Working with DITA Maps

In the DITA standard architecture you create documents by collecting topics into maps.

DITA Maps

A DITA map organizes a set of topics into a hierarchy. In most output formats, the structure of the map becomes the structure of the table of contents. Oxygen XML Author plugin provides support for creating and managing DITA maps through the DITA Maps Manager. There are also specialized types of DITA maps, such as a bookmap, which is intended for creating the structure of a book.

Submaps

You do not have to create an entire publication using a single map. It is generally good practice to break up a large publication into several smaller submaps that are easier to manage. You can reuse submaps in multiple publications by including them in each of the main maps. The DITA Maps Manager provides support for easily creating and managing submaps.

Opening a DITA Map

There are several ways to open a DITA map and you can choose to open it in the DITA Maps Manager or in the XML Editor. Use any of the following methods to open a map:
  • To open a submap in its own tab in the DITA Maps Manager, simply double-click it (or right-click it and select Open).
  • To open a map in the XML editor from the DITA Maps Manager, right-click it and select Open Map in Editor.
  • Drag a DITA map file from your system browser and drop it in the XML editor. This will open the map in the editor.
  • To open a map in the DITA Maps Manager, you can right-click a map file in the Navigator view and select Open in DITA Maps Manager.

Chunking DITA Maps

By default, many output types place a single topic on each output page. In some cases you may want to output multiple topics as a single output page (also known as chunking). To support this, Oxygen XML Author plugin provides an Edit Properties dialog box that allows you to easily configure the attributes of a topic to control how your table of contents and topics are rendered in the output.

Validating a Map

You should validate your maps to make sure that the individual topics are valid and that the relationships between them are working. Oxygen XML Author plugin provides a validation function for DITA maps that performs a comprehensive validation of a map and its topics.

For more information about DITA editing, watch our video demonstration: