How do you use DITA-aware authoring tools to assist in creating an index?

Utilizing DITA-aware authoring tools is crucial for efficiently creating an index within DITA XML documentation. These tools are designed to assist authors in the process of index creation, streamlining the workflow and ensuring the index aligns with DITA standards. Here are key ways in which DITA-aware authoring tools can be used to assist in index creation:

Automated Indexing

DITA-aware authoring tools often offer automated indexing capabilities. Authors can highlight specific terms or concepts within their content, and the tool can automatically generate index entries for these terms. This feature reduces the manual effort required for index creation and ensures consistency in indexing across the documentation.

Index Preview and Validation

These tools provide a preview of the index as it’s being created, allowing authors to review and validate index entries in real-time. Authors can ensure that all relevant terms are included, and they can easily make adjustments or corrections as needed. This visual feedback streamlines the index creation process and helps maintain its accuracy.


DITA-aware authoring tools facilitate cross-referencing between index entries and related content. Authors can establish links from index entries to specific topics or sections within the documentation. This cross-referencing enhances the user experience by providing direct access to relevant information from the index.


Here’s an example of how a DITA-aware authoring tool can assist in creating an index by offering automated indexing and index preview:

<topic id=""software_installation"">
  <title>Software Installation</title>
    <p>This topic provides instructions for the installation of our software.</p>
    <p>Key terms: <index-start>Installation</index-start>, <index-start>Software</index-start>

</content> <index> <indexterm>Installation</indexterm> <indexterm>Software</indexterm> </index>

In this example, the DITA-aware authoring tool automatically generates index entries for the terms “Installation” and “Software” based on the author’s annotations.