How do I create a custom DITA document type?

Creating a Custom DITA Document Type

Creating a custom DITA document type involves a series of steps to define the new elements, attributes, and rules specific to your documentation needs. Below are the general steps to create a custom DITA document type:

  1. Identify Requirements: Clearly define your documentation requirements and determine the specific elements, attributes, and structures needed for your custom DITA document type.
  2. Select Base Document Type: Choose an existing DITA document type that most closely matches your requirements to be the foundation for your custom document type.
  3. Create Specialization Module: Develop an XML document to house your customizations. This is the specialization module. Declare it as such using the <specialization> element.
  4. Define New Elements: Within the specialization module, define the new elements required for your custom document type using DITA XML syntax. Specify their names, descriptions, and where they can be used within your document type.
  5. Define Attributes: Describe any required custom attributes, specify their data types, and determine where they can be used.
  6. Establish Constraints: Set constraints for your custom elements and attributes, such as required elements, allowed child elements, or attribute value restrictions.
  7. Document and Test: It is strongly recommended to create documentation for your custom DITA document type, including usage guidelines and constraints. Test your customization by applying it to sample DITA documents to ensure it functions as intended.