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

DITA is highly versatile when it comes to delivering manufacturing documentation in multiple formats to cater to different audiences. This adaptability is particularly valuable in manufacturing environments where various stakeholders require information in different ways. Let’s explore how DITA supports this capability.

Single Source, Multiple Outputs

One of the key strengths of DITA is the ability to create manufacturing documentation from a single source while delivering it in various formats. DITA content is stored in a structured manner, making it easy to reuse information across documents. This ensures consistency and reduces the risk of errors due to content discrepancies. Depending on the audience’s needs, you can generate PDF documents for detailed manuals and HTML versions for web-based access.

Conditional Text and Metadata

DITA allows authors to include conditional text and metadata within documents. This means you can tailor content for specific audiences. For instance, you can include content that is intended for internal teams but not for external users. By applying conditions or metadata tags, you can control what gets included in each document version. This level of customization ensures that manufacturing documentation is relevant to its intended audience.


Here’s an example of how DITA can generate different versions of manufacturing documentation for distinct audiences:

<topic id="assembly_instructions">
  <title>Assembly Instructions</title>

In this example, the DITA topic specifies the audience as “Internal” and the desired output format as “PDF.” This information guides the transformation process to generate a specific document for internal use in PDF format.