Can organizations define image standards for DITA documentation?

Organizations can define image standards for DITA documentation to ensure consistency, compliance, and quality in visuals. This involves specifying image formats, resolution, naming conventions, alt text requirements, and other criteria that contributors must adhere to when including images in DITA topics.

In DITA-based documentation, it is essential for organizations to establish image standards, which are a set of guidelines and specifications for the use of images in content. These standards provide a framework for content creators, ensuring uniformity and quality across various documentation outputs.

Image standards typically cover image formats, resolution and sizing, alt text and descriptions, naming conventions, and consistency in style.

Image Formats

Organizations can mandate specific image formats to be used in DITA content. For example, they may require images to be in JPEG format for web content to balance quality and loading speed, while using high-resolution TIFF or EPS formats for print materials.

Resolution and Sizing

Image standards can specify the minimum and maximum resolutions for images. For web outputs, lower resolutions may be acceptable, while print materials may require images to meet a higher DPI (dots per inch) standard. Standardized image sizing, such as maximum width or height, can also be defined.

Alt Text and Descriptions

Ensuring accessibility, organizations may require alt text or image descriptions for every image, providing textual descriptions for those with visual impairments. These descriptions should follow a specific format or include key information about the image’s content.

Naming Conventions

Image files should adhere to standardized naming conventions to enhance organization and ease of reference. This might involve including a prefix, such as “img_” and a descriptive name or code for each image.

Consistency in Style

Organizations can specify style considerations for images, such as uniform borders, captions, or background treatments. Maintaining a consistent style enhances the overall visual appeal of the documentation.


A software development company uses DITA for its product documentation. To maintain consistency and improve user experience, the organization defines image standards for its technical writers. These standards stipulate that images should be in PNG format for web-based documentation, ensuring a good balance between quality and loading speed. For print materials, high-resolution TIFF images are required, with a minimum DPI of 300 to guarantee print quality. Alt text is mandatory for every image, following a specific format: “Image of [brief description].” Additionally, image files should be named with a project-specific code, followed by a brief description, e.g., “proj1234_diagram.”