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asciidoc - Man Page

converts an AsciiDoc text file to HTML or DocBook


asciidoc [Options] FILE


The asciidoc(1) command translates the AsciiDoc text file FILE to DocBook or HTML. If FILE is - then the standard input is used.


-a,  --attribute=ATTRIBUTE

Define or delete document attribute. ATTRIBUTE is formatted like NAME=VALUE. Command-line attributes take precedence over document and configuration file attributes. Alternate acceptable forms are NAME (the VALUE defaults to an empty string); NAME! (delete the NAME attribute); NAME=VALUE@ (do not override document or configuration file attributes). Values containing spaces should be enclosed in double-quote characters. This option may be specified more than once. A special attribute named trace controls the output of diagnostic information.

-b,  --backend=BACKEND

Backend output file format: docbook45, docbook5, xhtml11, html4, html5, slidy, wordpress or latex (the latex backend is experimental). You can also use the backend alias names html (aliased to xhtml11) or docbook (aliased to docbook45). Defaults to html. The --backend option is also used to manage backend plugins (see Plugin Commands).

-f,  --conf-file=CONF_FILE

Use configuration file CONF_FILE.Configuration files processed in command-line order (after implicit configuration files). This option may be specified more than once.


Run Python doctests in asciidoc module.

-d,  --doctype=DOCTYPE

Document type: article, manpage or book. The book document type is only supported by the docbook backends. Default document type is article.

-c,  --dump-conf

Dump configuration to stdout.


Specify the name of a filter to be loaded (used to load filters that are not auto-loaded). This option may be specified more than once. The --filter option is also used to manage filter plugins (see Plugin Commands).

-h,  --help [TOPIC]

Print help TOPIC. --help topics will print a list of help topics, --help syntax summarizes AsciiDoc syntax, --help manpage prints the AsciiDoc manpage.

-e,  --no-conf

Exclude implicitly loaded configuration files except for those named like the input file (infile.conf and infile-backend.conf).

-s,  --no-header-footer

Suppress document header and footer output.

-o,  --out-file=OUT_FILE

Write output to file OUT_FILE. Defaults to the base name of input file with backend extension. If the input is stdin then the outfile defaults to stdout. If OUT_FILE is - then the standard output is used.

-n,  --section-numbers

Auto-number HTML article section titles. Synonym for --attribute numbered.


Enable safe mode. Safe mode is disabled by default. AsciiDoc safe mode skips potentially dangerous scripted sections in AsciiDoc source files.


Specify a theme name. Synonym for --attribute theme=THEME. The --theme option is also used to manage theme plugins (see Plugin Commands).

-v,  --verbose

Verbosely print processing information and configuration file checks to stderr.


Print program version number.

Plugin Commands

The asciidoc(1) --filter, --backend and --theme options are used to install, remove and list AsciiDoc filter, backend and theme plugins. Syntax:

asciidoc OPTION install ZIP_FILE [PLUGINS_DIR]
asciidoc OPTION list



asciidoc(1) --filter, --backend or --theme option specifying the type of plugin.


A unique plugin name containing only alphanumeric or underscore characters.


A Zip file containing plugin resources, the name must start with the plugin name e.g. my_filter-1.0.zip packages filter my_filter.


The directory containing installed plugins. Each plugin is contained in its own separate subdirectory which has the same name as the plugin. PLUGINS_DIR defaults to the $HOME/.asciidoc/filters (for filter plugins) or $HOME/.asciidoc/backends (for backend plugins) or $HOME/.asciidoc/themes (for theme plugins).


The name of a directory containing the plugin source files or the name of a single source file.

The plugin commands perform as follows:


Create a subdirectory in PLUGINS_DIR with the same name as the plugin then extract the ZIP_FILE into it.


Delete the PLUGIN_NAME plugin subdirectory and all its contents from the PLUGINS_DIR.


List the names and locations of all installed filter or theme plugins (including standard plugins installed in the global configuration directory).


Create a plugin file named ZIP_FILE containing the files and subdirectories specified by PLUGIN_SOURCE. File and directory names starting with a period are skipped.

Environment Variables


If the SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH environment variable is set to a UNIX timestamp, then the {docdate}, {doctime}, {localdate}, and {localtime} attributes are computed in the UTC time zone, with any timestamps newer than SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH replaced by SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH. (This helps software using AsciiDoc to build reproducibly.)


asciidoc asciidoc_file_name.txt

Simply generate an html file from the asciidoc_file_name.txt that is in current directory using asciidoc.

asciidoc -b html5 asciidoc_file_name.txt

Use the -b switch to use one of the proposed backend or another one you installed on your computer.

asciidoc -a data-uri -a icons -a toc -a max-width=55em article.txt

Use the -a switch to set attributes from command-line. AsciiDoc generated its stand-alone HTML user guide containing embedded CSS, JavaScript and images from the AsciiDoc article template with this command.

asciidoc -b html5 -d manpage asciidoc.1.txt

Generating the asciidoc manpage using the html5 backend.

Exit Status




Failure (syntax or usage error; configuration error; document processing failure; unexpected error).


See the AsciiDoc distribution BUGS file.


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


GitHub: https://github.com/asciidoc/asciidoc-py3/

Main web site: https://asciidoc.org/

See Also



Copyright (C) 2002-2013 Stuart Rackham.

Copyright (C) 2013-2022 AsciiDoc Contributors.

Free use of this software is granted under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

Referenced By

a2x(1), testasciidoc(1).