Force Page Breaks Between Two Block Elements in PDF Output

Suppose that in your DITA content you have two block level elements, such as two paragraphs:
<p>First para</p>
<p>Second para</p>

and you want to force a page break between them in the PDF output.

Here is how you can implement a DITA Open Toolkit plugin that would achieve this:
  1. Define your custom processing instruction that marks the place where a page break should be inserted in the PDF, for example:
    <p>First para</p>
    <p>Second para</p>
  2. Locate the DITA Open Toolkit distribution and in the plugins directory create a new plugin folder (for example, DITA_OT_DIR/plugins/pdf-page-break).
  3. In this new folder, create a new plugin.xml file with the following content:
    <plugin id="com.yourpackage.pagebreak">
      <feature extension="" value="Force Page Break Plugin"/>
      <feature extension="" value=""/>
      <feature extension="package.version"value="1.0.0"/>
      <feature extension="dita.xsl.xslfo" value="pageBreak.xsl" type="file"/>

    The most important feature in the plugin is that it will add a new XSLT stylesheet to the XSL processing that produces the PDF content.

  4. In the same folder, create an XSLT stylesheet named pageBreak.xsl with the following content:
    <xsl:stylesheet xmlns:xsl="" xmlns:fo=""version="1.0">
      <xsl:template match="processing-instruction('pagebreak')">
        <fo:block break-after="page"/>
  5. Install your plugin in the DITA Open Toolkit.