Authoring DITA-structured content (XML)

Are you ready to unravel DITA’s mysteries yourself, starting off with a hands-on experience? Take this course and you’ll quickly write your own DITA-topics in a program of your own choice.

What is DITA?

DITA is an OASIS standard for authoring, producing, and delivering content, not just technical and user documentation, but any kind of content, including:

  • Training and e-learning content
  • Marketing collateral
  • Enterprise business documents
  • Policies and procedures
  • Wikis and knowledgebase content

OASIS is a not-for-profit organization which defines, maintains and promotes open standards. Unlike other (proprietary) information models, DITA is a real open-source standard, which means that all files, source code and documentation about the architecture are accessible to all, free of charge. This is the main reason for the fast adoption and growing popularity of DITA.

The name DITA stands for:
■ Darwin: an information model that can be specialized and evolved to account for your particular authoring needs
■ Information Typing: it divides content into chunks of information called “topics” and applies an information type to each of these topics. The information type describes the content of the topic. The three base information types are task, concept and reference.
■ Architecture: DITA consists of a set of design principles for creating “information-typed” modules at a topic level and for using that content in delivery modes such as online help and product support portals on the Web.

For more information on DITA, just google “Darwin Information Typing Architecture

Who should attend?

The AUTHORING DITA-STRUCTURED CONTENT training course is intended for people who wish to use the DITA standard to write or edit topic-based content.


You need to be familiar with computers and the Microsoft Windows or Mac OS environment.

Training objectives

An AUTHORING DITA-STRUCTURED CONTENT training course gives you an accelerated introduction into the principles of structured, topic-oriented authoring and DITA information typing and basic XML concepts. You will learn to use the main elements of the DITA content model and gain hands-on experience by authoring DITA topics and creating DITA maps. For this we can use a DITA-editor of your choice, like XMetaL Author, oXygen XML Author, FrameMaker with the DITA-FMx plug-in.


2 days


  • What is DITA?
  • Brief history of DITA
  • Key DITA features
  • XML basics: elements, attributes, DTDs and Schemas
  • DITA information types: task, concept and reference
  • DITA units of information: topic, DITA map and bookmap
  • Opening, editing and saving existing topics
  • Validating topics
  • Creating a new topic
  • Cross-references and relationship tables
  • Creating a new DITA map
  • Conditional publishing: ditaval and filtering attributes
  • Using tables
  • Using graphics
  • Publishing content using the DITA Open Toolkit (basics)
  • Reuse: content references (“conrefs”) and key references (“keyrefs”)


We can teach the classes at your company (“in-company training”) or at our Flow training
center in Ghent, Belgium.

Requirements for training at our Flow training center:

  • one laptop* per participant with a (trial) version of the required software installed
  • we provide catering

Requirements for in-company training:

  • one laptop* per participant with a (trial) version of the required software installed
  • classroom
  • catering
  • flip chart

*Make sure that your Windows User Account has Administrator privileges or User Account Control (UAC) has been disabled. In class, you may have to change configuration files or install additional software.

Maximum number of participants

The maximum number of participants is 8.

Follow-up courses

  • DITA-FMx
  • Publishing DITA-content as PDF (with FrameMaker)