How do you handle additions or deletions of content in relation to the index?

Managing additions or deletions of content in relation to the index is an essential aspect of keeping the index aligned with the evolving DITA content. To handle these changes effectively, organizations can employ specific strategies and techniques to ensure that the index remains accurate and reflects the current state of the content.

Handling Additions

When new content is added to the DITA repository, it’s important to update the index accordingly. This can be achieved through automated processes that periodically scan for new topics or manually by indexers who review the new content and determine which terms or topics should be included in the index. Once the additions are identified, the index entries are updated to include the new terms and links to the corresponding topics. Automation can significantly streamline this process by automatically detecting and adding new content to the index based on predefined criteria.

Managing Deletions

Deletions of content can pose a challenge to index maintenance. When content is deleted or deprecated, it’s essential to review the index and remove any entries that are no longer relevant. Manual review by indexers is typically necessary to ensure that obsolete entries are removed from the index. Additionally, version control and audit trails can help identify when content was deleted, aiding in the removal of associated index entries. Managing deletions is a critical aspect of keeping the index accurate and preventing users from encountering broken or outdated links.


Here’s an example of how additions and deletions are managed in relation to the index in DITA:

<index version="2.0">
  <entry term="Topic A" link="topic_a.dita" />
  <entry term="Topic B" link="topic_b.dita" />
  <entry term="Topic C" link="topic_c.dita" />
  <entry term="New Topic D" link="topic_d.dita" />

In this example, a new topic “Topic D” has been added to the DITA content repository. To maintain the index’s accuracy, the index entry for “Topic D” has been added with the corresponding link to the new content.