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One of the major advantages of using a structured standard like DITA XML is that it gives you a great deal of flexibility to reuse content. When information is broken down into small chunks and kept unformatted, you can assemble individual modules and publish them in any style to any device you want.


For documentation managers, reusing modular materials from a single source repository means less duplication and less maintenance. When content changes, it’s automatically updated everywhere it is used. Localizing content is faster and less expensive when you only translate content that has changed, not entire documents.

DITA uses Maps to link individual topics, images and media together and create books, web pages, online help and smartphone apps. The DITA specification includes specialized map types for creating printed publications (Book Maps) and instruction and assessment tools (Learning maps). Style sheets automatically optimize the output for printing, or screen display on desktop systems, smartphones, or tablets.

Creating a map is easy in easyDITA. Simply select Map in the Create New drop-down menu.

In the Map Editor, search for and drag the content you want into the window on the left. Once elements are in the map, you can rearrange the order they’re in and delete ones you no longer want.

map-editorThe system manages all the links and interdependencies automatically; you can move and rename files without breaking links and content references.

When you include one map inside another you create a “map tree.” If you want easyDITA to ignore links to topics that are not in the map tree, you can.

Other ways to define links are explored in other posts in this series:


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