Option -- An option for a software command


Mixed Content Model

Option ::=


Common attributes

Tag Minimization

Both the start- and end-tags are required for this element.

Parameter Entities



Option identifies an optional argument to a software command.

Processing expectations

Formatted inline.

DocBook does not specify whether or not a symbol (such as - or /) is generated before the content of Option, or what that symbol might be. Generating the text may or may not be desirable, but in either case, it is an interchange issue. See Appendix F, Interchanging DocBook Documents,.

(4.0) Future Changes

The content model of Option will be constrained to (#PCDATA | Replaceable | InlineGraphic) in DocBook V4.0.


These elements contain Option: Action, Application, Arg, Attribution, BiblioMisc, BridgeHead, Citation, CiteTitle, Command, Comment, ComputerOutput, Database, Emphasis, entry, Filename, ForeignPhrase, FuncParams, FuncSynopsisInfo, Function, GlossSee, GlossSeeAlso, GlossTerm, Group, Hardware, Interface, InterfaceDefinition, KeyCap, LineAnnotation, Link, Literal, LiteralLayout, LoTentry, Member, MsgAud, OLink, Option, Optional, Para, Parameter, Phrase, Primary, PrimaryIE, ProductName, ProgramListing, Property, Quote, RefDescriptor, RefEntryTitle, RefName, RefPurpose, Screen, ScreenInfo, Secondary, SecondaryIE, See, SeeAlso, SeeAlsoIE, SeeIE, Seg, SegTitle, SimPara, Subtitle, Synopsis, SystemItem, Term, Tertiary, TertiaryIE, Title, TitleAbbrev, ToCback, ToCentry, ToCfront, Trademark, ULink, UserInput.


The following elements occur in Option: Action, Anchor, Application, ClassName, Command, Comment, ComputerOutput, Constant, Database, Email, EnVar, ErrorCode, ErrorName, ErrorType, Filename, Function, GUIButton, GUIIcon, GUILabel, GUIMenu, GUIMenuItem, GUISubmenu, Hardware, IndexTerm, InlineGraphic, InlineMediaObject, Interface, InterfaceDefinition, KeyCap, KeyCode, KeyCombo, KeySym, Link, Literal, Markup, MediaLabel, MenuChoice, MouseButton, MsgText, OLink, Option, Optional, Parameter, Prompt, Property, Replaceable, ReturnValue, SGMLTag, StructField, StructName, Subscript, Superscript, Symbol, SystemItem, Token, Type, ULink, UserInput, VarName.

In some contexts, the following elements are allowed anywhere: BeginPage, IndexTerm.

In some contexts, the following elements are excluded: IndexTerm.

See Also

ComputerOutput, Constant, Literal, Markup, Optional, Parameter, Prompt, Replaceable, SGMLTag, UserInput, VarName


<!DOCTYPE para PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook V3.1//EN">
The <option>-a</option> option on the <acronym>UNIX</acronym>
<command>ls</command> command or the <option>/r</option> option on the
<acronym>DOS</acronym> <command>attrib</command>
command, for example.

The -a option on the UNIX ls command or the /r option on the DOS attrib command, for example.

For additional examples, see also Optional.

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