About Arbortext Styler > Styling DITA Documents > DITA Styling Overview
DITA Styling Overview
The DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture) standard was pioneered at IBM and is sponsored by OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. OASIS defines DITA as “an architecture for creating topic-oriented, information-typed content that can be reused and single-sourced in a variety of ways. It is also an architecture for creating new information types and describing new information domains based on existing types and domains.”
To obtain more information on OASIS and DITA, refer to the OASIS web site at www.oasis-open.org/. Refer to the DITA Architectural Specification for an overview of the DITA standard. Refer to the DITA Language Reference for specific information about DITA elements and attributes. These documents are available on the OASIS web site and in the Arbortext Help Center.
Arbortext Editor supports the DITA standard and provides a sophisticated, flexible environment for authoring and publishing DITA documents. Arbortext Editor has customized configurations for editing both DITA topics and DITA maps. Refer to the Arbortext Editor online help for more information about authoring DITA documents withArbortext Editor.
There are two distinct types of DITA document:
DITA topic — a modular document that provides discrete information about a single subject. DITA topics are XML documents and styling DITA topics is similar to styling other types of XML document.
DITA map — DITA maps are XML documents, but they contain very little text or other content. Instead, DITA maps specify the DITA topics and other types of documents that are to be collected and organized into a deliverable. Using a DITA map allows you to create a hierarchy of DITA topics and other information resources that serve as an outline, table of contents, or build manifest. During publishing, titles, short descriptions, and other metadata from a map may override titles, short descriptions, and other metadata in a topic.
Since a DITA map does not contain the actual content of your deliverable, during publishing Arbortext Editor automatically generates an intermediate document called the Resolved Document for Styling (RDS) from a DITA map and the maps and topics that the map references. This document contains all of the content referenced from the map. It is the RDS that is acted upon by your stylesheet during publishing.
You do not normally need to work with or see the RDS, but it is often helpful to generate and use it when using Arbortext Styler to develop stylesheets for use with DITA documents. You may generate a resolved document with the Arbortext Editor menu choice Edit > Edit Resolved Document > For Styling. When you select this menu choice, Arbortext Editor assembles all of the content in your map into a resolved document and opens that document in a new Arbortext Editor window. You can then use the resolved document to style the content of your DITA map. Refer to Working with the Resolved Document for Styling for more information on styling with the resolved document.
Arbortext Styler provides additional support for styling DITA documents in the following areas:
Fallback generalization
Arbortext Styler supports the DITA standard class attribute that enables an element to be labeled as a specialization of another element. When a specialized element is left Unstyled, Arbortext Styler and the publishing process treat occurrences of the specialized element as if they were the base element used for the specialization. This process is called generalization or fallback processing.
See Working with Specialized Elements for information.
The DITA index model
Note that the DITA index-see, index-see-also, and index-sort-as indexing tags are mainly supported in the default stylesheet. The elements are supported for the following output types:
DITA index element
Print / PDF
Full support
Full support
Full support
Full support
Full support
Full support
Full support
Partial support
Full support
No support
No support
No support
Support for index-see-also in RTF output is restricted by a Microsoft Word limitation. Microsoft Word can only approximate a See Also reference if the source document contains the required See Also text in its primary index term. This prevents an index entry without a see-also reference and one with a see also reference from merging when the primary index terms are equal.
Support for index-sort-as option in RTF output is not available due to a Microsoft Word limitation.
There is no indexing capability in HTML File output.
See Creating a Index with Nesting Element Model Index Terms for information.
The DITA footnote model - see Creating and Modifying a Hybrid Model Footnote for information.
If you add a new context to a DITA document, you cannot click inside that context in Arbortext Editor and have the new context highlighted in Arbortext Styler until you perform a Preview > Arbortext Editor operation.