Are there other specialized topic types in DITA?

Yes, aside from the core concept, task, and reference topics, DITA supports several other specialized topic types to address various documentation needs. These specialized topics cater to specific content types and serve distinct purposes. These topics are troubleshooting, glossary, reference-only, learning objectives, maps, and topicsets.

Troubleshooting Topics:

Troubleshooting topics are used to guide users in identifying and resolving common issues, errors, or problems related to a product or system.

These topics typically include sections for problem descriptions, potential causes, and step-by-step solutions. They are valuable for enhancing user support and minimizing downtime.

Example: A troubleshooting topic might provide guidance for resolving network connectivity issues, outlining possible causes and troubleshooting steps.

Glossary Topics:

Glossary topics are used to define and explain key terms, acronyms, or jargon used within the documentation or a specific domain.

They include definitions, explanations, and sometimes examples or context to help users understand the meaning of specialized terminology.

Example: A glossary topic could define terms like “HTTP,” “Firewall,” or “RAM” within the context of software documentation.

Reference-Only Topics:

Reference-only topics are similar to reference topics but do not include descriptive content. They serve as placeholders for elements, components, or functions that are solely meant for reference.

These topics are often used when you want to provide a location for users to access specific reference material without additional descriptive information.

Example: A reference-only topic might list available API endpoints or database table names without detailed explanations.

Learning Objectives Topics:

Learning objectives topics are used in educational materials, training courses, or e-learning modules to specify the goals and outcomes that learners should achieve.

They define the learning objectives and may provide context or a summary of what learners can expect to gain from a particular course or module.

Example: In an e-learning module about web development, a learning objectives topic might list objectives such as “Understanding HTML basics” and “Building a simple website.”

Map Topics:

Map topics are used to create map files that serve as containers for organizing and structuring content. Maps allow you to arrange topics and other maps in a specific order.

These topics define the structure and hierarchy of a documentation set. They can reference various topic types, including concept, task, and reference topics.

Example: A map topic might organize chapters or sections in a user manual, specifying the order in which topics should be presented to readers.


Topicsets are used to group related topics or subtopics within a map. They provide a way to organize content within a map more flexibly.

Topicsets allow you to create logical groupings of topics, making it easier to manage and navigate large documentation sets.

Example: Within a user guide map, a topicset could group together all topics related to advanced features, making it convenient for users seeking advanced information.