Document Attributes

You can think of a document attribute as a global variable for the AsciiDoc language.

What are document attributes?

Document attributes are a powerful text replacement tool and means of controlling built-in settings and behavior for a whole document or regions of a document.

Document attributes:

  • Turn on or turn off built-in features

  • Configure built-in features

  • Declare built-in asset locations

  • Hold content for reuse throughout a document

Types of document attributes

Document attributes fall into the following groups.

Built-in attributes

Built-in attributes add, configure, and control common features in a document. Many built-in attributes only take effect when defined in the document header with an attribute entry.

Boolean attributes

Boolean attributes are a subgroup of the built-in attribute. They don’t have an explicitly assigned value because they act like a toggle. Their sole function is to turn on or turn off a feature.

User-defined attributes


What does setting a document attribute mean?

  • be set (turned on)

What does defining a document attribute mean?

  • have default values in the case of built-in attributes

  • have no value in the case of boolean attributes and built-in attributes with default values

  • have a single line value

  • have a value that spans multiple, contiguous lines

  • have a value that includes basic inline AsciiDoc syntax, such as:

    • attribute references

    • text formatting (if wrapped in a pass macro)

    • inline macros (if wrapped in a pass macro)

But there are certain limitations to be aware of. Document attributes cannot:

  • have a value that includes AsciiDoc block content, such as:

    • lists

    • multiple paragraphs

    • blocks (tables, sidebars, examples, etc)

    • other whitespace-dependent markup

What does unsetting a document attribute mean?

  • be unset (turned off) with a leading (preferred) or trailing ! added to the name

Where are document attributes set, defined, and unset?

Document attributes can be declared in the:

  • document header as an attribute entry

  • document body as an attribute entry

  • API via the :attributes option

  • CLI via the -a option

  • override locked attributes assigned from the command line

What does referencing a document attribute mean?


Where can document attributes be referenced?