Are there best practices for using conditional links to customize DITA documentation?

Utilizing conditional links to customize DITA documentation requires adherence to best practices to ensure a seamless and effective implementation. These best practices enable content creators to maximize the benefits of conditional links while maintaining the integrity and consistency of their documentation.

Clear and Consistent Conditions

One key best practice is to establish a clear and consistent system for conditions. Define conditions that align with your documentation’s purpose, audience, and context. Ensure that all content creators understand and follow this condition system. Consistency in condition usage is vital to prevent confusion and maintain the integrity of the personalized content delivery.

Document Conditions and Usage Guidelines

Create documentation that outlines the conditions and their usage guidelines. This documentation serves as a reference for content creators, ensuring they can use conditions effectively. Include examples and explanations to illustrate how to implement conditional links in various scenarios. Documenting conditions and guidelines helps onboard new team members and prevents errors in condition application.

Thorough Testing and Review

Prior to publishing, thoroughly test conditional links to confirm they work as intended. Review the personalized content from the perspective of different user roles, languages, or contexts to ensure that users receive the correct information. Regularly review and update conditions and their usage to adapt to evolving requirements and user needs.


Here’s an example illustrating a best practice for using conditional links in DITA:

<link conref="admin-guide.dita" conkeyref="user-role"/><!-- Links to the admin guide for users with the 'admin' role. -->

Using a descriptive conkeyref attribute like “user-role” makes it clear which condition the link depends on, enhancing transparency and ensuring content creators correctly apply the condition to achieve content personalization.