Can DITA facilitate the reuse of visual assets across different construction documents?

DITA enables efficient reuse of visual assets across different construction documents, contributing to consistency and reducing redundancy in content creation. Here’s how DITA facilitates the reuse of visual assets:

Modular Content

In DITA, content is structured into reusable modules or topics. Visual assets such as images, diagrams, and drawings can be embedded within these topics. Since topics can be reused across multiple documents, the same visual assets can be used consistently in various construction documents. This approach ensures that a single instance of a visual asset can be maintained and updated centrally, reflecting changes in all documents that reference it.

Content References

DITA allows content references, known as conref (content reference). With conref, you can reference visual assets from one topic within another. For instance, if there’s a standard safety symbol or diagram used throughout construction documentation, you can create a separate topic for it and reference it wherever needed. When you need to update the symbol or diagram, you only need to modify the referenced topic, and the changes propagate to all documents that use it.

Conditional Text

Conditional text in DITA allows you to tailor content based on specific conditions. This feature is useful for including or excluding visual assets based on document requirements. For example, a construction project may have different safety diagrams for different regions or phases. By using conditional text, you can include the relevant visual assets based on the project’s context, ensuring that only necessary visuals are included in each document.


Here’s an example of how DITA enables the reuse of visual assets using content references:

<topic id="safety-diagram">
  <title>Safety Diagram</title>
  <image href="safety_diagram.png"/>

<topic id="construction-manual">
  <title>Construction Manual</title>
    <p>Follow the safety guidelines as shown in the following diagram:

<conref href="safety-diagram"/> </content>

In this example, the “construction-manual” topic references the “safety-diagram” topic using conref. Any updates to the safety diagram will automatically reflect in the construction manual, ensuring consistent and up-to-date visual content across documents.