<glossentry>: How is a <glossentry> element used to define a glossary entry, and what components should it include?

The <glossentry> element in DITA is used to define a glossary entry, providing a way to include terms and their corresponding definitions within your documentation. It is particularly useful when you need to explain technical terms or jargon used in your content, ensuring that readers have easy access to clear definitions.

Components of a <glossentry> Element

When creating a glossary entry using the <glossentry> element, it typically consists of two primary components:

  • Term: The <glossterm> element is used to enclose the term or word you want to define. This is where you provide the term that requires explanation.
  • Definition: The <glossdef> element is used to enclose the definition of the term. This is where you provide a clear and concise explanation or definition of the term.


Here’s an example of how the <glossentry> element can be used in DITA:

<glossentry id="xml">
  <glossdef>Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.</glossdef>

In this example, a glossary entry is created for the term “XML,” with the term enclosed in the <glossterm> element and its definition enclosed in the <glossdef> element. This allows readers to easily access the definition of the term when encountering it in the documentation.