What components are typically found in a DITA task topic?

A DITA task topic is a specialized topic type used for providing step-by-step instructions to perform a specific action or task. Task topics are designed to guide users through procedures and are commonly structured with specific components.

The major components of a task topic include, but are not limited to, the <task>, <title>, <taskbody>, <steps>, <step>, <preconditions>, <postconditions>, <result>, <note>, and <example> elements.

<task> Element: The top-level element that defines the entire task topic. It encapsulates the task content.

<title> Element: Specifies the title or heading of the task topic. The title should succinctly describe the task to be performed.

<taskbody> Element: This container element houses the main content of the task topic. It encapsulates the steps, prerequisites, post-requisites, and other relevant information.

<steps> Element: A container for organizing the individual steps of the task. Each step is typically represented by a <step> element.

<step> Element: Represents a single step of the task. It contains the specific action the user needs to take and may include additional information such as sub-steps, conditions, or notes.

<preconditions> Element: Optionally used to specify any conditions or requirements that must be met before the task can be performed.

<postconditions> Element: Optionally used to describe any expected outcomes or results after the task is completed.

<result> Element: Optionally used to provide additional information about the expected result of the task.

<note> Element: Optionally used to include additional notes, tips, warnings, or explanations related to a step or the entire task.

<example> Element: Optionally used to illustrate a step with an example, such as a code snippet or screenshot.

Here is an example of how a DITA task topic is structured:

    <title>Installing Software</title>
            <p>Ensure you have administrative privileges on your computer.</p>
            <step>Download the software installer.</step>
            <step>Run the installer and follow on-screen instructions.</step>
            <step>Complete the installation process.</step>
            <p>The software is successfully installed on your computer.</p>
            <p>If you encounter any issues during installation, refer to the troubleshooting section.</p>

In this example:

<task> defines the task topic about “Installing Software.”

<title> provides the title of the task.

<taskbody> encapsulates the entire task content.

<preconditions> specify the requirement of having administrative privileges.

<steps> contain three individual steps for installing the software.

<postconditions> describe the expected outcome of successful installation.

<note> offers additional guidance for troubleshooting, if needed.