Referencing files from other plug-ins

Starting with DITA-OT 1.5.4, you can use the plugin:plugin-id URI extension and the ${dita.plugin.plugin-id.dir} Ant variable to reference the base path of another installed DITA-OT plug-in.

Sometimes you need to reference content in another DITA-OT plug-in. However, the path to an installed plug-in is not guaranteed to be the same between different installed instances of DITA-OT. The plugin:plugin-id URI extension and ${dita.plugin.plugin-id.dir} Ant variable are provided so your build and XSLT files always use the correct path to the plug-in.

Within a single plug-in, you can safely use relative path references, for example, xsl/my.xsl without specifying the path to the plug-in itself.


  • Use ${dita.plugin.plugin-id.dir} in Ant build files.

    Use the Ant variable ${dita.plugin.plugin-id.dir} anywhere in your build file or template to point to the base path of an installed DITA-OT plug-in.

    The following example copies CSS files from the HTML5 plug-in:

    <copy todir="${dita.temp.dir}/css">
      <fileset dir="${}/css" 
  • Use plugin:plugin-id in XSLT files.

    Use the URI extension plugin:plugin-id at the beginning of a file reference—usually in <xsl:import>—to point to the base path of an installed DITA-OT plug-in.

    The following example imports the base output-message.xsl processing:

    <xsl:import href="plugin:org.dita.base:xsl/common/output-message.xsl"/>

    To use the URI extension, your plug-in must reference the DITA-OT catalog file. In your Ant build file, add an <xmlcatalog> element referencing the DITA-OT catalog file as a child of the <xslt> element.

    <xslt style="xsl/my.xsl"
      <xmlcatalog refid="dita.catalog"/>

For both of these methods, make sure you use the plug-in ID (defined in the plugin.xml file) rather than the folder name of the plug-in. In many cases, the folder name is not the same as the plug-in ID.