What considerations should be made when indexing for online vs. print DITA outputs?

When indexing for online vs. print DITA outputs, several considerations should be made to optimize the indexing experience for each medium. The choice between online and print introduces differences in user behavior, search capabilities, and presentation, necessitating tailored index strategies.

Searchability and Interactivity

Online DITA outputs often rely on search functionality, making it crucial to optimize keywords, metadata, and tags for effective search results. Users expect instant access to information through search bars and auto-suggest features. Therefore, prioritize comprehensive metadata and descriptive indexing terms. Additionally, consider including contextual links to related content for a seamless online reading experience.

Alphabetical Index for Print

In contrast, print DITA outputs, such as PDFs, benefit from traditional alphabetical indexes. Here, users rely on the index to locate specific topics or concepts efficiently. Ensure that your index entries are organized alphabetically and provide clear page references. Keep the index concise to maintain readability in a print format.


Here’s an example of how DITA indexing considerations differ for online and print outputs:

<index type="online">

<index type="print">

By adapting your indexing approach based on the output medium, you can enhance user accessibility and satisfaction, ensuring that your content is effectively indexed for both online and print audiences.