Glossary entry

The glossentry specialised information type was introduced to improve the glossary and terminology management.

The glossary entry (glossentry) information type is part of the DITA standard, but is not widely seen as one of the base DITA information types. Technically, it is a specialisation of the base concept information type.

Figure 1. Base and specialised information types

Schematic diagram showing base and specialised information types in DITA

The structure of glossentry is quite simple. There are two main block elements: glossterm and glossdef. The glossterm element (a specialised title) contains the name of the term, while the glossdef element (a specialised abstract) contains the definition of the term.

Just one term should be defined in one glossary entry topic.

A document's glossary of terms is created by grouping glossary entry topics in the ditamap. Except for small documents, using a separate ditamap for the glossary, and then embedding the glossary ditamap in the main map for the collection, is the architecture most easy to manage.

The linking of a term occurring in-line in a normal content topic to its relevant glossentry definition is a matter of associating the term (semantically identified in a term element) with the key reference (keyref) of the glossary topic, and relying on the publishing process to create the link.

The root element of a glossary entry topic is glossentry.