How are tables used in technical documentation in DITA?

In technical documentation using DITA, tables are widely used to present structured and organized information, making complex technical content more accessible and comprehensible.

Using tables in technical documentation involves data comparison, step-by-step procedures, specifications, glossaries, list alternatives, and comparative information.

Data Comparison

Tables are often employed to compare data, features, or specifications of different products, components, or systems. This allows readers to easily identify similarities and differences.

Step-by-Step Procedures

Tables are useful for presenting step-by-step procedures and instructions. They can include columns for action, description, and expected outcomes, providing a clear and concise format for tasks.


Technical documentation frequently includes tables to present detailed specifications, technical data, and other structured information. These tables help readers quickly locate and understand critical details.


Tables are used for presenting glossaries, terminology definitions, and acronyms. This structured format is particularly effective for conveying definitions and explanations.

Lists Alternatives

Tables can be used as an alternative to bullet lists for presenting information when a more structured layout is required. Each cell can contain a list item, and columns can represent different categories or attributes.

Comparative Information

When technical documents need to compare features, attributes, or performance metrics, tables make it easier to display side-by-side comparisons.


A set of computer components is being documented and their specifications need to be compared.

            <caption>Comparison of Computer Components</caption>
                    <td>Component A</td>
                    <td>Intel i7</td>
                    <td>16GB DDR4</td>
                    <td>512GB SSD</td>
                    <td>Component B</td>
                    <td>AMD Ryzen 5</td>
                    <td>8GB DDR4</td>
                    <td>1TB HDD</td>

In this example, the DITA table is used to compare the specifications of two computer components. The table structure allows readers to easily compare key attributes, such as the CPU, RAM, and storage, for each component.