Part 1.3: Install IntelliJ IDEA

This is an environment setup step and is only required the first time you write a plugin on your computer.

IntelliJ IDEA is an integrated development environment (IDE); a software application that provides a comprehensive set of tools for developing applications. By installing an IDE, developing plugins will be a lot simpler because it will assist you with writing the code you need, debugging and running tests. While you are free to develop your plugin with a different IDE, or without one, this guide uses IntelliJ IDEA for ease of development and better cross-platform support.


Before using this guide ensure that you have installed Java and Apache Maven on your computer as outlined in part 1: setting up your development environment.

Downloading IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition

  1. Download the community edition of IntelliJ IDEA from Note that you may need to scroll down the page a bit to locate the community edition download.

  2. Run the installer to install it on your computer.

On the first run, it will ask you to create a project. This can be skipped as plugin development will import a project after we have generated a new plugin from a Maven archetype.

Install the Asciidoctor plugin

IntelliJ includes a vast library of plugins that can assist you with development work. After you have installed IntelliJ we recommend installing the Asciidoctor plugin, which provides a dynamic preview of your asciidoc files as you edit them. This reduces the chance of you making syntax errors when writing your documentation.

To install the AsciiDoc plugin:

  • Open the IntelliJ settings screen (select Settings…​ from the IntelliJ IDEA menu).

  • Search for plugins using the search box above the navigation.

  • Search for asciidoc using the search box at the top of the main panel.

  • Click the Install button for the AsciiDoc plugin.

Next steps

The next tutorial covers the generation of a new plugin from a Maven archetype template.