Customizing Profiling Values with a Subject Scheme Map

A subject scheme map allows you to create and manage custom profiling values in DITA documents without having to write a DITA specialization. Ultimately, this allows you to filter and flag content in Author mode or in transformed output.

Advantages of Using a Subject Scheme Map

The advantages of using a subject scheme to control profiling attribute values include:
  • You can create a hierarchy of profiling attribute values and use a DITAVAL file to filter or flag the tree of values.
  • You can share the subject scheme files with others without having to share preferences or the entire project.
  • The subject scheme offers validation support so you are notified if an undefined value is used.


Subject scheme maps use key definitions to define a collection of profiling values. You can also use subject scheme maps to filter out (reject) the values for certain attributes so that you only see the attributes or values that you want to use in Author mode or the transformed output.

The highest level of map (main DITA map) that uses the set of profiling values must reference the subject scheme map where the profiling values are defined and the type attribute needs to be set to subjectScheme for the reference, as in the following example:
<topicref href="test.ditamap" format="ditamap" type="subjectScheme"/>

Creating a Subject Scheme Map

To create and configure a subject scheme map, follow this procedure:
  1. Use the New Document wizard to create a new Subject Scheme document (New from Templates > Framework templates > DITA Map > map > Subject Scheme).
  2. Use the controls in Author mode to define the hierarchical tree of values for your subject scheme (see the Author mode example below) or switch to Text mode and define it there if you prefer (see the Text mode example below).
    Note: The pre-defined subject scheme template includes Navigation Titles (navtitle element). This element is not required, but if you use it, the text that you enter for the navtitle will be used (instead of the name of the value) in the various places where profiling attributes are presented in Oxygen XML Editor plugin. An example of when this might be helpful is if you want to use abbreviations for the name of a value, but you want to see its full name in Oxygen XML Editor plugin.
  3. Bind the particular attribute to the key you define for the tree of values. Notice that in the examples below, the audience attribute is bound to the audienceKey value.
  4. If you want to filter out (reject) values for certain attributes, bind the attributes to a blank value (as you see for the props and otherprops attributes in the examples below). This means that those attributes will not appear in the various places where profiling attributes are presented in Oxygen XML Editor plugin.
  5. Save your subject scheme file.
  6. Reference your subject scheme in the highest level of map (main DITA map) that will use the set of profiling values and set its type to subjectScheme. The easiest way to do this is:
    1. With your subject scheme file opened in the editor, go to the DITA Maps Manager view, right-click the main DITA map, and select Append Child > Reference to the currently edited file.
    2. In the Insert Topic Reference dialog box, go to the Attributes tab and in the Type field, enter or select subjectScheme.
    3. Click the Insert and Close button and save your main DITA map.

Using a Subject Scheme in Conjunction with a DITAVAL File

You can use a subject scheme to customize a hierarchy of profiling attribute values and then use it in conjunction with a DITAVAL file to filter or flag the entire tree of values. For example, suppose one of the values for the audience attribute in a hierarchical subject scheme is surgeon and it has two subordinate values of neuro-surgeon and plastic-surgeon (see the examples below). You could create a DITAVAL file with the following content:
     <prop action="exclude" att="audience" val="surgeon"/>

That DITAVAL file could then be used for a condition set to filter content in Author mode or during the transformation stage to filter content in the output and the neuro-surgeon and plastic-surgeon values would be excluded by the filter since the subject scheme defines them as subordinate values of the surgeon value.

Example: Subject Scheme Map that Defines Custom Values for the Audience Attribute

This example uses typical audience values for medical personnel (therapist, oncologist, physicist, radiologist, surgeon, and so on). The audience attribute is bound to the audienceKey value (which defines the tree of values). You can also see that it filters out all possible values for other attributes (props and otherprops) so that they won't be available in the various places where profiling attributes are presented in Oxygen XML Editor plugin.

Example using Author mode controls:

Figure: Subject Scheme Author Mode Controls

Example code in Text mode:
  <!-- A scheme that defines audience user values -->
  <subjectdef keys="audienceKey">
    <subjectdef keys="therapist"/>
    <subjectdef keys="oncologist"/>
    <subjectdef keys="physicist"/>
    <subjectdef keys="radiologist"/>
    <subjectdef keys="surgeon">
      <subjectdef keys="neuro-surgeon"/>
      <subjectdef keys="plastic-surgeon"/>
  <!-- Binding the audience attribute to the values defined in the key -->
    <attributedef name="audience"/>
    <subjectdef keyref="audienceKey"/>

  <!--Reject all possible values for other profiling attributes-->
    <attributedef name="props"/>
    <attributedef name="otherprops"/>

Where the Profiling Attributes are Available in Oxygen XML Editor plugin

When you edit a DITA topic in the Text or Author mode, Oxygen XML Editor plugin collects all the profiling values from the subject scheme map that is referenced in the map that is currently opened in the DITA Maps Manager (or set as the root map). The values of profiling attributes defined in a Subject Scheme Map are available in the following places in Oxygen XML Editor plugin (regardless of their mapping in the Profiling/Conditional Text preferences page):

More Details

For more details about hierarchical filtering, defining controlled values, and using subject scheme maps, refer to the following resources: