Breadcrumb trails are navigation tools used in some online document formats, and can be automatically generated from DITA source.

A feature of some document delivery formats, notably Eclipse Help, is the breadcrumb trail. Breadcrumbs provide the user with the position of the currently displayed topic in the TOC hierarchy through links to parent and other ancestor topics.

Breadcrumbs are derived entirely from the TOC structure, and do not need to be separately defined in the DITA source.

Screen capture showing how TOC hierarchy is used to create a breadcrumb trail at the top of a topic

TOC hierarchy used to derive breadcrumb trail in Eclipse Help output