIBUTE" option). This option may be specified more than once.
Additional asciidoc(1) options. This option may be specified more than once.
Load configuration file. See CONF FILES section.
-D, --destination-dir=DESTINATION_DIR
Output directory. Defaults to SOURCE_FILE directory. This option is only applicable to HTML and manpage based output formats (chunked, epub, htmlhelp, xhtml, manpage).
-d, --doctype=DOCTYPE
DocBook document type: article, manpage or book. Default document type is article unless the format is manpage (in which case it defaults to manpage).
-b, --backend=BACKEND
BACKEND is the name of an installed backend plugin. When this option is specified a2x attempts to load a file name from the BACKEND plugin directory. It then converts the SOURCE_FILE to a BACKEND formatted output file using a global function defined in called to_BACKEND.
-f, --format=FORMAT
Output formats: chunked, docbook, dvi, epub, htmlhelp, manpage, pdf (default), ps, tex, text, xhtml. The AsciiDoc a2x-format attribute value is set to FORMAT.
-h, --help
Print command-line syntax and program options to stdout.
Use admonition or navigation icon images in output documents. The default behavior is to use text in place of icons.
A path (relative to output files) containing admonition and navigation icons. Defaults to images/icons. The --icons option is implicit if this option is used.
-k, --keep-artifacts
Do not delete temporary build files.
Use lynx(1) (actually: the text-based browser defined by the LYNX config variable) when generating text formatted output. The default behavior is to use w3m(1) (actually: the text-based browser defined by the W3M config variable).
-L, --no-xmllint
Do not check asciidoc output with xmllint(1).
Check EPUB output with epubcheck(1).
-n, --dry-run
Do not do anything just print what would have been done.
-r, --resource=RESOURCE_SPEC
Specify a resource. This option may be specified more than once. See the RESOURCES section for more details.
-m, --resource-manifest=FILE
FILE contains a list resources (one per line). Manifest FILE entries are formatted just like --resource option arguments. Environment variables and tilde home directories are allowed.
A space delimited list of one or more CSS stylesheet file names that are used to style HTML output generated by DocBook XSL Stylesheets. Defaults to docbook-xsl.css. The stylesheets are processed in list order. The stylesheets must reside in a valid resource file location. Applies to HTML formats: xhtml, epub, chunked, htmlhelp formats.
-v, --verbose
Print operational details to stderr. A second -v option applies the verbose option to toolchain commands.
Print program version to stdout.
Additional xsltproc(1) options. This option may be specified more than once.
Override the built-in XSL stylesheet with the custom XSL stylesheet XSL_FILE.
Use FOP to generate PDFs. The default behavior is to use dblatex(1). The --fop option is implicit if the --fop-opts option is used.
Additional fop(1) options. If this option is specified FOP is used to generate PDFs. This option may be specified more than once.
Additional dblatex(1) options. This option may be specified more than once.
Options for the backend plugin specified by the --backend option. This option may be specified more than once.
Options can also be set in the AsciiDoc source file. If SOURCE_FILE contains a comment line beginning with // a2x: then the remainder of the line will be treated as a2x command-line options. For example:
// a2x default options.
//    a2x: -dbook --epubcheck
// Suppress revision history in dblatex outputs.
//    a2x: --dblatex-opts "-P latex.output.revhistory=0"
o Options spanning multiple such comment lines will be concatenated.
o Zero or more white space characters can appear between the leading // and a2x:.
o Command-line options take precedence over options set in the source file.


Output files are written to the directory specified by the --destination-dir option. If no --destination-dir option is set output files are written to the SOURCE_FILE directory.
Output files have the same name as the SOURCE_FILE but with an appropriate file name extension: .html for xhtml; .epub for epub; .hhp for htmlhelp; .pdf for pdf; .text for text, .xml for docbook. By convention manpages have no .man extension (man page section number only). Chunked HTML directory names have a .chunked extension; chunked HTML Help directory names have a .htmlhelp extension.
Same named existing files are overwritten.
In addition to generating HTML files the xhtml, epub, chunked and htmlhelp formats ensure resource files are copied to their correct destination directory locations.


a2x -f pdf doc/source-highlight-filter.txt
Generates doc/source-highlight-filter.pdf file.
a2x -f xhtml -D ../doc --icons -r ../images/ team.txt
Creates HTML file ../doc/team.html, uses admonition icons and recursively searches the ../images/ directory for any missing resources.
a2x -f manpage doc/asciidoc.1.txt
Generate doc/asciidoc.1 manpage.


a2x uses the following programs:
o Asciidoc:
o xsltproc: (all formats except text):
o DocBook XSL Stylesheets (all formats except text):
o dblatex (pdf, dvi, ps, tex formats):
o FOP (pdf format — alternative PDF file generator):
o Lynx (text format — alternative text file generator):
o epubcheck (epub format — EPUB file validator):
See also the latest README file.


A configuration file contains executable Python code that overrides the global configuration parameters in Optional configuration files are loaded in the following order:
1. a2x.conf from the directory containing the executable.
2. a2x.conf from the AsciiDoc global configuration directory. Skip this step if we are executing a locally installed (non system wide) copy.
3. a2x.conf from the AsciiDoc $HOME/.asciidoc configuration directory.
4. The CONF_FILE specified in the --conf-file option.
Here are the default configuration file option values:
# Optional environment variable dictionary passed to
# executing programs. If set to None the existing
# environment is used.
ENV = None

# External executables. ASCIIDOC = asciidoc XSLTPROC = xsltproc DBLATEX = dblatex # pdf generation. FOP = fop # pdf generation (--fop option). W3M = w3m # primary text file generator. LYNX = lynx # alternate text file generator. XMLLINT = xmllint # Set to to disable. EPUBCHECK = epubcheck # Set to to disable. # External executable default options. ASCIIDOC_OPTS = BACKEND_OPTS = DBLATEX_OPTS = FOP_OPTS = LYNX_OPTS = -dump W3M_OPTS = -dump -cols 70 -T text/html -no-graph XSLTPROC_OPTS =
Note, that it is possible to redefine W3M and LYNX to use different text-based browsers, e.g. links: or elinks: LYNX_OPTS and W3M_OPTS can be used to pass options to the selected browser. If these are defined they override the respective defaults listed above (so don\(cqt forget to include the -dump option in your definition: this is mandatory at least with w3m, lynx, links, and elinks in order to send the formatted text to stdout).


See the AsciiDoc distribution BUGS file.


a2x was originally written by Stuart Rackham. Many people have contributed to it.



Copyright (C) 2002-2011 Stuart Rackham. Free use of this software is granted under the terms of the MIT license.
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