What are task topics in DITA XML?

Task topics in DITA XML are a structured way to provide step-by-step instructions for completing specific actions or tasks. These topics are essential for creating clear and actionable content, particularly in technical documentation and instructional materials. Task topics follow a consistent structure and provide detailed guidance to help users complete tasks efficiently.

Components of a Task Topic

A task topic typically consists of the following components:

  • <title>: This element specifies a descriptive title for the task, providing a clear indication of what the user will achieve.
  • <taskbody>: This element contains the main content of the task and is where you outline the steps to be performed.
  • <steps>: Within the <taskbody>, the <steps> element is used to list individual steps to be followed. Each step should be clear and concise.
  • <stepresult>: This element is used to describe the expected outcome of each step. It clarifies what the user should expect after completing a step.


Here’s an example of how to structure a task topic in DITA XML:

<task id="task_example">
  <title>Installing Software</title>
      <step>Download the software installer from the official website.</step>
      <step>Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.</step>
      <step>Complete the installation process by clicking "Finish."</step>
    <stepresult>Once the installation is complete, the software is ready to use.</stepresult>

In this example, the task topic “Installing Software” is structured with a title, a series of steps, and a step result to guide users through the installation process.