What Is DITA?
The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is an XML-based standard that allows you to separate content creation from layout, allowing the system to process and organize content in appropriate sections across multiple documents with minimal calls.
At Antenna House, our Formatter solution for creating PDFs from DITA content can repeatedly use the same piece or selection of content in many different documents — but you only need to write it once. The DITA XML format allows businesses all around the world to automate more of their document creation by using function calls instead of repeatedly building and filling text elements on each individual page.
Consider the warnings or disclaimers that are common for your industry. DITA editors and systems would allow you to create these disclaimers and save then with a “Disclaimer” topic. From there, you’ll only need to call for these topics in the place your documents need the disclaimer. DITA automates the insertion and your Antenna House Formatter will ensure that it’s properly displayed across every document.
How Can DITA Help My Business?
The top benefits for using DITA authoring tools are the reduction in human error and faster creation of your documentation.
By using topics to call for standard content and boilerplate, you can mitigate human error that’s common with retyping sections or using the Copy-and-Paste commands. You don’t have to worry about missing sections, mistyped words that change the meaning of your content, or the forgetfulness that sometimes leaves disclaimers off important pages.
By automating these processes, you’ll also reduce the time it takes to create and format your documents. The writer no longer has to worry about crafting the same sections repeatedly, and the designer is the sole person who works with layout and structure.
You can also insert videos, logos, and other files simply by inserting them as a reference. DITA also allows for complex topics, such as specifying the title, lists, sections, and results of a task. DITA will enforce these requirements.
Why Should You Choose PDF5-ML Over PDF2?
The DITA Open Toolkit is compatible with Antenna House’s PDF5-ML plug-in, which facilitates businesses in converting DITA documents into XSL-FO and generates a PDF file. The PDF5-ML plug-in works with the DITA Open Toolkit version 1.6.3 or later and uses the Antenna House Formatter for generating your PDF file. The PDF5-ML plugin allows for precise control over your style definition while making variables easier to understand. It also has the ability to dynamically apply a new style through a function call.
PDF5-ML replaces the standard PDF2 when producing XSL-FO files. It offers a wide range of benefits over the commonplace PDF2. Top benefits of PDF5-ML include:
- Changing output styles without changing the code of a style sheet.
- Integrating with I18N Index Library and indexing for 31 languages.
- Reducing the number of steps to produce XSL-FO or PDF documents.
- Customizing style properties by creating easier-to-read variable names for each project.
You can obtain the free PDF5-ML plugin through our verified GitHub download page.
By working with the DITA Open Toolkit, the Antenna House Formatter and its range of DITA tools offer the comprehensive style sheet and document formatting support you’ll need. Contact our team today to learn more.