How is specialization mapped in DITA documentation?

Specialization in DITA has a significant impact on conditional processing, offering fine-grained control over what content is included or excluded in various output scenarios. The impact of specialization on conditional processing includes:

  • Conditional Attributes: Specialization allows the introduction of custom conditional attributes. Content creators can use these attributes to mark specific elements or content as conditional, making them subject to inclusion or exclusion based on predefined conditions.
  • Output Filtering: Specialized content can be selectively included or excluded during the publishing process. This means that content relevant to one audience or output format can be included, while content intended for another audience or format can be filtered out.
  • Dynamic Content: Specialization enables dynamic content delivery by allowing content creators to target specific conditions, such as audience, language, or platform, and tailor the output accordingly.

By leveraging specialization and conditional processing, organizations can efficiently manage diverse content requirements and produce output customized for different users, contexts, and delivery formats.


In a specialized DITA topic for a software manual, the <procedure> element includes conditional attributes like “audience” and “platform.” These attributes can be used to conditionally include or exclude the procedure steps based on the intended audience (e.g., novice users) or the target platform (e.g., Windows).

<procedure audience="novice" platform="windows">
  <step>Step 1: Install the software.</step>
  <step>Step 2: Launch the application.</step>