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The following tables compare general and technical information for a number of document markup languages. Please see the individual markup languages' articles for further information.

General information[edit]

Basic general information about the markup languages: creator, version, etc.

Language Creator First public release date Editor Viewer
AsciiDoc Stuart Rackham 2002 Text editor Output to XHTML, HTML, DocBook (which can convert to PDF, EPUB, DVI, LaTeX, roff, and Postscript)
Computable Document Format Wolfram Research 2010 Wolfram Language & Mathematica CDF Player; CDF format can also be embedded in web pages viewable with conventional browsers.
Creole 2007 Text editor Output to HTML, RTF, LaTeX, others; renderers for MFC, others.
Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) IBM, OASIS 2005 Text/XML editor Output to HTML, PDF, CHM, javadoc, others.
DocBook The Davenport Group, OASIS 1992 XML editor Output to HTML, PDF, CHM, javadoc, others.
Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Berkeley Project 1998 Text editor Web browser
Extensible HyperText Markup Language (XHTML) W3C 2000 (January 26) Text/XML editor, HTML editor Web browser
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) Tim Berners-Lee 1993 Text editor, HTML editor Web browser
LilyPond Han-Wen Nienhuys, Jan Nieuwenhuizen 1996 Text editor, Scorewriter Output to DVI, PDF, PostScript, PNG, others.
Maker Interchange Format (MIF) Frame Technology acquired by Adobe Systems in 1995 1986 Text editor, FrameMaker FrameMaker
MakeDoc Carl Sassenrath 2000 Text editor Web browser (XHTML or HTML output)
Markdown John Gruber and Aaron Swartz 2004 Text editor, E-mail client Web browser (XHTML or HTML output), preview in gedit-markdown-plugin
Textile Dean Allen 2002[1] Text editor Web browser (XHTML or HTML output), reference and tester (uses latest PHP-Textile version 3.5.5)
Math Markup Language (MathML) W3C 1999 (July) Text/XML editor, TeX converter Web browser, Word processor
The Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) The MEI Community 1999 XML editor Verovio
Music Extensible Markup Language (MusicXML) Recordare 2002 Scorewriter Scorewriter
Office Open XML (OOXML) Ecma International, ISO/IEC 2006 Office suite Office suite
OpenDocument Format (ODF) OASIS, ISO/IEC 2005 Office suite Office suite
Open Mathematical Documents (OMDoc) Michael Kohlhase 2000 Text/XML editor[2] Output to XHTML+MathML, TeX, others.
Org-mode Org-mode project 2003 Emacs, text editor Emacs. Output to HTML, PDF, DocBook, FreeMind, OpenDocument Format (ODF), others.
reStructuredText David_Goodger 2001[3] Text editor Output to HTML, LaTeX, PDF, Unix man pages, ODT, S5 (HTML Slide Shows), XML, others.
Rich Text Format (RTF) Microsoft 1987 Text editor, Word processor Word processor
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) W3C 2004 Vector graphics editor Web browser, etc.
Script IBM 1968 Text editor GDDM, AFP viewer
TeX Donald Knuth 1978 Text editor DVI or Portable Document Format (PDF) converter
Texinfo Richard Stallman 1986 Text editor output to DVI, Portable Document Format (PDF), HTML, DocBook, others.
Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Text Encoding Initiative Consortium 1990 Text/XML editor Web Browser (using XHTML), PDF, Word Processor (using ODF) or EPUB
troff (typesetter runoff), groff (GNU runoff) Joe Ossanna 1973 Text editor groffer, or output to PostScript
Wireless Markup Language (WML) WAP Forum 1999 Text/XML editor Microbrowser
Language Creator First public release date Editor Viewer


Some characteristics of the markup languages.

Language Major purpose Based on Markup type Structural markup Presentational markup[4]
AsciiDoc Multi-purpose Tag Yes Yes
Computable Document Format Interactive technical documents, infographics, blogs[5] Wolfram Language Tag Yes Yes
Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) Technical documents XML Tag Yes Yes[6]
DocBook Technical documents SGML / XML Tag Yes Yes[7]
Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Finding aids XML Tag Yes No
Extensible HyperText Markup Language (XHTML) Hypertext documents XML Tag Yes Yes[8]
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) Hypertext documents SGML Tag Yes Yes[9]
Lilypond Music notation Control code Yes Yes
Maker Interchange Format (MIF) Technical documents Tag Yes Yes
Markdown Formatted Technical documents, Hypertext documents, E-mail Text E-mail conventions Tag Yes Yes
Math Markup Language (MathML) Mathematical documents XML Tag Yes Yes[10]
The Music Encoding Initiative (MEI) Music notation XML Tag Yes Yes
Music Extensible Markup Language (MusicXML) Music notation XML Tag Yes Yes
Office Open XML (OOXML) Multi-purpose XML / ZIP Tag Yes Yes
OpenDocument Format (ODF) Multi-purpose XML / ZIP Tag Yes Yes
Open Mathematical Document (OMDoc) Mathematical documents XML Tag Yes[11] Yes[12]
Org-mode Multi-purpose (notes, project management, publishing, literate programming) Text outliner Tag Yes Yes
reStructuredText Technical and Multi-purpose documents[13] Structured Text and Setext Tag Yes Yes[14]
Rich Text Format (RTF) Formatted documents TeX Pattern parsing Yes Yes
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 2D Vector graphics XML Tag Yes Yes
Script Multi-purpose RUNOFF Control code Yes Yes
TeX Academic documents Control code Yes Yes
Texinfo Technical documents TeX, Scribe Control code Yes Yes
Textile Hypertext documents AsciiDoc (based on some similarities and dates of release) Tag Yes Yes
Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Academic, linguistic, literary and technical documents SGML / XML Tag Yes No
troff (typesetter runoff), groff (GNU runoff) Technical documents RUNOFF Control code Yes Yes
Wireless Markup Language (WML) Hypertext documents XML Tag Yes Yes
Language Major purpose Based on Markup type Structural markup Presentational markup


  1. ^
  2. ^ An Emacs mode and a Mozilla extension are available.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Many markup languages have purposely avoided presentational markups. For markup languages based on SGML and XML, CSS is used as a presentation layer.
  5. ^ Uses and Examples of the Computable Document Format (CDF),
  6. ^ Includes basic presentational content and SVG and MathML markup, officially supported in version 1.3. In select XML editors and management systems, the images and content can be viewed as rendered, through CSS mostly.
  7. ^ Presentational content is supported through SVG and MathML markup. In select XML editors, the images can be viewed as rendered.
  8. ^ Presentational markup is deprecated as of XHTML 1.0 and no longer allowed as of XHTML 1.1
  9. ^ Presentational markup is deprecated as of HTML 4.0
  10. ^ MathML comes in two mark-up syntaxes: a semantic and a presentational.
  11. ^ uses Content MathML, OpenMath or other formats for formulae
  12. ^ Exact presentation of symbols can be specified in OMDoc; these specifications are used when transforming OMDoc to a presentational format.
  13. ^
  14. ^ uses CSS

See also[edit]


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