Can DITA publishing support both print and digital outputs?

DITA publishing supports both print and digital output, making it a versatile solution for content distribution. It allows content creators to generate output in various formats, including traditional print materials and modern digital resources.

Print Output:

DITA publishing tools enable the creation of print-ready output, such as PDFs, for traditional documentation needs. This output is designed for physical distribution, including user manuals, product guides, and reports.

Example: A manufacturing company uses DITA to author content for its machinery manuals. They utilize DITA publishing to generate high-quality PDFs, which are printed and included with the machinery upon delivery. This print output provides a tangible reference for equipment operators and maintenance personnel.

Digital Output:

DITA allows content to be seamlessly transformed into digital formats suitable for online distribution. This includes web pages, responsive HTML, e-books, mobile apps, and online help systems.

Example: A software company employs DITA to create product documentation. They use DITA publishing to produce web-based documentation, making it accessible on their website. Users can access the documentation online, using search features and interactive elements for an enhanced digital experience.

Hybrid Output:

DITA’s versatility extends to hybrid publishing. Organizations can blend print and digital outputs as needed. For example, they can create a PDF manual for users who prefer printed documentation while also offering a responsive web-based version for digital access.

Example: An automotive manufacturer utilizes DITA to develop vehicle manuals. They offer a print-ready PDF manual for customers who prefer physical copies. Simultaneously, they provide an online version with interactive features and multimedia content for users who prefer digital access.

Automated Publishing Workflows:

DITA’s publishing capabilities support automated workflows. Content creators can make updates in the DITA source, and through automated publishing, generate both print and digital versions simultaneously. This ensures content consistency across all output formats.

Example: A healthcare organization uses DITA to author medical guides. When they need to update critical procedures, they make changes in the DITA source. With automated publishing, updated PDFs are created for printed manuals, and web-based versions are updated on their medical portal.


An educational publisher relies on DITA for creating educational materials. DITA’s support for print and digital output allows them to cater to diverse user preferences:

  • They use DITA to author content for textbooks.
  • DITA publishing helps them generate print-ready PDFs for physical textbooks, which are widely used in schools and universities.
  • Simultaneously, they create web-based versions of the textbooks using DITA, offering students and teachers online access to the same content.
  • They also produce e-book versions for those who prefer digital study materials. This diverse output strategy ensures that students and educators have options for accessing educational content in their preferred format.