Building output using the dita command

You can generate output using the DITA Open Toolkit dita command-line tool. Build parameters can be specified on the command line or with .properties files.

About this task

The DITA-OT client is a command-line tool with no graphical user interface. To verify that your installation works correctly, you can build output using the sample files included in the distribution package.


  1. Open a terminal window by typing the following in the search bar:
    • On Linux and macOS, type Terminal.
    • On Windows, type Command Prompt.
  2. At the command-line prompt, enter the following command:
    dita-ot-dir/bin/dita --input=input-file --format=format 


    • dita-ot-dir is the DITA-OT installation directory.
    • input-file is the DITA map or DITA file that you want to process.
    • format is the output format (transformation type). This argument corresponds to the common parameter transtype. Use the same values as for the transtype build parameter, for example, html5 or pdf.

    If processing is successful, nothing is printed in the terminal window. The built output is written to the specified output directory (by default, in the out subdirectory of the current directory).

    Tip: Add the absolute path for dita-ot-dir/bin to the PATH environment variable to run the dita command from any location on the file system without typing the path.


Run from dita-ot-dir/docsrc/samples, the following command generates HTML5 output for the sequence.ditamap file:

dita-ot-dir/bin/dita --input=sequence.ditamap --format=html5

What to do next

Most builds require you to specify more options than are described in this topic.