Introduction to DITA: A User Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture Arbortext Edition

Comtech Services, Inc. is pleased to announce the publication of the Arbortext® Edition of its best-selling book, Introduction to DITA: A User Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture. Dr. JoAnn Hackos and the Comtech team have worked closely with the Arbortext experts at PTC® to produce a series of lessons that take new users of DITA from the basics of creating structured, standalone topics and assembling them into DITA maps to reusing content through conditional processing and content references and processing through the Arbortext Styler™. Throughout the Arbortext Edition, users learn how to use both DITA and the Arbortext Editor™, including the new Arbortext DITA map editor. Each lesson is illustrated with screen shots that show the Arbortext Editor in use.

The Arbortext Edition provides the same comprehensive explanations and overviews of the DITA model provided in the original edition. While the original edition presented all the examples in XML markup, the Arbortext Edition presents all the examples in Arbortext Editor. An Arbortext user is well prepared to open the Arbortext Editor and begin creating DITA topics immediately.

The book is as much a user guide to Arbortext Editor for DITA as it is a user guide to DITA. It is filled with examples that not only illustrate using DITA but also show how to use Arbortext Editor to create DITA content. The book covers profiling and composing with the Arbortext Editor using the Arbortext Styler composition engine. In fact, the book was authored using the Arbortext Editor and the PDF was developed with Arbortext Styler.

Dieter Weidenbrueck, senior vice president of publishing solutions, PTC explains that, “we are excited about the PTC Arbortext Edition of Introduction to DITA. Every industry standard requires an appropriate set of tools that leverage the standard to optimize the overall technical publications process. This book offers a natural combination of the key characteristics of the OASIS DITA standard and the corresponding Arbortext capabilities that make it easy for users to create and publish high-quality documentation based on DITA.”

Bob Doyle, Editor in Chief of the CMS Review, remarked about this book: “All the great content from the original edition is there, but many illustrations are now screenshots from Arbortext Editor. Instead of the XML markup code for examples, you see the tags-on view in Arbortext Editor. A new section (Lesson 1) describes context-sensitive editing. Allowable elements that can be inserted depend on the location of your insertion point in the DITA document. Element entry automatically adds the appropriate start and end tags. Lesson 9 introduces the Arbortext Map Editor, with its Resource Manager to locate topic files and a Relationship Tables visual editing interface. Lesson 21 covers Arbortext's powerful Profiling approach to conditional processing… That said, this book has a strange metaphysical quality of being about itself. You are reading a line that describes the steps in a task and you suddenly realize that the very same steps were needed to generate the printed words you are looking at! It's a self-referential reference book. This book is not just about DITA. It is DITA. Talk about practicing what you preach. Everyone starting out with DITA should read this book.”To learn more about the Arbortext Edition and view a sample lesson, visit The new book is available for purchase on our website at or by calling Comtech at 303-232-7586.


About Comtech Services, Inc.—Led by President, Dr. JoAnn Hackos, the Comtech consultancy assists companies worldwide in implementing more efficient and cost effective methods of developing and delivering content. The consultancy works with clients to define requirements for content management solutions, select and implement content management systems, develop company-specific information models, and train staff in structured authoring.

As a founder of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee, Dr. Hackos has played a major role in the development of the DITA model and its growing adoption by the global information-development community. As chair of the OASIS DITA Translation Subcommittee, she has led the integration of DITA with localization and translation management practices to reduce the cost and increase the quality of translations.

Through the Center for Information-Development Management, Comtech has managed for the past 10 years three premier industry conferences: Best Practices in Information-Development Management, Content Management Strategies, and DITA Europe.

PTC, Arbortext, Arbortext Editor and Arbortext Styler are trademarks or registered trademarks of Parametric Technology Corporation or its subsidiaries.

Media Contact—Susan Ebbs,, 303-232-7586

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