The DocBook SVG Document Type

Working Draft 1.1CR1, 27 July 2004

Document identifier:

wd-docbook-svg-1.1CR1 (XML, HTML, PDF)



Norman Walsh, Sun Microsystems, Inc. 


DocBook SVG Document Type is a modular superset of DocBook XML V4.3. It is a DocBook extension to allow Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) in DocBook images. SVG is an XML document type designed for describing two-dimensional graphics (vector graphic shapes, images, and text).


This is a working draft constructed by the editor. It is not an official committee work product and may not reflect the consensus opinion of the committee.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Terminology
3. The DocBook SVG Document Type V1.1CR1
3.1. Usage
3.2. Limitations
4. Changes in DocBook SVG V1.1CR1
5. Release Notes


A. OASIS DocBook Technical Committee (Non-Normative)
B. Notices
C. Intellectual Property Rights
D. Revision History

1. Introduction

DocBook is general purpose document type particularly well suited to books and papers about computer hardware and software (though it is by no means limited to these applications).

Scalable Vector Graphics [SVG 1.1] is an XML document type designed for describing two-dimensional graphics (vector graphic shapes, images, and text).

This module integrates SVG into DocBook, allowing elements from the SVG namespace to be used in imageobjects.

The DocBook Technical Committee maintains the DocBook SVG schema. DocBook SVG is officially available as an [XML] Document Type Definition (DTD).

The Version 1.1 release is based on [DocBook V4.3] and [SVG 1.1].

The DocBook Technical Committee welcomes bug reports and requests for enhancement (RFEs) from the user community. The current list of outstanding requests is available through the SourceForge tracker interface. This is also the preferred mechanism for submitting new requests. Old RFEs, from a previous legacy tracking system, are archived for reference.

2. Terminology

The key words must, must not, required, shall, shall not, should, should not, recommended, may, and optional in this Working Draft are to be interpreted as described in [RFC 2119]. Note that for reasons of style, these words are not capitalized in this document.

3. The DocBook SVG Document Type V1.1CR1

The DocBook SVG Document Type is a superset of [DocBook V4.3]. It is distributed from the DocBook site at OASIS. It is also available from the mirror on

This module integrates SVG into DocBook by incorporating the SVG V1.1 DTD using a namespace prefix and extending the content model of DocBook's imageobject element to allow those elements to occur.

3.1. Usage

To use this module, specify the public and system identifiers of this module in your document type declaration. For example, to use this module to write a book, use the following document type declaration:

<!DOCTYPE book PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook SVG Module V1.1CR1//EN"

Naturally, you can include an internal subset if you wish.

This module declares svg: as the namespace prefix for SVG. If you wish to change that prefix, you may declare an alternative by changing the declaration of the parameter entity %SVG.prefix;.

For example, to write an article using this module and to specify that the namespace prefix for SVG elements should be s:, you could use the following document type declaration:

<!DOCTYPE article PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook SVG Module V1.1CR1//EN"
                         "" [
<!ENTITY % SVG.prefix "s">

To incorporate this module into a higher-level customization layer, use the public and system identifiers of this module in your customization layer. For example:

<!ENTITY %docbooksvg PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook SVG Module V1.1CR1//EN"

3.2. Limitations

This module is DTD-based. DTDs and [Namespaces] do not work together with perfect harmony. In particular, although you can change the namespace prefix used for SVG diagrams on a per-document basis, you cannot change it on a per-diagram basis. You simply cannot use svg: as the prefix on one diagram and s: as the prefix in another diagram within the same document. Such a document may be well-formed, and many XML tools may process it correctly, but it cannot be validated against this module's DTD.

The SVG module overrides the declaration of the imageobject element. In order to write a customization layer that also changes the declaration of imageobject, that customization layer must disable %docbook.svg.imageobject.element; before including the SVG module.

4. Changes in DocBook SVG V1.1CR1

This release updates DocBook SVG to be a customization of DocBook XML V4.3.

There are no substantive changes to the SVG-specific markup.

5. Release Notes


A. OASIS DocBook Technical Committee (Non-Normative)

The following individuals were members of the committee during the formulation of this Working Draft:

  • Steve Cogorno

  • Adam Di Carlo

  • Paul Grosso

  • Dick Hamilton

  • Nancy Harrison

  • Scott Hudson

  • Mark Johnson

  • Jirka Kosek

  • Larry Rowland

  • Michael Smith

  • Robert Stayton, Secretary

  • Norman Walsh, Chair, Editor

B. Notices

Copyright © The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards [OASIS] 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004. All Rights Reserved.

OASIS takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any intellectual property or other rights that might be claimed to pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in this document or the extent to which any license under such rights might or might not be available; neither does it represent that it has made any effort to identify any such rights. Information on OASIS's procedures with respect to rights in OASIS specifications can be found at the OASIS website. Copies of claims of rights made available for publication and any assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of such proprietary rights by implementors or users of this specification, can be obtained from the OASIS Executive Director.

OASIS invites any interested party to bring to its attention any copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary rights which may cover technology that may be required to implement this specification. Please address the information to the OASIS Executive Director.

This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing the copyright notice or references to OASIS, except as needed for the purpose of developing OASIS specifications, in which case the procedures for copyrights defined in the OASIS Intellectual Property Rights document must be followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than English.

The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be revoked by OASIS or its successors or assigns.


OASIS has been notified of intellectual property rights claimed in regard to some or all of the contents of this specification. For more information consult the online list of claimed rights.

C. Intellectual Property Rights

For information on wether any patents have been disclosed that may be essential to implementing this specification, and any offers of patent licensing terms, please refer to the Intellectual Property Rights section of the DocBook web page (

D. Revision History

Revision 1.1CR1 27 Jul 2004
Revision 1.0-CR1 12 Sep 2002
Revision Beta Release 2 21 May 2002



[XML] Tim Bray, Jean Paoli, C. M. Sperberg-McQueen, et. al., editors. Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 (Third Edition). World Wide Web Consortium, 04 Feb 2004.

[Namespaces] Tim Bray, Dave Hollander, and Andrew Layman, editors. Namespaces in XML. World Wide Web Consortium, 1999.

[RFC 2119] IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force). RFC 2119: Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels. S. Bradner. 1997.

[DocBook V4.3] Norman Walsh, editor. The DocBook Document Type: Version 4.3. OASIS, 2004.

[SVG 1.1] Jon Ferraiolo, 藤沢 淳 (FUJISAWA Jun), and Dean Jackson, editors. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) Version 1.1 Specification. World Wide Web Consortium, 14 Jan 2003.