Are there considerations for image compression during editing for web delivery in DITA?

Considerations for image compression during editing are vital when preparing DITA content for web delivery. Compressed images help reduce web page load times and improve the user experience by ensuring faster content access.

To achieve this, content creators and editors need to optimize images before integrating them into DITA topics, striking a balance between image quality and file size. Modern image editing tools provide various compression techniques and formats, such as JPEG and WebP, designed to reduce file sizes while maintaining acceptable visual quality. By applying these techniques, organizations can ensure that their DITA content loads quickly and efficiently on the web.

Modern Image Editing Tools

Modern image editing tools offer various compression techniques, each with its strengths and trade-offs. The two most common formats for web images are JPEG and WebP:

  • JPEG: JPEG is suitable for photographs and images with many colors and gradients. It uses lossy compression, which sacrifices some image quality for smaller file sizes. Editors can adjust the compression level, finding the right balance between quality and size.
  • WebP: WebP is a newer format developed by Google. It offers superior compression and quality compared to JPEG. It is especially effective for images that contain text, icons, or line drawings. However, browser support for WebP may vary.

Implementing Image Compression

To implement image compression for DITA content, editors can follow a process of preparation, selection, compression, replacement, and testing:

  1. Preparation: Review all images within the DITA topics and determine which ones need to be compressed for web delivery.
  2. Selection: Choose the most appropriate file format (JPEG or WebP) based on the content and the expected user experience.
  3. Compression: Use image editing software to compress images. Ensure that the compression settings maintain an acceptable level of image quality while reducing file size.
  4. Replacement: Replace the original images in the DITA topics with the compressed versions.
  5. Testing: Test the DITA content on web browsers to ensure that the images load quickly and maintain good quality.

By following these steps and understanding the nuances of image compression, organizations can provide a faster and more satisfying web experience for users accessing DITA content.


A software company is preparing a DITA-based user guide for an application to be delivered on the web. The guide includes screenshots of the application’s interface. To ensure efficient web delivery, the technical writer uses an image editing tool to optimize the screenshots. They choose to save the images in the WebP format, which offers better compression while maintaining the necessary image clarity. The result is a user guide that loads quickly on the web, providing a smoother experience for readers without compromising image quality.