What is the role of DITA templates in guiding authors to use specialized elements?

DITA templates play a crucial role in guiding authors to use specialized elements effectively. Here’s how they fulfill this role:

Definition: DITA templates are predefined structures or patterns that authors can use as a starting point for creating content. These templates are designed to ensure consistency and best practices when using specialized elements in DITA authoring.

Conceptual Overview: DITA templates provide authors with a standardized way to use specialized elements. They offer guidance on the expected structure, content, and attributes for each element. Templates help authors understand how to incorporate specialized elements into their documents within the context of the organization’s documentation style and standards.

Coding Example in HTML:

<!-- Example DITA template for a software code example -->
  <title>Code Example</title>
  <shortdesc>Provide a brief description of the code example.</shortdesc>
    <!-- Author can insert code here -->
  <note>If any additional notes are necessary, include them here.</note>

When authors use DITA templates, they have a structured starting point for creating content with specialized elements, such as <code-example> or <warning>. These templates include placeholders, descriptions, and examples to guide authors in populating the content. Authors can then fill in the content within the template, ensuring that they follow the organization’s guidelines for using specialized elements consistently.