How do I add metadata to DITA content?

Adding Metadata to DITA Content

Adding metadata to DITA content is an essential practice that enhances the organization, searchability, and context of your topics within a DITA-based documentation system. Metadata, in the context of DITA, refers to descriptive information about your content, providing valuable details for users, authors, and content management systems.

Understanding Metadata in DITA

Before diving into adding metadata, it’s crucial to grasp the concept of metadata in DITA. Metadata encompasses descriptive elements such as the title, author, publication date, revision history, and keywords. These pieces of information serve as critical markers for content identification, categorization, and retrieval.

To apply metadata to a DITA topic, you use specialized elements designed explicitly for that purpose.

Common metadata elements include <title>, <shortdesc> (short description), or <prolog>.

The <title> element represents the topic’s heading, serving as a clear label. <shortdesc> provides a concise summary or teaser, aiding users in quickly understanding the content’s purpose. Within the <prolog> section, you can incorporate metadata related to authorship and revision history. This metadata may encompass the author’s name, the date of content creation, and any subsequent revisions along with dates and notes. Maintaining a meticulous revision history is particularly valuable for tracking content changes and ensuring the accuracy of information.

DITA also allows for the customization of metadata attributes to align with your organization’s unique requirements. These customized attributes can encompass information like the target audience, product version, document type, and more.