Awesome Asciidoctor.js: Write an extension to embed a gist into your document

Asciidoctor.js offers a list of extension points that open up the language to new use cases. The following extension points are currently available:


Processes the raw source lines before they are passed to the parser.

Tree processor

Processes the Asciidoctor.Document (AST) once parsing is complete.


Processes the output after the document has been converted, but before it’s written to disk.

Docinfo Processor

Adds additional content to the header or footer regions of the generated document.

Block processor

Processes a block of content marked with a custom block style (i.e., [custom]).

Block macro processor

Registers a custom block macro and processes it (e.g., gist::12345[]).

Inline macro processor

Registers a custom inline macro and processes it (e.g., btn:[Save]).

Include processor

Processes the include::<filename>[] directive.

In this article we are going to use a Block macro processor named gist.
To register an extension, it’s recommended to create a dedicated registry. We can then enable the registry using the extension_registry option.

const registry = asciidoctor.Extensions.create() 
 * A block macro that embeds a Gist into the output document
 * Usage: gist::12345[]
registry.blockMacro(function () { 
  const self = this
  self.process(function (parent, target, attrs) {
    const titleHTML = attrs.title ? `<div class="title">${attrs.title}</div>\n` : ''
    const html = `<div class="openblock gist">
  ${titleHTML}<div class="content">
    <script src="${target}.js"></script>
    return self.createBlock(parent, 'pass', html, attrs, {})
const options = { extension_registry: registry } 
const result = asciidoctor.convert('gist::4b44db7b60724ceb3d969a449f30a48a[]', options)
1 Create a registry
2 Register the gist extension
3 Define the extension_registry option (the gist extension will be enabled)

In you document you can now reference a Gist using the syntax gist::12345[].
And here’s the result with for gist::4b44db7b60724ceb3d969a449f30a48a[]

It’s also possible to register an extension globally using asciidoctor.Extensions.register:

asciidoctor.Extensions.register(function () {
  this.blockMacro(function () { /* ... */ })

In this case you don’t need to specify the extension_registry option since the extension will be enabled globally.
To unregister all the extensions, you can use asciidoctor.Extensions.unregisterAll() function.

If you want to learn more about Asciidoctor.js extensions, please read the User Manual.

Written with Asciidoctor.js 1.5.9.