<p>: How do you use the <p> element to create paragraphs of text in DITA topics, and what are best practices for formatting?

The <p> element in DITA XML is used to create paragraphs of text within DITA topics. It is a fundamental element for organizing and formatting textual content. When using the <p> element, there are best practices for formatting to ensure readability and consistency.

Using the <p> Element

To create a paragraph of text in a DITA topic, you simply enclose the text within the <p> element. For example:

<p>This is a paragraph of text.</p>

It’s important to note that in DITA, you typically do not need to use manual line breaks or spacing to separate paragraphs. The <p> element handles this automatically, ensuring consistent and appropriate spacing between paragraphs.

Best Practices for Formatting

When using the <p> element, consider the following best practices for formatting:

  • Use Descriptive Text: Write clear and concise sentences within paragraphs, focusing on delivering valuable information to the reader.
  • Limit Paragraph Length: Avoid extremely long paragraphs, as they can be overwhelming. Instead, break content into smaller, more digestible paragraphs.
  • Consistent Indentation: Maintain consistent indentation for paragraphs to create a visually pleasing layout.


Here’s an example of how the <p> element is used to create paragraphs of text within a DITA topic:

<topic id="paragraph_example">
  <title>Using DITA Elements</title>
    <p>DITA XML is a markup language for structured documentation.</p>
    <p>It allows you to create well-organized content with consistent formatting.</p>
    <p>Using DITA elements like <code><p></code> simplifies content creation.</p>

In this example, the <p> element is used to create three paragraphs of text, making the content easy to read and understand.