How is DITA specialization different from DITA customization?

DITA specialization and customization are related concepts, but they differ in scope and purpose:

DITA Specialization: Specialization involves extending the base DITA framework to create custom document types, elements, and attributes that are tailored to specific industry, domain, or organizational requirements. Specialization focuses on defining and structuring content components that are not present in the base DITA framework.

DITA Customization: Customization, on the other hand, refers to making adjustments and modifications to the existing DITA framework. This can include changing the appearance, styling, and transformation of DITA content to align it with an organization’s branding or publishing requirements. Customization often pertains to the look and feel of DITA output rather than the structure of content.


In technical documentation, DITA specialization can involve creating a custom element like <troubleshooting-step> specifically for troubleshooting procedures in the IT industry. DITA customization, on the other hand, may focus on customizing the appearance of the DITA output, such as applying a company’s branding and styling to the published content.