Can conditional processing instructions be managed separately from content in CMS?

DITA conditional processing instructions can be managed separately from content in a CMS by using specialized metadata fields or attribute management features. This separation allows organizations to store, maintain, and modify condition instructions independently, streamlining the management of conditional settings across a large volume of content, ensuring consistency, and making it easier to adapt conditions for different content variations.

Specialized Metadata Fields:

Some content management systems (CMS) offer metadata fields specifically designed for managing DITA conditional processing instructions separately from the content. These fields allow organizations to define and store condition attributes and their values, ensuring that condition instructions are not interspersed with the content.

Attribute Management Features:

Content management systems with DITA support often provide attribute management features. These features allow for the centralized management of condition attributes and values, separate from the content itself. Content creators can define, update, and apply conditions systematically using this feature.

Consistency and Efficiency:

Managing conditional processing instructions separately promotes consistency and efficiency. It ensures that the same conditions are easily applied across multiple content items. When conditions need to be modified, these changes can be made in one place and automatically applied to all relevant content, reducing the risk of errors and maintaining uniformity.


In a technical documentation CMS, the organization manages DITA-based product manuals. They use the CMS’s attribute management feature to handle condition instructions separately from content. When creating or editing content, they access a dedicated section of the CMS interface for condition management. Here, they define condition attributes, such as “audience” or “product_version,” and set specific values. These condition instructions are kept distinct from the content itself. When content creators work on DITA topics, they can easily apply the predefined conditions to the content as needed. If a condition needs modification, it is updated in the attribute management section, and the change is automatically propagated to all content items using that condition. This separation ensures that the condition instructions are efficiently maintained, contributing to content consistency and productivity.