Can organizations create their own guidelines for using conditional text in DITA?

Organizations can establish custom guidelines for using conditional text in DITA to effectively manage content variations based on audience, product versions, or other factors. These guidelines ensure consistency, streamline content development, and improve documentation workflows. By defining their rules and conditions, organizations can tailor their DITA content to specific needs, resulting in more efficient content management.

Creating custom guidelines for using conditional text in DITA is a powerful practice that enables organizations to tailor their content to diverse needs while maintaining consistency. This involves customization for specific audiences, product version differences, regulatory compliance, and localization.

Customization for Specific Audiences

Organizations often have multiple audience segments, such as end-users, administrators, and developers. Custom conditional text guidelines allow content creators to provide tailored information to each group. For example, software documentation may include different levels of technical depth, from high-level overviews for end-users to in-depth details for developers.

Product Version Differentiation

When a product has various versions or editions, organizations can create conditional rules to manage content that applies only to specific versions. This ensures that users receive accurate information based on the product they are using, improving their experience and reducing confusion. For example, a software manual might include information unique to version 2.0, while hiding content relevant only to version 1.0.

Regulatory Compliance

In industries with stringent regulatory requirements, conditional text guidelines can help ensure that content adheres to these regulations. Whether it’s healthcare, finance, or aviation, the ability to manage content variations based on specific regulatory standards is crucial.

Localization and Translation

Organizations can use conditional text rules to manage content variations for different languages and regions. For example, a DITA document can have conditionality for text that varies between British and American English or handles region-specific regulations.


A software company’s custom guidelines for DITA content define specific conditions like <audience> for audience segmentation (e.g., <audience>end-user</audience>, <audience>developer</audience>), <version> for product version differentiation (e.g., <version>2.0</version>), <regulation> for regulatory compliance (e.g., <regulation>HIPAA</regulation>), and <language> for localization (e.g., <language>en-US</language>, <language>fr-FR</language>). These conditions guide authors in structuring their content to meet the organization’s specific needs, resulting in more efficient and tailored documentation.