What is the recommended structure for a DITA task topic?

A DITA task topic is a structured document that provides step-by-step instructions for completing a specific action or task. The recommended structure of a DITA task topic follows a well-defined format to ensure clarity and usability.

The recommended structure of a DITA task topic typically includes a title, task description, task body, and related tasks. Examples, tips, and notes may be included within the task body.


A concise title that describes the task to be performed. The title should be clear and specific.

Task Description

An introductory section that briefly explains the purpose and context of the task. It sets the stage for the detailed steps that follow.

Task Body

The main content area of the task topic, the <taskbody> element, contains the step-by-step instructions for completing the task. It includes prerequisites, steps, and post-conditions or results.


If there are any prerequisites or requirements that must be met before starting the task, they should be clearly stated in this section.


The core of the task topic consists of a series of individual steps. Each step provides a specific action or instruction that the user needs to follow. Steps are typically numbered or bulleted for easy reference.


After completing the task, users may need to know what to expect or verify. Post-conditions describe the expected outcome or state after the task is finished.


In some cases, it can be helpful to include an example or scenario that illustrates how the task is performed in a real-world context.

Tips and Notes

Task topics often include tips, notes, or warnings to provide additional guidance or highlight important information. These can be used to clarify steps or address common issues.

Related Tasks

If the task is part of a larger process or workflow, links or references to related tasks may be included to guide users through the complete process.

Example: DITA Task Topic

This is a simplified example of a DITA task topic for the task “Installing Software”:

        <!-- Task Topic -->
            <title>Installing Software</title>
                    <step>Download the software installer.</step>
                    <step>Run the installer and follow on-screen instructions.</step>
                    <step>Complete the installation process.</step>
                    <p>Ensure you have administrative privileges on your computer.</p>
                    <p>The software is successfully installed on your computer.</p>
                    <title>Example: Installing a Web Browser</title>
                    <p>Let's walk through the installation of a web browser as an example:</p>
                    <!-- Detailed example steps -->
                    <p>Make sure to close any other applications before starting the installation.</p>
                    <link href="updating-software.dita">Updating Software</link>
                    <link href="uninstalling-software.dita">Uninstalling Software</link>

In this example, the DITA task topic “Installing Software” follows the recommended structure, including a title, taskbody with steps, prerequisites, post-conditions, an example, a note, and related task links. This structured format makes it easy for users to follow the instructions and successfully complete the task.