Document Type

The document type (aka doctype) declares the expected structure of an AsciiDoc document. AsciiDoc defines a fixed set of document types. Each document type provides a slight variation on the permitted structure of an AsciiDoc document to accommodate different uses cases.

The default doctype is article, which provides the foundation structure on which other doctypes build. The book doctype permits multiple level-0 sections that act as part sections. The manpage doctype provides an extended header for defining standard metadata of a manpage, such as the volume number, man, and purpose. The inline doctype is intended for embedded scenarios.

Document types

Article (article)

The default doctype. In DocBook, this includes the appendix, abstract, bibliography, glossary, and index sections. Unless you are making a book or a man page, you don’t need to worry about the doctype. The default will suffice.

Book (book)

Builds on the article doctype with the additional ability to use a top-level title as part titles, includes the appendix, dedication, preface, bibliography, glossary, index, and colophon. There’s also the concept of a multi-part book, but the distinction from a regular book is determined by the content. A book only has chapters and special sections, whereas a multi-part book is divided by parts that each contain one or more chapters or special sections.

Man page (manpage)

Used for producing a roff or HTML-formatted manual page (man page) for Unix and Unix-like operating systems. This doctype instructs the parser to recognize a special document header and section naming conventions for organizing the AsciiDoc content as a man page. See Generate Manual Pages from AsciiDoc for details on how structure a man page using AsciiDoc and generate it using Asciidoctor.

Inline (inline)

There may be cases when you only want to apply inline AsciiDoc formatting to input text without wrapping it in a block element. For example, in the Asciidoclet project (AsciiDoc in Javadoc), only the inline formatting is needed for the text in Javadoc tags.

Inline doctype rules

The rules for the inline doctype are as follows:

  • Only a single paragraph is read from the AsciiDoc source.

  • Inline formatting is applied.

  • The output is not wrapped in the normal paragraph tags.

Given the following input:[AsciiDoc] is a _lightweight_ markup language...

Processing it with the options doctype=inline and backend=html5 produces:

<a href="">AsciiDoc</a> is a <em>lightweight</em> markup language&#8230;

The inline doctype allows the AsciiDoc processor to cover the full range of applications, from unstructured (inline) text to full, standalone documents!