How are specialized elements and attributes documented in DITA documentation?

Specialized elements and attributes in DITA documentation are typically documented in specialized DITA topics known as “specialization documents.” These documents serve as a reference for content creators and provide detailed information about the purpose, usage, constraints, and examples of specialized components. They play a crucial role in guiding content creators on how to effectively utilize specialized elements and attributes within the DITA framework.

Specialization documents follow the same DITA structure as regular topics but focus on explaining the specialized components. They include sections or elements that describe:

  • Element Description: Details about the specialized element, including its name, purpose, and context in the domain.
  • Attribute Description: Information about specialized attributes, their names, allowed values, and usage guidelines.
  • Constraints: Any constraints or rules that apply to the specialized components.
  • Examples: Practical examples demonstrating how to use the specialized elements and attributes in content.

These documentation topics are essential for onboarding new team members, ensuring consistency, and promoting effective utilization of specialization within the organization.


In a DITA specialization document for a specialized element <aero-component> and its associated @serial-number attribute, the documentation explains the purpose of the element and attribute, provides usage guidelines, outlines constraints, and includes practical examples for content creators working on aerospace-related documentation.

<aero-component serial-number="AC12345">
  <description>A specialized aerospace component.</description>
  <manufacturer>ABC Aerospace</manufacturer>