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20. Converting DocBook 4.x files to 5.0

DocBook versions in the 5.x series use a different schema than the 4.x series.

20.1. Differences between 4.x and 5.x

If you are familiar with the conventions of DocBook 4.3, here are the parts you will have to change.

  • The DOCTYPE declaration is much simplified and does not include public or system identifiers. See Section 5, “Overall section structure” for the new format.

  • Add these four attributes to your root article or book element:

    <article xmlns='' version='5.0'

    Also, if you use relative path names to specify images (as discussed in Section 11.1, “Formal and informal figures”), you will want to add an attribute of this form, where U is the base URL of your document:

  • The articleinfo element has been renamed info.

  • Inside the first author element, in 5.x, the firstname and surname elements must be wrapped in a personname element, like this:

  • The id attribute, used everywhere to attach unique identifiers to locations in the text, is gone. Replace all such attributes with xml:id attributes. This attribute is now universal throughout the XML world.

  • Formerly, the first child element inside each section element was a title. In 5.x, the title element must be wrapped in an info element, like this:

      <section xml:id='mucking'>
          <title>How to use a shovel</title>
  • The ulink element is gone in 5.x. For the new ways of forming internal and external links, see Section 8, “Links: connecting your document to itself and elsewhere”.