What is the difference between conref push and conref pull in DITA?

In DITA, “conref push” and “conref pull” are techniques used to control the direction of content reuse within topics or across topics in a DITA project. They allow a topic or document to either include content from another topic or make the topic available for inclusion elsewhere.

Conref Pull

Conref pull is the process of pulling or referencing content from another DITA topic into the current topic. It enables content reuse by incorporating content from another topic into the current topic where the reference is placed. This approach is typically used to reuse content from a centralized topic or with a parent topic containing reusable information.


A DITA topic about software installation instructions has a central topic containing generic troubleshooting steps that apply to multiple installation topics. Conref pull can be used to include those troubleshooting steps into each specific installation topic.

Conref Push

Conref push is the process of pushing content from the current topic to be reused in another topic. It enables content created in the current topic to be made available for reuse in other topics. This approach is helpful for creating content that is designed to be reused by other topics, making it a candidate for content inclusion by other topics.


A set of DITA topics for a user guide is being created, and the same introductory information needs to appear consistently in each topic. In the introductory topic, conref push can be used to define the content that should be included in other topics. This way, other topics can pull this content from the introductory topic.