Can organizations customize map navigation for different output formats?

Organizations can customize map navigation for different output formats in DITA to tailor the navigation experience to the specific needs and constraints of each output, such as web-based help, PDF, or mobile devices.

Enhancing User Experience

DITA allows organizations to customize map navigation based on the output format, enhancing the user experience for different types of content delivery. This process involves conditional processing, navigation elements, and content optimization.

Conditional Processing

Organizations can use conditional processing instructions within the DITA map to include or exclude specific topics, sections, or navigation elements based on the output format. For example, certain topics may be excluded from a mobile app version of the documentation to improve performance.

Navigation Elements

Organizations can customize the presentation of navigation elements, such as tables of contents (TOCs), index entries, and cross-reference links, to align with the requirements of each output format. This ensures that users can easily access relevant content in their chosen format.

Content Optimization

For web-based help, organizations may optimize map navigation for search engines, ensuring that the documentation is discoverable online. For print outputs like PDFs, they can customize page numbers and layout for a print-friendly experience.


A software company uses DITA to create documentation for its product. The organization has three primary output formats: web-based help, PDF manuals, and a mobile app.

Web-Based Help

In the DITA map for web-based help, the organization includes an interactive TOC and index entries to enhance online navigation. They also optimize the content for search engines, making it easily discoverable on the web.

PDF Manuals

For the PDF manuals, the organization modifies the map to include page numbers, headings, and page breaks suitable for print. They ensure that the PDF output is well-structured and easy to navigate in a printed format.

Mobile App

In the DITA map for the mobile app, the organization uses conditional processing to exclude certain complex topics that might slow down the app. They focus on creating a streamlined and mobile-responsive navigation experience.