How are visual elements (e.g., images, icons) adapted for different cultures in DITA?

Adapting visual elements such as images and icons in DITA content for different cultures is essential to ensure that the content is culturally sensitive and relevant. Visual elements can have cultural connotations, and their interpretation may vary across different regions and audiences. Here are some strategies and considerations for adapting visual elements in DITA content for different cultures:

Cultural Symbolism

Visual elements often carry cultural symbolism. To adapt these elements, it’s crucial to be aware of the cultural meanings associated with specific symbols or images. Some symbols that are considered positive in one culture might have negative connotations in another. For example, colors like red or white can symbolize different things in various cultures, and these nuances should be considered when selecting or modifying visual elements.

Localization of Imagery

Localization of visual elements involves the replacement or modification of images to make them culturally relevant. For instance, if a document uses images of people, it’s important to represent a diverse range of ethnicities and cultures to resonate with a global audience. Additionally, consider replacing imagery that is specific to a particular region with more universally recognized images.


Here’s an example of how visual elements can be adapted for different cultures in DITA content:

<topic id="cultural-greetings">
  <title>Cultural Greetings</title>
    <alt-text>Japanese Bowing Greeting</alt-text>
  <translation locale="French">
      <alt-text>French Cheek-Kissing Greeting</alt-text>

In this example, the DITA content includes images of different cultural greetings, with appropriate alternative text for each image. This allows the content to be adapted to the specific cultural norms and preferences of Japanese and French audiences.