Can attributes have multiple values in DITA?

In DITA XML, attributes can have multiple values, allowing you to provide a set of values for a single attribute. This flexibility is particularly useful for scenarios where an element may have multiple related values or when you want to specify alternative options for an attribute. It’s a powerful feature that enhances the expressiveness and versatility of your structured content in DITA XML.

Usage of Multiple Attribute Values

When an attribute in DITA XML can have multiple values, these values are typically separated by specific delimiters, such as a space or a semicolon. You can assign as many values as needed to an attribute, depending on your content requirements. For example, you might have an attribute “audience” with multiple values like “beginners,” “intermediate,” and “advanced” to indicate the target audience for a specific topic or section of your documentation.


Here’s an example illustrating how an attribute with multiple values might look in DITA XML:

<topic id="topic1">
  <title>Product Features</title>
  <body audience="beginners intermediate advanced">
    <p>This topic covers product features for users at different skill levels.</p>

In this example, the “audience” attribute has multiple values, allowing you to specify that the content is relevant to users with different levels of expertise. This demonstrates the practical application of attributes with multiple values in DITA XML.