Adding a new target to the Ant build process

As of DITA-OT 3.0, the ant.import extension point can be used to make new targets available to the Ant processing pipeline. This can be done as part of creating a new transformation, extending pre-processing, or simply to make new Ant targets available to other plug-ins.


  1. Create an Ant project file that contains the new target(s).
  2. Create the plugin.xml file:
    <plugin id="plugin-id">
      <feature extension="ant.import" file="build-file"/>
    • plugin-id is the plug-in identifier, for example, com.example.ant.
    • build-file is the Ant project file that contains the new build target(s).
  3. Use the dita install subcommand to install the plug-in.
    For more information, see Installing plug-ins.


The targets from the project (build-file) are copied into the build.xml file, using the correct path. This makes the new Ant targets available to other processes.

Earlier versions of DITA-OT use the to call a wrapper file with a dummy task that imports the Ant project file. This approach is still supported for backwards compatibility, but the simpler ant.import approach described above should be used for all new customizations.