Validate Cross References

An AsciiDoc processor is only required to provide limited support for validating internal cross references. Validation occurs when a cross reference is first visited. Since there are still some references aren’t stored in the parse tree (such as an anchor in the middle of a paragraph), which can lead to false positives, these validations are hidden behind a flag.

When using Asciidoctor, you can enable validation of cross references in several ways:

  • when using the CLI, passing the -v CLI option

  • when using the API, setting the global variable $VERBOSE to the value true

  • when using the API, setting the level on the global logger to INFO (i.e., Asciidoctor::LoggerManager.logger.level = :info)

All of these adjustments put the processor into pedantic mode. In this mode, the parser will immediately validate cross references, issuing a warning message if the reference is not valid. If you set the global variable $VERBOSE to true, it will also enable warnings in Ruby, which may not be what you want.

Consider the following example:

See <<foobar>>.

== Foobaz

If you run Asciidoctor in verbose/pedantic mode on this document (-v), it will send the following warning message to the logger.

asciidoctor: WARNING: invalid reference: foobar

An AsciiDoc processor is only required to validate references within the same document (after any includes are resolved).