What tools and techniques are commonly used to create an index in DITA?

Creating an index in DITA documentation involves using specific tools and techniques to streamline the process and ensure the index is effective and user-friendly. These tools and techniques are essential for efficiently associating terms with content and organizing the index entries.

XML Editors

XML editors with DITA support are commonly used to create an index. These editors provide a user-friendly interface for creating and managing DITA documents, including index entries. They offer features for inserting and formatting index entries, making it easier to associate terms with content and structure the index.

DITA Indexing Elements

DITA XML provides dedicated elements for indexing, such as <index> and <entry>. These elements are used to define the structure of the index and associate terms with content. By using DITA’s native indexing elements, you can ensure that your index is compliant with DITA standards and can be seamlessly integrated into your documentation.

Indexing Plugins and Tools

Various plugins and tools are available that can enhance the indexing process in DITA documentation. These tools may offer advanced features like automatic indexing, keyword extraction, and batch processing. They can significantly streamline the creation and maintenance of indexes in large documentation sets.


Here’s an example illustrating the use of XML editors and DITA indexing elements to create an index:

  <entry term="Keyword 1" loc="ch01_topic1.html" />
  <entry term="Concept 2" loc="ch02_topic2.html" />
  <entry term="Troubleshooting" loc="ch03_topic3.html" />
  <entry term="Guide" loc="ch04_topic4.html" />
  <entry term="FAQs" loc="ch05_topic5.html" />

In this example, an XML editor with DITA support is used to create the index. The <index> element defines the index structure, while the <entry> elements associate key terms with their respective content locations (loc).