How are maps tested and validated before publishing?

DITA maps are tested and validated before publishing to ensure content accuracy, proper organization, and adherence to styling and output standards.

Steps in Testing and Validation

Testing and validation of DITA maps involve several steps to guarantee the quality and correctness of the content before it is published. These steps include:

  1. Content Review: Authors and subject matter experts review the content to ensure its accuracy, relevance, and completeness. They check for any factual errors, inconsistencies, or outdated information.
  2. Organization and Structure: The DITA map’s organization is reviewed to confirm that the content is logically structured, that topics are correctly linked, and that navigation elements, such as tables of contents and indexes, work as intended.
  3. Styling and Formatting: The visual styling and formatting, controlled by CSS stylesheets, are validated to make sure the output meets design and branding standards. This includes checking fonts, colors, spacing, and responsive design for different devices.
  4. Output Testing: The DITA content is transformed into the desired output format (e.g., PDF, HTML) using the associated templates and stylesheets. This transformed output is tested for any rendering issues or unexpected behavior.


A company is preparing to publish a DITA-based user manual for a new product. The testing and validation process may involve content review, organization and structure, styling and formatting, and output testing.

  • Content Review: Technical experts and editors review the content to verify that all product details, instructions, and troubleshooting information are accurate and up to date.
  • Organization and Structure: A technical writer ensures that the DITA map’s hierarchy is well-organized, topics are logically sequenced, and cross-references are functional.
  • Styling and Formatting: The design team reviews the CSS stylesheets to ensure that fonts, colors, and responsive design elements align with the company’s branding guidelines.
  • Output Testing: The DITA map is processed using predefined templates for both PDF and web output. The resulting documents are scrutinized for any layout issues or unexpected visual anomalies.