Are there considerations for generating print-ready documents from DITA for manufacturing technical manuals?

When generating print-ready documents from DITA for manufacturing technical manuals, several considerations are essential to ensure the quality and accuracy of the final output. Let’s explore these considerations to create effective print materials.

Content Structuring

One of the key considerations is how the content is structured in DITA. Manufacturing technical manuals often require a specific hierarchy of information, including chapters, sections, and subsections. DITA’s structured content model allows you to organize information logically. For print-ready documents, it’s crucial to create a DITA map that defines the order of topics and how they should be presented in the final manual. This map provides the blueprint for generating the print output.

Print Stylesheets

To ensure that DITA content is transformed into well-formatted print-ready documents, you need to define print stylesheets. These stylesheets specify the formatting, layout, and styling of the content when it’s converted to a printed format. You can use tools like DITA Open Toolkit (DITA-OT) to apply these stylesheets during the transformation process, ensuring that the resulting documents meet the specific print requirements of manufacturing manuals.


Here’s an example of a DITA map that defines the structure for generating a manufacturing technical manual:

  <title>Manufacturing Manual</title>
  <topicref href="introduction.dita" />
  <topicref href="safety_precautions.dita" />
  <topicref href="assembly_procedures.dita" />
  <topicref href="maintenance.dita" />
  <topicref href="troubleshooting.dita" />

In this example, the DITA map outlines the order of topics for a manufacturing manual, ensuring that the manual’s content is structured correctly for print-ready output.