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Optimizing the DITA Authoring Experience - Online Course


For information about hosting a workshop, click here.

Fee: $975.00 USD

Course Type: Online

Duration: 6 weeks, 6 sessions


The DITA standard is comprised of more than 530 elements. How does an author choose the appropriate elements to use when marking up structured content? What if DITA is still missing business or industry-specific elements that you need? There are several ways to reduce the complexity of DITA element and attribute use, but which ones are most effective? Companies often use editorial style guides to help authors, but how can you consistently enforce those rules, especially with limited editorial staff?

In this workshop, you are guided through the process of customizing your authoring environment. You are given specific design guidelines, along with a wealth of real-life examples to illustrate the principles. With ample time for applying what you have learned, you will leave the workshop with the necessary tools to optimize the authoring experience for your authoring team.

Learning Objectives:

  • Create custom DTD shells and RNG patterns
  • Enforce specific element and attribute usage to meet your business needs
  • Create new information types using specialization
  • Create new DITA elements and attributes specific to your business needs
  • Simplify the amount of DITA elements and attributes available to authors
  • Create authoring templates
  • Encode authoring guidelines and automated editorial rules using Schematron
  • Create specific pick lists for authors using subjectScheme
  • Create custom filters for conditional processing using DITAVAL
  • Customize the build process for publishing
  • Implement the customizations in your authoring environment


  • Information architects
  • Content strategists
  • Information developers for both publications and training
  • IT professionals
  • Tools specialists

Note: This is a detailed, technical course. Participants will be expected to program DTDs and work with XPath expressions.

Program Format:

  • Course is delivered using a live, interactive virtual online classroom, providing an environment for optimal learning.
  • 6 sessions once per week
  • Sessions are 2 hours in length
  • Approximately 30% of session time is devoted to overviews and theory, with the remainder of the time spent demonstrating the programming required.
  • Each session will end with a homework assignment to be completed prior to the next session. Participants are welcome to email instructors with questions and may chat directly with instructors during given office hours. Homework will be quickly reviewed at the beginning of the next session. The last session’s homework will be reviewed in a final office hours offering. Solutions to all assignments will be provided electronically.
  • Participants may work in any authoring tool, but examples within the course sessions will be done in oXygen, outside of a CMS.

Click here to review the course outline.

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