What is the purpose of the <note> element in DITA?

In DITA, the <note> element is used to provide additional information or explanations in a document. It serves as a way to include notes, comments, warnings, or other informative content within the structured documentation.

The <note> element allows authors to insert content that supplements the main text. It is often used for purposes including:

  • Explanatory Notes: To provide further explanations about a topic.
  • Comments: For author or reviewer comments on specific content.
  • Warnings: To alert readers about potential issues or risks.
  • Tips: For offering helpful suggestions or best practices.

The <note> element is typically used within DITA topics to mark the content as a note or subtype of a note. The type of note can be specified using the @type attribute. Common values for the @type attribute include “note,” “comment,” “tip,” “warning,” and more.


The <note> element can be used within a DITA topic to insert a warning, like so:

<p>This is some important information that requires further clarification.</p>
<note type="warning">
  <p>It's crucial to follow these instructions carefully to avoid errors.</p>
<p>Continuing with the main content.</p>

In this example, a warning note is included to emphasize the importance of following specific instructions. The @type attribute specifies that it is a warning note. The content within the <note> element provides the additional information or warning message.