Can DITA maps support conditional processing for different languages?

DITA maps can support conditional processing for different languages, allowing organizations to tailor content for specific linguistic or regional audiences by including or excluding language-specific elements.

Understanding Conditional Processing

Conditional processing in DITA maps enables organizations to customize content for different languages, regions, or locales within the same map. This is achieved through the use of conditional processing attributes, such as @product or @platform, to include or exclude elements based on specific conditions. For language-specific customization, @xml:lang attributes can be used to determine which language version of an element should be displayed.


A DITA map for a software user manual needs to provide language-specific instructions. Conditional processing can be applied to topics, allowing the map to include French-language topics for French users and English-language topics for English users, ensuring a tailored experience for each audience:

  <title>User Manual</title>
  <topicref href="common-intro.dita" />
  <!-- Conditional processing for French -->
  <topicref href="instructions-fr.dita" conkeyref="fr" />
  <!-- Conditional processing for English -->
  <topicref href="instructions-en.dita" conkeyref="en" />

In this example, conditional processing allows the DITA map to include language-specific topics based on the value of the @xml:lang attribute, providing tailored content for both French and English users within the same map.