Can conditional attributes have user-defined values in DITA?

Conditional attributes in DITA, like @props, can have user-defined values, offering flexibility in tagging and managing content based on custom criteria.

Customizing Content Tagging

DITA allows authors to define user-specific values for conditional attributes, providing a way to customize content management. This concept involves customized content tagging, project-specific criteria, enhanced workflow flexibility, and increased organization.

Customized Content Tagging

User-defined values are particularly useful when a project requires the creation of conditional processing rules that are specific to its requirements. For example, in a software documentation project, a team can define a custom value like props="beta". This custom value aligns with the project’s unique criteria.

Project-Specific Criteria

Different projects or organizations may have distinct criteria for how content should be processed. User-defined values empower the adaptation of DITA’s conditional processing to match these specific criteria. Conditions can be set based on project phases, content types, or any other criteria that are relevant to the work.

Enhanced Workflow Flexibility

User-defined values provide an enhanced level of flexibility in content management. They allow the structure of workflows to be tailored according to the project’s needs, rather than having to conform to predefined values that might not align perfectly with the project’s requirements.

Increased Organization

Using custom values, content can be effectively organized and managed. For example, content tagged with props="beta" can be treated differently in the output or review process compared to content with other predefined conditions.


In a DITA topic for a software user manual, the content includes a section on advanced features for power users. Authors can tag this section with a user-defined conditional attribute, props="powerUser". This attribute defines a custom condition specific to power user content, allowing authors to manage it separately from other conditions. By leveraging user-defined values, organizations can create and implement conditional criteria that align with their distinct requirements.