What are some common use cases for content reuse in DITA?

Reusing content in DITA offers various use cases, improving efficiency, consistency, and the overall quality of technical documentation. Understanding these use cases is essential for organizations looking to leverage the power of content reuse.

Common use cases for content reuse in DITA can include, but are not limited to:

  • Standard Procedures: Reusing standard operating procedures or instructions in multiple documents. For example, a company might have a consistent safety procedure applicable to various equipment manuals.
  • Product Descriptions: Reusing detailed product descriptions that remain consistent across various user manuals or marketing materials.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensuring that regulatory or compliance information is consistent across all relevant documents. For example, ensuring that safety warnings comply with international standards across all product manuals.
  • Glossaries and Definitions: Reusing glossaries, definitions, and terminology explanations to maintain consistency in meaning and language usage.
  • Legal Disclaimers: Consistently including legal disclaimers and copyright notices in all documents.
  • Common UI Elements: Reusing descriptions of common user interface elements (buttons, menus, dialogs) across different software user guides.
  • Product Features: Reusing descriptions of features or functionalities common to multiple products in a product line.
  • Troubleshooting Steps: Sharing common troubleshooting or problem-solving steps across various support documents.


A multinational electronics company that manufactures a range of consumer electronics uses DITA for their documentation. One common use case for content reuse is ensuring regulatory compliance in their user manuals.

In this case:

  • The company maintains a standard section in each product manual that explains compliance with international electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) standards.
  • This compliance information is critical for product approval in different countries.
  • By reusing the same section in every manual, they ensure that the EMC information is consistent and up to date across all products.
  • When there’s a change in EMC standards, they make the update in one place and it propagates to all manuals, saving time and reducing the risk of inconsistencies.