<colspec>: How do you use the <colspec> element to specify column specifications and formatting for DITA tables?

The <colspec> element in DITA XML is used to specify column specifications and formatting for tables. It allows you to define the characteristics of individual columns within a table, such as their width, alignment, and other formatting attributes. Using <colspec> elements, you can create well-structured and visually appealing tables to present tabular data in your DITA topics.

Column Specifications

To use the <colspec> element, you include it within the <tgroup> element, which represents the group of columns in a table. Each <colspec> element can have various attributes to define column properties. Common attributes include “colname” to assign a name to the column, “colnum” to specify the column number, “colwidth” to set the width of the column, and “colsep” and “rowsep” to control the column and row separators.


Here’s an example of how to use the <colspec> element to specify column specifications for a DITA table:

  <tgroup cols="3">
    <colspec colname="col1" colwidth="25%" />
    <colspec colname="col2" colwidth="40%" />
    <colspec colname="col3" colwidth="35%" />
        <entry>Product A</entry>
        <entry>A high-quality product</entry>
        <entry>Product B</entry>
        <entry>Our latest offering</entry>

In this example, the <colspec> elements within the <tgroup> element specify the column specifications for a 3-column table. The “colwidth” attribute is used to define the width of each column, ensuring that the table is visually organized and formatted according to your requirements.