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When organizations decide to use DITA for structuring, developing, managing, or publishing content, they usually already have content written in other formats and need to convert it to DITA. There are a variety of possibilities for a conversion to DITA, depending on the original format of the content.

Migration from other formats to DITA is rarely perfect and manual changes may need to be made to the converted content, but the methods described below should help you find the best approach for your particular case.

Migrating Microsoft Office and Other Similar Types of Documents to DITA

There are various possibilities for migrating content from Microsoft Office® (and other Office-type formats) to DITA. For details, see Migrating MS Office Documents to DITA.

Migrating DocBook Content to DITA.

Since DocBook content is already in XML format, migrating it to DITA is more straight forward than with other non-XML formats:
  1. Convert the DocBook content to a single large DITA composite file by performing a batch transformation on all the DocBook documents:
    1. Select all the DocBook documents in the Project view.
    2. Right-click the selected files and choose Transform > Configure Transformation Scenario(s).
    3. Apply the built-in transformation scenario called DocBook to DITA.
  2. You may need to make some manual adjustments in the resulting documents for elements that couldn't be mapped.
Tip: There is also a utility XSLT stylesheet available on the Oxygen XML GitHub account that can be used convert a DITA composite file to a DITA map with separate DITA topic files. It can be found here: https://github.com/oxygenxml/old-userguide-docbookbased/blob/master/split-DITA-topic.xsl.

Migrating Google Docs to DITA

There are several possibilities to convert Google Docs to DITA:
  • Copy the content from Google Docs and paste it in an opened DITA topic in Author mode. The Smart Paste functionality will attempt to convert the content to DITA.
  • Save the Google document as OpenDocumentFormat (ODF), then open it in the free LibreOffice application and save it as DocBook. Next, open the DocBook document in Oxygen XML Editor and run the built-in transformation scenario called DocBook to DITA.
  • If you want to convert multiple Google documents at once, save the documents as HTML, then use Oxygen's Batch Converter add-on to convert the documents to DITA.

In all cases, you may need to make some manual adjustments in the resulting documents for elements that couldn't be mapped.

Migrating Markdown Content to DITA

There are several possibilities to convert Markdown content to DITA:
  • The DITA Open Toolkit publishing engine bundled with Oxygen XML Editor allows you to reference Markdown files directly in a DITA map and either publish them directly or export the Markdown files to DITA one by one. For details, see Working with Markdown Documents in DITA.
  • If you want to convert multiple Markdown files at once, you can use Oxygen's Batch Converter add-on to convert the documents to DITA.

Migrating HTML Content to DITA

There are several possibilities to convert HTML content to DITA:

Migrating Unstructured FrameMaker to DITA

There is a FrameMaker plugin that can be used for this type of conversion: http://leximation.com/tools/info/fm2dita.php.

Migrating MadCap Content to DITA

Some recent MadCap versions seem to have facilities to export content directly to DITA. Otherwise, you will need to convert XHTML content to DITA with a custom XSLT stylesheet to preserve variable references.

Migrating Other Formats to DITA

You may find third-party applications (such as Pandoc) that can convert your content to HTML or to some kind of XML format like DocBook. Once you have HTML or DocBook content, you can convert them to DITA using one of the methods described above.