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Working with DITA Maps

In the DITA standard architecture you create documents by collecting topics into maps.


A DITA map organizes a set of topics into a hierarchy. In most output formats, the structure of the map becomes the structure of the table of contents. Oxygen XML Editor provides support for creating and managing DITA maps through the DITA Maps Manager. There are also specialized types of DITA maps, such as a bookmap, which is intended for creating the structure of a book.


You do not have to create an entire publication using a single map. It is generally good practice to break up a large publication into several smaller submaps that are easier to manage. You can reuse submaps in multiple publications by including them in each of the main maps. The DITA Maps Manager provides support for easily creating and managing submaps.

Opening a DITA Map

There are several ways to open a DITA map and you can choose to open it in the DITA Maps Manager or in the XML Editor. Use any of the following methods to open a map:
  • To open a submap in its own tab in the DITA Maps Manager, simply double-click it (or right-click it and select Open).
  • To open a map in the XML editor from the DITA Maps Manager, right-click it and select Open Map in Editor.
  • Drag a DITA map file from your system browser and drop it in the XML editor. This will open the map in the editor.
  • If you open a file with the .ditamap or .bookmap extension (from the Project view or a system browser), a dialog box is opened that offers you the choice of opening it in the XML editor or in the DITA Maps Manager.
    Note: If you select the Do not show the dialog again option, it will always be opened in the method that you choose and you will not be asked in the future. However, you can reset this by selecting Always ask for the When opening a map option in the DITA preferences page.
  • To open a map in the DITA Maps Manager, you can right-click a map file in the Project view and select Open with > DITA Maps Manager.
  • If you have a DITA map file open in the XML editor, you can open it in the DITA Maps Manager by right-clicking the title tab and selecting Open in DITA Maps Manager View.

Chunking DITA Maps

By default, many output types place a single topic on each output page. In some cases you may want to output multiple topics as a single output page (also known as chunking). To support this, Oxygen XML Editor provides an Edit Properties dialog box that allows you to easily configure the attributes of a topic to control how your table of contents and topics are rendered in the output.

Validating a Map

You should validate your maps to make sure that the individual topics are valid and that the relationships between them are working. Oxygen XML Editor provides a validation function for DITA maps that performs a comprehensive validation of a map and its topics.


For more information about getting started with DITA and how to work with DITA in Oxygen XML Editor, see our compiled collection of DITA-related webinars that are meant to help you with your journey into working with DITA: Webinars: Working with DITA in Oxygen.