DITA distinguishes different types of topics, each intended for a particular type of information. These topic types are therefore also called information types. A well-written topic includes only one type of information.
The three core information types in DITA are task topics, concept topics and reference topics. Generic topics and composite topics should only be used for specific purposes:
|Task||Task topics include the steps of a particular task or procedure. They answers the question “How to…?”.|
|Concept||Concept topics include background information that users must know (e.g. definitions, examples…) before executing a particular task or procedure. They answer the question “What is…?”.|
|Reference||Reference topics provide quick access to simple facts. Reference information is often presented as a list or a table (e.g. an overview of error codes, a bibliography…).|
|Generic||Generic topics are designed as a starting point for specialization. We use them, however, to create title-only topics (stub topics) when composing a DITA map.|
|Composite||Composite topics can include task, concept and reference elements. You can only use these topics to create conref libraries, not to create topics with mixed content.|
See also: Information type