What considerations are made for content flow in DITA pagination?

In DITA pagination, considerations for content flow play a significant role in ensuring that the printed output is structured logically and comprehensible. Content flow in DITA pagination is essential for creating well-structured and readable printed documents.

Considerations for content flow include having a logical sequence, using page breaks, section headings, cross-references, tables and figures, and pagination settings.

  • Logical Sequence: Ensuring that content flows logically from one topic to the next. This means that when topics are assembled into a printed document, they should follow a coherent sequence that is easy for readers to understand.
  • Page Breaks: Managing page breaks appropriately to avoid splitting content that should be together or leaving too much empty space at the bottom of pages. Page breaks should align with the document’s structure and not disrupt the flow of information.
  • Section Headings: Clear and consistent section headings are crucial for signaling changes in topics or subtopics. These headings help readers navigate the document and understand the context.
  • Cross-References: Ensuring that cross-references within the document are intelligible and do not reference content that appears on a different page or is hard to locate. Properly handled cross-references enhance content flow.
  • Tables and Figures: Placing tables, figures, and other visual elements close to the relevant text is important. This keeps the visual content within the appropriate context and improves comprehension.
  • Pagination Settings: Configuring pagination settings to control where and how content appears on pages. These settings can affect page margins, spacing, and the placement of headers and footers.


An organization creating a user manual for a software product using DITA addresses the considerations for content pagination as follows:

Logical Sequence: Topics are organized logically, starting with an introduction, followed by installation instructions, usage guides, troubleshooting, and a conclusion.

Page Breaks: Page breaks are configured to ensure that major sections or chapters start on a new page. Smaller breaks within sections are managed to avoid awkwardly split paragraphs or misplaced headings.

Section Headings: Each section or chapter begins with a clear and consistent heading. For example:

Chapter 1: Introduction

Cross-References: Cross-references are used when referencing content in other parts of the manual. These references are designed to guide the reader to the correct page or section where the referenced information is located.

Tables and Figures: Tables and figures are placed as close as possible to the relevant text. For example, if a section explains a software interface, screenshots or diagrams are positioned near the text that references them.

Pagination Settings: Pagination settings are adjusted to provide consistent margins, spacing, and header/footer placement throughout the document. These settings ensure a polished and professional look.