How is image captioning and labeling handled in DITA?

In DITA, image captioning and labeling are handled through elements like <fig> and <title> elements, allowing content creators to associate captions and labels with images. This helps improve document clarity, accessibility, and organization.

Image captioning and labeling in DITA are typically managed through the <fig> element, which represents a figure or image, and the <title> element, which serves as the caption or label. The <fig> element is used to wrap around the image, and the <title> element is placed within it to provide a descriptive caption for the image. By associating a title with the image, DITA enables content authors to provide context, explanations, or additional information about the image, enhancing document clarity and making content more accessible. The <fig> and <title> elements also assist in structuring content by providing a consistent way to organize images and their associated text.

The <fig> (Figure) Element:

In DITA, the <fig> element is used to represent figures, which can include images, diagrams, charts, and other visual elements. The <fig> element serves as a container for the image and its associated caption. It helps structure content by grouping the image with its description, making it easier for content authors to maintain and readers to comprehend.

The <title> Element:

Within the <fig> element, the <title> element is employed to provide a caption or label for the image. The <title> element contains descriptive text that explains the image’s content, context, or significance. It’s a critical component for accessibility as it ensures that individuals with disabilities or those using assistive technologies can understand the image’s purpose and meaning.

Benefits of Captioning and Labeling:

Image captioning and labeling offer several advantages. They provide clarity by explaining the image’s relevance within the context of the content. They aid in document organization by structuring content consistently, making it easier to navigate. They improve accessibility by providing alternative text for screen readers, ensuring that all users can access and understand the content.


A DITA document about wildlife includes an image of a lion. To handle image captioning and labeling, the <fig> element would be used to enclose the image element and the <title> element to specify the caption:

  <image href="lion.jpg" alt="Lion in the wild"/>
  <title>A majestic lion in its natural habitat</title>

In this example, the <fig> element contains the lion image, while the <title> element provides a caption describing the image. This approach ensures that the lion image is appropriately labeled, enhancing the document’s accessibility and organization.