The keycol and refcols attributes

The keycol and refcols attributes are used to control the way in which choicetable, simpletable and properties tables are processed to a reading format. The keycol attribute nominates which column is used for row headings, while refcols nominates which columns will be automatically linked (although this functionality is not yet implemented in all publishing tools).

The choicetable, simpletable and properties table elements have a refcols attribute and a keycol attribute.

The key column (keycol) attribute nominates which column in the table should be used for any row headings. For most publishing tools, a setting of 0 (no column is the key column) will result in all of the row content displaying in Roman text, while a setting of greater than zero will result in the corresponding column being displayed in bold (or otherwise highlighted). For example, a setting of 1 results in the first column content displaying in bold.

The cross-reference columns (refcols) attribute functions in a similar way to keycol attribute. It designates the number of the columns that contain references, with the intention that the contents of these columns will be automated linked during processing to an output format. Columns are identified by a space-delimited list of numbers. For example, a setting of 1 3 indicates that the first and third columns contain cross-reference information. The refcols attribute is not used by many, if any, publishing tools. However, it is provided in the DITA standard for possible future use.