What is the impact of conditional processing in DITA on translation workflows?

Conditional processing in DITA has a significant impact on translation workflows, allowing for efficient and targeted localization. Here’s how conditional processing affects the translation process:

Content Variability

Conditional processing enables content variability within DITA documents. By using attributes like “product,” “audience,” or “platform,” you can include or exclude content based on specific criteria. This flexibility ensures that translations can be tailored to different target audiences or product versions without duplicating entire topics. For example, you can create variations of a user manual for different product models while sharing common content for translation, thus reducing redundancy.

Efficient Localization

Conditional processing streamlines the translation process by allowing you to focus on the relevant content. Translators and localization teams can work on the variations of content that apply to a particular audience or product, minimizing the risk of errors due to overlooked differences. This targeted approach not only saves time and effort but also enhances translation accuracy, especially in cases where content diverges based on conditional attributes.


Here’s an example of how conditional processing can impact translation workflows:

<topic id="product_info">
  <title>Product Information</title>
    <p>If "product" attribute is "A":
      <ph conkeyref="productA">This is information for Product A.</ph>
    <p>If "product" attribute is "B":
      <ph conkeyref="productB">This is information for Product B.</ph>

In this example, conditional processing is used to manage content variations based on the “product” attribute. This makes it efficient to provide translations for specific product information while sharing common content. Translators can work on the conkeyref references associated with their designated product, simplifying the localization process.