Can conref be used to reference content from other topics?

Conref (content referencing) in DITA enables the referencing of content from one DITA topic in another, facilitating content reuse across different topics within structured documentation.

Using conref involves:

  1. Content Reuse: Conref permits the incorporation of content from one DITA topic into another, including text, images, tables, or other structured elements.
  2. Insertion Point: Within the target DITA topic, where content reuse is desired, an insertion point is created by employing the <conref> element. This specifies the location for inserting the referenced content.
  3. Referencing the Source: Referencing the source content is accomplished using the <conref> attribute within the <conref> element. This attribute points to the path of the source content for reuse, indicating a specific element within the source topic.
  4. Target Element Matching: The referenced content should correspond to a target element in the source DITA topic. This entails ensuring that the structure of the target element within the insertion point aligns with the structure of the source element.


A common warning message needs to be reused across multiple topics in a DITA documentation set:

Source Topic (source.dita):

        <warning id="common-warning">Caution: This action cannot be undone.</warning>

Target Topic (target.dita):

          <title>Backup Procedure</title>
            <p>Before proceeding, be aware of the following:<conref href="source.dita#common-warning"/></p>

In this example, the <conref> element in the target topic references the common-warning warning message from the source topic. During output generation, the warning message is inserted into the target topic.