Can DITA automatically resize images for different output formats?

DITA itself doesn’t have an automatic image resizing mechanism, but it offers robust support for responsive design through manual adjustments. Authors can create content that adapts to different output formats and devices by including multiple versions of images in various sizes and resolutions. This approach allows for a tailored user experience without relying on automated resizing, which might not always produce the desired results.

Authors can employ media queries to control which image is displayed based on factors like screen width or resolution. For example, in web output, a high-resolution image might be shown on large desktop monitors, while a smaller, optimized version is presented on mobile devices. Additionally, conditional processing attributes can be used to determine when specific images should appear, giving authors fine-grained control over image visibility. This manual approach ensures the best quality and performance for each output format and device, as automation may not always deliver optimal results due to variations in image content and desired quality.


An organization is authoring a user manual for a software application in DITA. For web-based output, they want to include screenshots of the application’s interface. They could provide three versions of each screenshot: a high-resolution image for desktop users, a medium-resolution image for tablet users, and a low-resolution image for mobile users. They can then use media queries in the DITA stylesheets to specify when each version should be displayed based on the user’s device. By manually including these different image sizes and controlling their display, they ensure that users have the best viewing experience, regardless of the device they are using.