The DITA publishing process

XSL-T and XSL-FO are the technologies that underpin most DITA publishing tools.

DITA content can be published to a range of output reading formats using a number of tools. The publishing tools, or DITA processors, use a number of different technologies.

The majority of processors use two key technologies:
to transform DITA into another mark-up language, including HTML and DocBook
an XML formatting language used as an intermediary format when DITA is processed to a page layout format such as PDF and RTF

The processing involves a number of steps that interpret ditamaps, resolve conref transclusion elements, resolve cross-references, apply formatting numbering and labels, and map DITA elements to output format elements.

Figure 1 shows an overview of the tools and upper-level processes involved in converting DITA to PDF.

Figure 1. Overview of typical DITA transformation to PDF

Schematic showing processes involved in transforming DITA to PDF