Can images be used in various types of DITA topics?

Images can be used in various types of DITA topics to enhance content, illustrate concepts, and improve user comprehension. Images are a versatile and essential component of DITA topics, adding visual context to textual information. They can be integrated into a wide range of DITA topic types to serve different purposes and improve the overall quality of documentation.

Images are employed in each of the core DITA topic types: concept, task, reference, and troubleshooting.

  • Concept Topics: In concept topics, images can provide visual representations of abstract ideas or overarching concepts. For example, a concept topic explaining the fundamentals of aerodynamics might include diagrams illustrating lift and drag forces.
  • Task Topics: Task topics often include images to provide step-by-step guidance. For example, in a software user manual, a task topic demonstrating how to configure email settings might include screenshots of the interface and relevant buttons.
  • Reference Topics: Reference topics, such as glossaries, benefit from images to accompany definitions or explanations. An image of a specific tool’s icon in a glossary topic can help users quickly identify it in the software interface.
  • Troubleshooting Topics: Troubleshooting topics can feature images to depict common issues or error messages. Visual aids assist users in identifying and resolving problems efficiently.


An installation manual for a home appliance consists of multiple DITA topic types. In a task topic explaining how to assemble the appliance, images illustrate the assembly steps. In a reference topic that includes technical specifications for the appliance, images display the product’s key features and labels.