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Maxime Gréau
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Devoxx France 2015 - Quelques photos !

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I was asked to explain how to read and edit .adoc (AsciiDoc) files for someone unfamiliar with AsciiDoc. Here's what I wrote.

I've prepared essential information about how to read and edit local AsciiDoc (.adoc) files. I also included information about the value of AsciiDoc.

What is AsciiDoc?

AsciiDoc ( is writing system similar to Markdown, except it's more consistent and has broader support for structured content. AsciiDoc encourages proper separation of content and presentation, enables content to be easily reused and supports publishing in a variety of layouts and formats.

About .adoc files

Like Markdown, you open an AsciiDoc file using any text editor (as opposed to a word processor). Fortunately, there are tools available that make this even easier.

Reading AsciiDoc files

If you want to preview AsciiDoc files in "reading mode", I highly recommend installing and using the AsciiDoc Preview extension for Google Chrome.

* Asciidoctor.js Live Preview extension:

Just browse to the AsciiDoc file in your web browser and you'll be able to view the content as a web page. This extension works for any AsciiDoc file accessible via the web browser. No other tools required.

Editing local AsciiDoc files

If you want to edit local AsciiDoc files, with an optional preview pane, I highly recommend installing and using the AsciiDoc Preview extension for the Brackets text editor:

 * Brackets text editor -

 * AsciiDoc Preview extension -

or the Atom text editor:

* Atom text editor -

* AsciiDoc Preview extension -

The links provided should include the necessary guidance to setup these tools.

Keep in mind that you can also edit AsciiDoc files directly on GitHub using the web-based editor. Just navigate to the file in the repository, click the pencil icon, modify the content and click the "Commit changes" button.

Once you get into AsciiDoc files, you'll definitely want to keep this cheat sheet for the AsciiDoc syntax handy:


Sharing AsciiDoc files with others

GitHub shows a preview of AsciiDoc content directly on the website when you navigate to the file in the repository. However, the styling leaves a bit to be desired. You can share a much more polished preview with others using docgist ( You can think of docgist as a web-based previewer of AsciiDoc files. Here's an example:


Paste a link to any file on GitHub or in Dropbox and the application will show a preview intended for reading.

NOTE: We're still working on tools for interactive, collaborative editing of AsciiDoc files just like Google Docs. Those tools should be ready in a few months.

Why using AsciiDoc is smart business

I feel strongly that using AsciiDoc from the start is smart business. Content is maintained in a portable, reusable format and fits well with the existing collaboration workflow (the content is stored in version control, just like source code).

AsciiDoc has been selected by several very prominent teams in the last few years, most notably Pivotal (Spring, Groovy), RedHat (OpenShift, JBoss) and the Git project. I've selected a few articles that explain why these, and other teams, believe that selecting AsciiDoc puts them on a course towards better content.

* Overview of OpenShift's new documentation system -

* Spring's Guides migrated to Asciidoctor -

* Scaling - (the focus is on Markdown, but applies equally well to AsciiDoc)

* (video) Behind the scenes of the new Groovy website -

* (in-depth article) Living the future of technical writing -

Note that AsciiDoc and static site generators tend to go hand in hand (as detailed in the "Scaling" article). I strongly recommend using a static site generator to publish the website rather than a CMS.

More information about AsciiDoc

If you're interested in more details about AsciiDoc, I recommend scanning

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"We can address the scalability issue of WebSocket by using HTTP/2.0 framing's multiplexing functionality." -- yes! 

WebSocket over HTTP/2 (latest draft): 

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+David Gageot sera speaker au #devfest   #nantes  le 07/11 

Au passage, le #cfp  est ouvert jusqu'au 15/09 !
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