Adding an Ant target to the pre-processing pipeline

You can add an Ant target to the pre-processing pipeline. This enables you to insert additional processing before or after the pre-processing chain or a specific step in the pre-processing operation.

About this task

You can use the depend.preprocess.pre and extension points to run a target before or after the entire pre-processing operation. In addition, there are extension points that enable you to run an Ant target before specific pre-processing steps.

For maximum compatibility with future versions of DITA-OT, most plug-ins should use the extension points that run before or after pre-processing.


  1. Define and integrate the new Ant target.
  2. Create the following plugin.xml file:
    <plugin id="plugin-id">
      <feature extension="extension-point" value="Ant-target"/>
    • plugin-id is the plug-in identifier.
    • extension-point is a pre-processing extension point.
    • Ant-target is the name of the Ant target.
  3. Use the dita install subcommand to install the plug-in.
    For more information, see Installing plug-ins.


The new target is added to the Ant dependency list. The new target is now always run in conjunction with the specified step in the pre-processing pipeline.


The following plugin.xml file specifies that the myAntTargetBeforeChunk target is always run before the chunk step in the pre-processing stage.

<plugin id="com.example.extendchunk">
  <feature extension="depend.preprocess.chunk.pre" 

It assumes that the myAntTargetBeforeChunk target has already been defined and integrated.

The internal order of preprocessing steps is subject to change between versions of DITA-OT. New versions may remove, reorder, combine, or add steps to the process, so the extension points within the pre-processing stage should only be used if absolutely necessary.