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Apache OpenOffice 4.1.4 released

DocBook Filters - Read and write docbook xml using

Goal is to explore the possibility of using as a WYSIWYG editor of XML content. The principle is to edit structured documents using styles. These styles are then transformed to XML tags on export.

This page shows how to enable and use the DocBook filters. It also shows the location of the stylesheets so that users can download and use the latest transformations.

Initially the project used sections to enforce nesting of DocBook sections. Feedback has shown that authors wish to use the common word processing styles such as Heading1, Heading2, etc. The stylesheets and templates shipped with OOo1.1 Beta use sections. Links are available below for stylesheets which use OOo headings and instructions on how to install these stylesheets. Stylesheets currently only support DocBook Articles. Book and Chapter support is planned.

Currently stylesheets are packaged in a JAR. The content of the JAR is explained later in this document. It is planned that future OOo will be able to use the import and export XSLTs directly.

To see what is available and get an impression of how it works look at :

  1. A Sample DocBook Document
  2. The corresponding Writer (.sxw) file after importing the docbook file.
    Note : Nested sections supported. See applied or custom styles in the stylist for DocBook tags which have been supported.

Note : See also Eric Bellot's OOo2sdbk

How to Enable DocBook in OpenOffice1.1 Beta

The DocBook filters are installed during setup by selecting "Custom Installation" and in the "Optional Components" section, selecting the "Mobile Device Filters".

To enable the DocBook filter, the following file must be edited:
<OOo Install Dir>/share/registry/data/org/openoffice/Office/TypeDetection.xcu;

Once the filter has been enabled, run OOo to see DocBook available in the "File of Type" comb-box in both the Open and Save/As dialogs. Hint : Type D in the "File of Type" combo-box maybe more than once.

NOTE : In order for the Java based filters to work correctly, and Java Runtime Environment needs to be specified during setup. JRE1.4 or greater is recommended as it contains an XML Parser (Crimson) and an XSLT processor (Xalan). JRE1.3 can also be used, if a parser e.g. Xerces or Crimson, and the Xalan XSLT processor are made available.

Using to create and edit DocBook XML

Creating a DocBook Template

It is not possible to use a predefined template to supply the DocBook styles in To do this you must do the following:

Review the UserGuide for information on using the filter.


How to change the Stylesheet

The docbook filter uses the XMerge framework's XSLT processing functionality. The docbook.jar contains a set of two XSLT style-sheets, one for transforming from docbook to OpenOffice and one for transforming from OpenOffice to docbook.

The file also contains a converter.xml file in the META-INF directory that contains information describing the supported mime-types, the style-sheet names and the XMerge plugin that it uses.

To make changes:

The two stylesheets can now be edited as required, or download the latest copies from here.

Repacking the jar:

For example, to use the new XSLT stylesheets, replace the stylesheets in temp with the downloaded versions. The converter.xml file contains info regarding the file conversions that the filter supports. This information is used by XMerge when a conversion has been requested.

Currently Supported Tags

Click here to obtain a list of currently supported DocBook tags.



These are limitations which should be highlighted but are not blockers. In fact, sufficient interest in this project should drive requirements for enhancements.

- No support in OOo for user as to which styles (tags) to use when. Must create and follow guidelines.

- No validation for export.

Open Issues

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