Adding new diagnostic messages

Use the dita.xsl.messages extension point to add plug-in-specific messages to the diagnostic messages that are generated by the DITA-OT. These messages then can be used by any XSLT override.


  1. Create an XML file that contains the messages that you want to add. Be sure to use the following format for the XML file:
      <!-- See resources/messages.xml for the details. -->
      <message id="DOTXnumberletter" type="error-severity">
        <reason>Message text</reason>
        <response>How to resolve</response>
    • number is a three-digit integer.
    • letter is one of the following upper-case letters: I, W, E, F. It should match the value that is specified for the @type attribute.
    • error-severity specifies the severity of the error. It must be one of the following values:
      • INFO
      • WARN
      • ERROR
      • FATAL
  2. Create a plug-in.xml file that contains the following content:
    <plugin id="plugin-id">
      <feature extension="dita.xsl.messages" file="file"/>


    • plugin-id is the plug-in identifier, for example, com.example.newmsg.
    • file is the name of the new messages file, for example, myMessages.xml.
  3. Install the plug-in.

What to do next

You now can use the following call in XSLT modules to generate a message when a specific condition occurs:

<xsl:call-template name="output-message">
  <xsl:with-param name="msgnum">numberletter</xsl:with-param>
  <xsl:with-param name="msgsev">letter</xsl:with-param>