Thinking about moving to DITA? Start preparing now!

Posted on July 24th, by Yves in Blog. No Comments

If you are thinking about moving to DITA in the near or not too distant future, it’s never too early to get prepared. This is what you can do now already to make the transition go smoothly:

Learn the basics of DITA-structured authoring

Even if you’re not using a DITA XML editor yet, you can already get to know the DITA content models and structure your content accordingly, using DITA-styled Word documents. We teach DITA-structured authoring classes and we can help you to develop DITA-styled Word templates. The main advantage of these DITA-styled Word documents is that you can learn DITA and topic-based authoring without having to know XML. And when you move to DITA XML, you will already know the DITA structures and the most commonly used DITA elements.

For more information about our DITA-structured authoring classes, see:

Read some good books on DITA

You can find a complete list here:

Prepare your content for conversion

Once you know the basics of DITA, you can already prepare your content for conversion. For example, you can check whether styles have been used consistently. Or you can apply DITA styles to your content to make the (automated) conversion process easier. An important aspect of DITA is that it splits up content into information types: concept, task, reference. You can also do this with your style-based content and use corresponding styles.

Participate in DITA user groups

You can get a lot of invaluable advice and free, immediate support from DITA experts in DITA user groups. The following are the most active ones:

Watch DITA webcasts

There are tons of free DITA webcasts available everywhere on the Internet. Here are some examples:

Bookmark and read the DITA specification (or parts of it)

Reading the whole spec from cover to cover may a bit of a challenge: it’s 1236 pages long in PDF format and much (or probably most) of the language specification may not relevant to you because it describes each and every element. But you may want to discover the main elements and use those to develop your content models. Examples of the most commonly used DITA elements are:

Learn the XML basics

It helps when you understand what XML elements and attributes are and how they interrelate:


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