Writing DITA topics

DITA topics are the basic units of DITA content.

Topics are the basis for high-quality information. Each topic is organized around a single subject or answers a single question.

Each topic is typically authored as a unit. It consists of a title, which captures the subject of the topic, and further content.

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Introduction to the DITA Architecture

This introduction to the DITA Architecture contains overall technical information about the DITA language and its architecture.

In the DITA architecture, DITA topics are organized by DITA maps. It is also possible to nest sub-topics within a topic. Specialization enables the creation of specialized topics and other units of content that are tailored to particular structural requirements. Content referencing (conref) enables fragments of content to be reused from a single source. Conditional processing permits a single source to support the needs of multiple audiences.

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User requirements

Users tell us that they want to reach just the nugget of information they need to do their work and move on.


JoAnn's Blog on topic-based authoring

I'm convinced that topic-based authoring will become the standard for the development of technical information.

Day Lights


Working on the development of DITA has been one of the most fulfilling activities ever in my life.  I've had the pleasure of working with many creative and inspiring individuals along the way, both across IBM and in my public activities related to DITA. I've been plunged way deeper into the intricacies of XML processing behaviors than I imagined possible. Focus Areas: BPEL | DITA | ebXML | IDtrust | OpenDocument | SAML | UBL | UDDI
OASIS sites: OASIS | Cover Pages | | AMQP | CGM Open | eGov | Emergency | IDtrust | LegalXML | Open CSA | OSLC | WS-I