The linking attribute

The linking attribute of the topicref and relcell elements in the ditamap is used to specify the way in which links are generated during publishing.

The topicref element (in the hierarchy section of the ditamap) and the relcolspec and relcell elements (in the reltable section of the ditamap) have a linking attribute. This attribute allows fine-tuning of the way in which links are automatically generated in the output publication.

The linking attribute values are:
A topic can only be linked to and cannot link to other topics.
A topic cannot be linked to but can link to other topics.
A topic can be linked to and can link to other topics. Use this to override the linking value of a parent topic.
A topic cannot be linked to or link to other topics.

Example syntax: <topicref href="abc.dita" linking="sourceonly" />

An example of the use of the linking attribute is in the case where you don't want the links to the parent topic to appear in each child topic. By setting the parent topic's linking attribute to sourceonly, the output result will show links from the parent to child topics, but not from child topics to the parent.

Similarly, if you did not want a particular branch of the ditamap hierarchy to have any generated links, you could set the parent topicref's linking attribute to none.