What is the root element of a DITA XML document?

The root element of a DITA topic is the highest-level element that defines the beginning of a DITA topic document. In DITA, topics serve as self-contained units of information, each focusing on a specific subject or task. The root element encapsulates the entire content of the topic and provides essential information about the topic, such as its identifier.

In DITA, content is organized into discrete topics, each of which represents a specific piece of information, instruction, or topic of discussion. The root element is the first element in a DITA topic and defines the topic’s boundaries. It typically includes attributes like “id” to provide a unique identifier for the topic.

In a DITA topic, the root element serves as the container for all the content within that topic. It defines the topic’s type and provides a unique identifier for the topic. The specific element name for the root element can vary depending on the DITA specialization or document type being used.

Here’s an example of a DITA topic with its root element:

<topic id="sample-topic">
    <!-- Content of the DITA topic goes here -->

In this example:

  • <topic> is the root element of the DITA topic.
  • id=”sample-topic” is an attribute that provides a unique identifier for the topic. The value “sample-topic” is used here as an example; in practice, this identifier should be unique to the topic.
  • The content of the DITA topic, including the title, body content, metadata, and any specialized elements, is contained within the <topic> element.