LwDITA parser for DITA-OT
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Signed-off-by: Jarno Elovirta <jarno@elovirta.com>
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Lightweight DITA for DITA-OT

The DITA-OT LwDITA plug-in supersedes the previously released Markdown plug-in for DITA-OT and adds additional features to support Lightweight DITA.

Note: The LwDITA plug-in is included in DITA Open Toolkit 3.0 and newer.

It contains:

  • a custom parser for Markdown and HTML to allow using MDITA and HDITA as a source document format,
  • and a transtype to generate Markdown from DITA source.

The Markdown DITA files need to use a subset of Markdown constructs for compatibility with DITA content models.


Using LwDITA files as input

Markdown DITA or HTML DITA topics can only be used by linking to them in map files.

  <topicref href="test.md" format="mdita"/>
  <topicref href="test.html" format="hdita"/>

The format attribute value must be set to mdita or hdita in order to recognize files as Markdown DITA or HTML DITA, respectively; the file extension is not used to recognize format.

See the syntax reference for XML and Markdown DITA correspondence.

Generating Markdown output

The DITA-OT LwDITA plug-in extends the DITA Open Toolkit with additional output formats (transformation types) that can be used to publish DITA content as Markdown.

  • To publish Markdown DITA files, use the markdown transtype.

  • To generate GitHub Flavored Markdown files, use the markdown_github transtype.

  • To publish GitHub Flavored Markdown and generate a SUMMARY.md table of contents file for publication via GitBook, use the markdown_gitbook transtype.


DITA-OT 2.2 is required. Earlier versions of DITA-OT do not have the required extension points.


  1. Run the plug-in installation command:

    $ dita --install org.lwdita

    On DITA-OT version 3.0 and older:

    $ dita --install https://github.com/jelovirt/org.lwdita/releases/download/2.2.0/org.lwdita-2.2.0.zip

The dita command line tool requires no additional configuration; running DITA-OT using Ant requires adding plug-in contributed JAR files to the CLASSPATH with e.g. -lib plugins/org.lwdita.


To build the DITA-OT Markdown plug-in from source:

  1. Run the Gradle distribution task to generate the plug-in distribution package:

    ./gradlew dist

    The distribution ZIP file is generated under build/distributions.


Support this project and others by @jelovirt via Paypal.


DITA-OT LwDITA is licensed for use under the Apache License 2.0.