Can DITA support the delivery of documentation in multiple formats (e.g., PDF, HTML) for healthcare users?

DITA XML offers robust support for delivering healthcare documentation in multiple formats, catering to the diverse needs of healthcare users. The ability to generate content in various formats, such as PDF and HTML, is a hallmark feature of DITA. Here’s how DITA enables this flexibility:

1. Structured Authoring: DITA encourages structured authoring of healthcare content, allowing authors to create content without being concerned about its final output format. This content can include patient records, medical guidelines, or treatment plans. Structuring content in DITA enables seamless transformation into different formats.

2. Conditional Text: DITA supports conditional text, which allows authors to specify conditions under which content should appear. For example, you can mark content as “print-only” or “web-only.” This capability ensures that content is delivered to the intended audience in the appropriate format. For healthcare users, this means that content can be tailored to their specific needs, whether it’s for print or web consumption.


Below is an example of conditional text in a DITA topic. In this case, the content is marked as “print-only,” ensuring it appears in printed documents but not in web-based formats.

<!-- Example: Conditional Text in DITA -->
<p>This content is essential for print documentation but is excluded from web-based versions.</p>
<ph conkeyref="print-only" outputclass="exclude-from-web"/>

By utilizing conditional text like this, healthcare organizations can create documentation that adapts to different output formats, ensuring that healthcare users receive content in the most appropriate way.

3. Publishing Tools: DITA-aware publishing tools, such as the DITA Open Toolkit, enable healthcare organizations to generate PDF, HTML, and other formats from DITA sources. These tools facilitate the transformation process, allowing content to be delivered to healthcare professionals and patients in the format they prefer or require.