How is map structure maintained during translation of DITA maps?

To maintain map structure during the translation of DITA maps, organizations need to ensure that the overall structure, hierarchy, and navigation elements remain intact while adapting the content for different languages.

Preserving Map Structure

Maintaining map structure during translation involves preserving the core structure and navigational elements of the DITA map while accommodating changes due to translation.

Structure Consistency

The hierarchical structure of the DITA map, including the arrangement of topics, sections, and chapters, remains consistent across languages. This ensures that the document’s overall organization and navigation are preserved.

Navigation Elements

Elements such as tables of contents (TOCs), indexes, cross-references, and links should continue to function as expected in the translated version. This may require adjustments to accommodate text expansion or contraction in the target language.

Metadata and Titles

Titles, labels, and metadata within the DITA map, including alt text for images, are translated to fit the language requirements while keeping the same hierarchical relationships.


A global electronics company with DITA-based product documentation needs to maintain map structure during translation for a Spanish audience.

  • The hierarchical structure of the DITA map is preserved, with topics and sections maintaining their original order and relationships.
  • Navigation elements, such as TOCs and cross-references, are adapted to work with the translated content. For example, the Spanish TOC would have Spanish titles and navigation labels while maintaining the same structure.
  • Titles, labels, and alt text descriptions within the map are translated into Spanish, allowing for a seamless Spanish-language user experience without altering the fundamental structure of the documentation.