How are attributes used in DITA map elements like <topicref>?

In DITA XML, attributes play a crucial role in defining the behavior and characteristics of elements within DITA maps. Specifically, in elements like <topicref>, attributes are used to control various aspects of the relationship between the map and the topics it references. These attributes help structure and organize the content for output and presentation. Understanding how attributes work in <topicref> elements is essential for effective content management and publication.

Specifying the Referenced Topic

The href attribute in a <topicref> element is used to specify the location of the topic to be included or referenced in the map. It allows you to define the path to the DITA topic file or the external resource to be linked. For instance:

<topicref href="path/to/your-topic.dita"/>

Managing the Title

Attributes like format and scope in <topicref> elements provide control over the title and scope of the referenced topic. The format attribute specifies the title’s format, such as “dita”, “ditamap”, or “html”. The scope attribute can be used to define whether the title is global or local within the map. For example:

<topicref href="path/to/your-topic.dita" format="dita" scope="local"/>

These attributes allow you to customize how the titles of topics are presented in the map, offering flexibility in the organization and rendering of content.