How do you handle cross-references in index entries?

Managing cross-references within index entries in DITA XML is crucial for enhancing the usability and navigability of your documentation.

Cross-Referencing in Index Entries

Cross-references in index entries allow you to link related topics or entries, providing users with quick access to relevant information. To create a cross-reference in an index entry, you can use the “see” or “see-also” attributes along with the “term” attribute. The “see” attribute is used for direct references, while the “see-also” attribute is employed for related but not synonymous references. For example, if you have an entry for “Database Management System” and want to cross-reference it to a detailed topic on “Relational Databases,” you can use the “see” attribute with the term “Relational Databases” to establish a direct link between the two entries.


Here’s an example in DITA XML format illustrating the use of cross-references within index entries:

  <entry term="Database Management System" loc="dbms.html" see="Relational Databases" />
  <entry term="Relational Databases" loc="relational_db.html" />

In this example, the entry for “Database Management System” includes a cross-reference to “Relational Databases” using the “see” attribute, providing users with a direct link to the related topic.