Chapter 4. AsciiDoc Backends

The asciidoc(1) command translates an AsciiDoc formatted file to the backend format specified by the -b (--backend) command-line option. asciidoc(1) itself has little intrinsic knowledge of backend formats, all translation rules are contained in customizable cascading configuration files. Backend specific attributes are listed in the Backend Attributes section.

Outputs DocBook XML 4.5 markup.
This backend generates plain HTML 4.01 Transitional markup.
This backend generates XHTML 1.1 markup styled with CSS2. Output files have an .html extension.
This backend generates HTML 5 markup, apart from the inclusion of audio and video block macros it is functionally identical to the xhtml11 backend.
Use this backend to generate self-contained Slidy HTML slideshows for your web browser from AsciiDoc documents. The Slidy backend is documented in the distribution doc/slidy.txt file and online.
A minor variant of the html4 backend to support blogpost.
Experimental LaTeX backend.

4.1. Backend Aliases

Backend aliases are alternative names for AsciiDoc backends. AsciiDoc comes with two backend aliases: html (aliased to xhtml11) and docbook (aliased to docbook45).

You can assign (or reassign) backend aliases by setting an AsciiDoc attribute named like backend-alias-<alias> to an AsciiDoc backend name. For example, the following backend alias attribute definitions appear in the [attributes] section of the global asciidoc.conf configuration file:


4.2. Backend Plugins

The asciidoc(1) --backend option is also used to install and manage backend plugins.

  • A backend plugin is used just like the built-in backends.
  • Backend plugins take precedence over built-in backends with the same name.
  • You can use the {asciidoc-confdir} intrinsic attribute to refer to the built-in backend configuration file location from backend plugin configuration files.
  • You can use the {backend-confdir} intrinsic attribute to refer to the backend plugin configuration file location.
  • By default backends plugins are installed in $HOME/.asciidoc/backends/<backend> where <backend> is the backend name.