<task>: What is the typical structure of a <task> element in DITA, and how does it guide readers through a series of steps?

The <task> element in DITA serves as a structured way to present instructions and procedures to guide readers through a series of steps. It is commonly used in technical documentation, manuals, and instructional guides to provide clear and organized information for performing tasks.

Typical Structure of a Task Element

A <task> element typically consists of the following components:

  • <title>: The title of the task, which succinctly describes the task’s objective.
  • <taskbody>: The main content container for the task, which includes the individual steps and related information.
  • <steps>: A container for organizing individual steps within the task.
  • <step>: Each step represents a specific action or instruction and is enclosed within the <steps> element.


Here’s an example of how the <task> element can be used in DITA content:

<task id="software-installation">
  <title>Software Installation</title>
        <cmd>Insert the installation CD or USB drive.</cmd>
        <info>Ensure that you have the installation media available.</info>
        <cmd>Run the setup.exe file.</cmd>
        <info>Locate the setup file in the installation media and execute it.</info>
        <cmd>Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.</cmd>
        <info>Read and follow the prompts displayed during the installation process.</info>

In this example, the <task> element is used to create a structured set of instructions for “Software Installation.” It includes a title, a series of steps, and additional information for each step to guide users effectively.