AsciiDoc is Antora’s native content markup language. AsciiDoc is ideal for writing documentation because it’s:

  • readable

  • concise

  • comprehensive

  • extensible

  • easy to learn


AsciiDoc is a mature, lightweight markup language that supports all the structural and semantic elements necessary for writing technical documentation.

The AsciiDoc syntax is intuitive because it recognizes well-established, plain text conventions for marking up and structuring text. A person unfamiliar with AsciiDoc should be able to figure out the purpose of most of its syntax elements just by looking at them. That’s because the syntax elements were carefully chosen to look like what they mean.

AsciiDoc only requires a text editor to read or write, thereby offering a very low bar to get started.


Asciidoctor.js is the processor that converts AsciiDoc content to HTML and other formats.

Speed and security

No coverage of Asciidoctor is complete without mention of its speed. It loads, parses, and converts documents extremely quickly. That’s good news for teams and applications that need to process thousands of documentation files in multiple environments on a daily basis. Asciidoctor also offers several levels of security, further justifying its suitability for server-side deployments.

The advantages of Open Source

The Asciidoctor project, home to the AsciiDoc syntax, Asciidoctor.js, and its extensions, is open source and made available under the MIT license. The Antora developers are also the lead Asciidoctor maintainers, which helps ensures a tight integration and keeps both technologies moving forward to address ever-changing documentation requirements and needs.