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Publishing DITA Output

As a structured writing format, DITA produces structured content (content that is annotated with specific structural and semantic information rather than with formatting information). To create a publication, your DITA map and its associated topics must be processed by a transformation script. That script is responsible for how the structural and semantic information in the DITA files is converted into formatting information for display.

Oxygen XML Editor publishes DITA content to various output sources using a bundled version of the DITA Open Toolkit. The DITA-OT is an open-source publishing engine that can publish DITA content to various output sources such as XHTML, PDF, or Windows Help (CHM). Since it has a plugin-based architecture, it can be extended with extra plugins that either define new formats for conversion or customize an existing conversion format. You can run the DITA-OT from Oxygen XML Editor using a transformation scenario or you can run it directly from a command line: http://www.dita-ot.org/dev/topics/building-output.html.

The DITA-OT that comes bundled with Oxygen XML Editor contains more plugins than the standard DITA-OT that can be downloaded from their official website. For example, it contains pre-installed plugins for converting DITA content to Word, EPUB, WebHelp, or to publish to PDF using CSS to customize the output.

You can download and install extra publishing plugins either from the DITA Open Toolkit registry or from the list of free plugins on the Oxygen XML Editor GitHub account.

Warning: Keep in mind that there could be instances where there are differences between what you see in Author mode and what you see in the published output. This is typically due to certain limitations in the publishing engine, especially when the source documents contain advanced constructs such as key scopes, branch filtering, chunking, or reusing content through direct references between topics marked for publishing.