What is the significance of “ditaval” files in managing conditional attributes?

DITAVAL files are significant in managing conditional attributes in DITA as they allow content creators to specify which conditions should be applied or excluded during the publishing or output generation process.

Control Over Conditions

DITAVAL files serve as a critical component of DITA conditional processing. This involves control over conditions and targeted publishing.

Control Over Conditions

DITAVAL files grant authors fine-grained control over the application of conditional attributes. In DITA documentation, content often needs to be customized for different scenarios. For example, a software manual may need to include different sets of instructions for Windows and macOS users. DITAVAL files allow authors to specify which conditions should be active or inactive for each output scenario. By including or excluding specific conditions in the DITAVAL file, authors can precisely target the content that appears in the published output. This control ensures that users receive information tailored to their needs, enhancing the overall user experience.

Targeted Publishing

DITAVAL files are instrumental in achieving targeted publishing. They empower content creators to produce output that is specifically tailored to different audiences, devices, or platforms. For example, in a product documentation project, there may be conditions like props="mobile" and props="desktop". By using a DITAVAL file that references these conditions, separate outputs can be generated for mobile and desktop users. This capability is invaluable for ensuring that content is both relevant and accessible to its intended audience.


An organization is working on a DITA documentation project for a software product with two audience types: “beginner” and “advanced.” They can create a DITAVAL file that includes conditions like props="beginner" and props="advanced" to produce separate outputs for each audience. This ensures that beginner-specific content is only included in the output intended for beginners, and the same applies to the advanced audience.