How are notes typically styled in DITA output?

In DITA, the styling of notes in the output is typically handled through Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or other styling mechanisms. Notes are often styled to distinguish them from regular content and provide visual cues to the reader. This styling can include background colors, borders, icons, and text formatting.

CSS is a common method for styling DITA output, including notes. CSS allows defining the visual properties of notes, such as font styles, background colors, text colors, borders, and more. Specific CSS classes or IDs can be assigned to note elements (e.g., <note>) in the DITA source. These classes or IDs are then styled in the CSS file associated with the output format.

CSS styling can influence background colors and borders, icons or symbols, and text formatting.

Background Colors and Borders:

Different types of notes, like warnings, tips, or important information, are often styled with distinct background colors. For example, warning notes might have a yellow background, while important notes have a blue background.

Borders can be added to notes to make them stand out. These borders can be solid, dashed, or of different colors.

Icons or Symbols:

Notes may be accompanied by icons or symbols that represent their purpose. For example, a warning note might include an exclamation mark icon, while a tip note might have a lightbulb icon.

These icons are often placed beside the note’s title or at the beginning of the note.

Text Formatting:

Text within notes can be styled differently to draw attention. For example, the note title might be bold, and the content might use a different font or text color.

Emphasizing key points within the note can also be achieved through text formatting.


This is a sample of a DITA source with a warning note and its associated CSS styling:

DITA Source:

<note outputclass="warning">
  <p>Do not proceed without proper safety gear. This equipment is dangerous.</p>

CSS Styling:

/* Styling for the warning note */
.warning {
  background-color: #FFFF99; /* Pale yellow background */
  border: 2px solid #FFCC00; /* Yellow border */

.warning title {
  font-weight: bold; /* Bold title */
  color: #FF3300; /* Red title text color */

.warning p {
  color: #333333; /* Darker text color for content */

In this example, the warning note has a distinctive pale yellow background with a yellow border. The title is bold and has a red text color, and the content text is darker.