Resources for custom PDF plug-ins
There are several external resources that can help you generate and refine custom PDF plug-ins for the DITA Open Toolkit.
PDF Plugin Generator
This online tool, developed and maintained by Jarno Elovirta, enables you to generate a PDF customization plug-in automatically.
The application at dita-generator.elovirta.com walks you through the process of creating a custom PDF plug-in and allows you to adjust a variety of settings for your PDF output. For example, you can:
- Define the target environment, selecting from the most current and two previous versions of the DITA-OT
- Select the XSL formatting engine (FOP, Antenna House Formatter, or RenderX XEP)
- Specify page size, columns, and margins
- Select from (limited) options for headers and footers
- Specify layout options for chapters
- Select formatting for the following publication components:
- Normal text
- Headings (levels one through four)
- Titles for sections and examples
- Tables and figures
- Notes and examples
- Lists (unordered, ordered, and definition)
- Code blocks and pre-formatted text
- Inline elements such as links and trademarks
For each component, you can specify:
- Font family, size, weight, and style
- Color and background color
- Alignment, indentation, spacing, and padding
DITA for Print: A DITA Open Toolkit Workbook (2013)
Authored by Leigh W. White, DITA Specialist at IXIASOFT, and published by XML Press, walks readers through developing a PDF customization from scratch. Here is an excerpt from the back cover:
DITA for Print is for anyone who wants to learn how to create PDFs using the DITA Open Toolkit without learning everything that there is to know about XSL-FO, XSLT, or XPath, or even about the DITA Open Toolkit itself. DITA for Print is written for non-programmers, by a non-programmer, and although it is written for people who have a good understanding of the DITA standard, you don't need a technical background to get custom PDFs up and running quickly.
This is an excellent, long-needed resource that was developed for DITA-OT 1.8.
DITA for Practitioners: Volume 1, Architecture and Technology (2012)
Authored by Eliot Kimber and published by XML Press, this seminal resource contains a chapter dedicated to the DITA Open Toolkit: “Running, Configuring, and Customizing the Open Toolkit”. In addition to a robust overview of DITA-OT customization and extension, the chapter contains a detailed example of customizing a PDF plug-in to specify 7" x 10" paper size and custom fonts for body text and headers.
The DITA-OT chapter in DITA for Practitioners: Volume 1 was written for DITA-OT 1.5.4, which was the latest stable version at the time it was written.