How does conditional text impact content review and approval in DITA?

Conditional text in DITA can have a substantial impact on content review and approval processes. When content authors use conditional text to create adaptable documentation, reviewers must evaluate and approve content variations tailored to different conditions, such as audience type, product version, or output format. This approach ensures that content aligns with specific scenarios and user requirements, enhancing the overall user experience. However, it also introduces complexity to the review process.

Reviewers are responsible for verifying that the conditional text effectively caters to each defined condition, and they must consider all possible content permutations. This requires a meticulous and systematic review approach. Reviewers need to be aware of the defined conditions and their impact on the content to make informed decisions about content inclusion or exclusion.

Some of the key points around conditional text in DITA content review and approval include increased complexity, enhanced user experience, thorough understanding, and collaborative effort.

Increased Complexity

Conditional text in DITA introduces complexity to the content review and approval process as reviewers must consider multiple variations of content, each designed for specific conditions. This complexity requires a more detailed and systematic evaluation to ensure content accuracy and relevance for different audiences or scenarios.

Enhanced User Experience

Conditional text allows content to be tailored to specific scenarios, such as different audience types or product versions, leading to a more customized and user-centric documentation. Reviewers play a crucial role in ensuring that these adaptations align with user requirements and enhance the overall user experience.

Thorough Understanding

Reviewers need a thorough understanding of the predefined conditions and their implications on the content. This knowledge empowers them to make informed decisions about what content should be included or excluded for different contexts, ensuring that the documentation remains adaptable and relevant.

Collaborative Effort

Effective collaboration between content authors and reviewers is essential for streamlining the review process. Clear communication and access to appropriate tools or systems for previewing content variations with different conditions are crucial to ensure that the final documentation meets the needs of diverse audiences and scenarios.


A technical writer has created documentation for a software application that targets both novice and expert users. Reviewers must ensure that the content for each audience segment is accurate, relevant, and well-structured. They need to validate that the conditions set for the content align with the actual needs and expectations of novice and expert users.

To facilitate the review and approval process, it is essential for content authors to provide reviewers with clear instructions about the conditions, which should ideally be documented in a DITAVAL file or equivalent. Reviewers should also have access to tools or systems that allow them to preview the content with different conditions applied, providing a comprehensive view of the variations.

In the review process, reviewers may use the DITAVAL file to select specific conditions and validate the corresponding content. This might involve checking that content meant for one audience is indeed tailored to their needs, while content for another audience is appropriately excluded. Reviewers play a crucial role in ensuring that the conditional text effectively serves its purpose, providing valuable feedback to authors to make necessary adjustments for different scenarios.