What is the difference between a title and a caption in DITA tables?

Titles and captions serve different purposes in DITA tables. A title provides a brief identifier for the table, while a caption offers more detailed context or explanations.

A table title is a concise label or identifier for the table. It’s typically placed above the table and is used to give readers a quick idea of what the table represents or contains. Titles are often short and to the point, providing a summary of the table’s content. Titles are most useful when a brief description is sufficient to convey the table’s purpose.

A table caption is a more detailed piece of text that appears below the table. Unlike a title, captions provide additional context or explanations about the table’s content. They can be longer and more descriptive, making them ideal for offering detailed information that complements the table. Captions are helpful when the table’s content is complex and requires further clarification.


          <title>Product Comparison</title>
          <caption>A comparison of features in different product versions.</caption>
          <tgroup cols="3">
            <!-- Table content -->

In this example, “Product Comparison” serves as the table’s title, giving a brief identifier for the table. The caption “A comparison of features in different product versions” provides a more detailed explanation of what the table contains. The title briefly identifies the table, while the caption offers context, making it clear what the comparison involves.