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DITA’s Advantages

DITA offers a number of advantages over tools and languages such as FrameMaker and DocBook:

  • DITA uses about half as many tags as DocBook does. The tags are easy to understand, and you’ll quickly find that you’ll use only a small percentage of them regularly.
  • Because DITA is based on XML, the source files are plain text. They can be opened in any editor and used on any operating system without a loss of formatting.
  • DITA is a good choice for single sourcing documents. Single sourcing involves identifying all the types of documents you create, and what content is shared among those documents. From there, you combine the information as needed and output it into various formats as needed. (What goes into a user manual will differ from the content of a product overview or a help system.)
  • DITA enables technical writers to manage and combine their content easily. Writers can quickly extract and combine the information they need, when they need it. For example, when building an online help system, a technical writer can simply use the DITA topics that represent procedures, leaving out any superfluous overview information.
  • DITA enables writers to reuse standard content quickly and easily. For example, the same introductions, glossaries, and "how to use this program" sorts of verbiage can be used in multiple documents.
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