How do conditional processing attributes affect the visibility of links in DITA?

Conditional processing attributes in DITA XML significantly affect the visibility of links by allowing content creators to control when and how links are displayed to users based on specific conditions or criteria. These attributes are essential for tailoring content to different contexts and ensuring that users receive the most relevant information, which can enhance the user experience and improve the effectiveness of documentation.

Visibility Control

Conditional processing attributes, such as conkeyref and conref, determine when links are visible to users. By applying conditions to links, content creators can specify under what circumstances the linked content should be displayed. For example, you can use these attributes to display content relevant to a particular product version, audience, or platform. When the specified conditions are met, the links become visible to users, ensuring that they see content tailored to their specific needs.


Here’s an example illustrating how conditional processing attributes affect link visibility in DITA XML:

<para conref="user-manual.dita" conkeyref="product-version"/><!-- This links to the user manual based on the product version. -->

In this example, the conref attribute links to a DITA topic, and the conkeyref attribute specifies the condition, such as the product version. If the product version matches the specified condition, the link to the user manual is visible; otherwise, it remains hidden. This way, users receive documentation that corresponds to their specific product version, improving the clarity and relevance of the information.