Technical Writing How to Write Using DITAXML

How to Become a Modern and Successful Technical Writer Using DITA XML
Technical Writing How to Write Using DITAXML
File Size :
5.32 GB
Total length :
9h 43m



JPDocu School of Technical Writing


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Technical Writing How to Write Using DITAXML

What you’ll learn

Learn to write using DITA XML topics and maps
Produce documentation deliverables using Oxygen XML Author tool
Reuse on maps level (mapref), topic level (topicref), topic element level (conref) and table rows (conref – conrefend)
Personalized user guides based on the same DITA content using profiling (conditioning) of content
Create interactive images and create image maps
How to configure and customize your DITA HTML output

Technical Writing How to Write Using DITAXML


You need a PC or a laptop where to install the needed software an follow the exercises in the course
This course is not suitable for use on a mobile device or tablet
Basic knowledge in technical writing is recommended


Do you want to learn how to write structured documentation using DITA XML? If yes, I can help!My name is Jordan Stanchev. I have built my career in the field of technical communications over the last 20 years.Starting off as a Java developer, I have then become a senior technical writer and had built a career as a DITA information architect.I have written thousands of pages of software documentation guides for administrators and for developers. The software products I have worked on are in the field of security, messaging services, and development infrastructure (such as GitHub and SAP NWDI). Today, I am a part of the team that leads the development of DITA XML-based infrastructure projects. The technical writers’ community we serve is more than 1000 authors. I also chair the experts’ group of our nearly 300 people strong group of DITA information architects in a Fortune 100 company – SAP SE.  I constantly have to write software development specifications and project documentation, in addition to the user guide.What can I say, I have vast experience to share in structured writing and information architecture using DITA XML. And this is what I focus on in this course. Based on my experience, what I can tell you, is that for a modern technical writer looking to build his or her career in the field of technical communications, knowing DITA XML simply is a must!You wouldn’t believe how often I hear back from my students about how the knowledge from this course is what made the breakthrough in their DITA technical writer job interview and helped them advance their careers! To achieve the ultimate career goal, all you do need is to learn writing using DITA!Knowledge of DITA is relevant for you if you are involved in any way with software documentation as a:technical writer; information architect;people manager, managing technical writers in the team;user experience designer;business analyst;project manager;The course ‘How to Write Using DITA XML” is designed for intermediate to advanced-level technical writers who want to deep dive into the capabilities offered by DITA, create complex and personalized user guides, and deliver this single-sourced output using the Oxygen Author tool into various delivery channels.  It is based on the online DITA XML training I’ve been providing to my students at the university.WARNING: It will take you around 8-10 hours from the start of this course just to go through this material! It comes with lots of various hands-on exercises, examples, and advice based on my practice. I recommend that you take one section a day at most, to avoid being overwhelmed and manage to perform each exercise described.The course further deep dive and elaborate the basic concepts and knowledge introduced with the course ‘A Quick Start to Technical Writing with DITA’  and then provides more advanced details and strategies such as reuse of content and personalization of content based on profiling strategy.Note: If you are looking for a quick start into DITA, consider the basic DITA course ‘A Quick Start to Technical Writing with DITA’, which is for technical communicators, that are not yet familiar with DITA. How much time does the course take? In short:Section 1: Introduction – 70 minSection 2: 5 Quick Steps to Writing in DITA XML – 50 minSection 3: DITA Elements – 25 minSection 4: Reusing Content in DITA – 50 minSection 5: Profiling (conditioning) Content in DITA – 60 minSection 6: Information Architecture for Technical Communicators – 50 minSection 7: Information Architecture for DITA Authors – 90 minSection 8: How to Create Interactive Images in DITA – 80 minSection 9: Linking in DITA – 77 minSection 10: Customizing DITA XML Output – 60 minWhat will you learn?Section 1: Introduction – 70 minBy the end of this section you will be able to explain:- What is DITA;- What are the benefits of writing software documentation using DITA;Just spelling out the benefits of writing in DITA takes a lot of time! There are so many reasons why DITA is getting more and more popular. Today you cannot be a modern technical writer if you do not know how to write software documentation using DITA XML! It’s the de facto standard XML for writing! You must know and spell out the benefits of DITA, and be sure, on a job interview you will be asked why DITA is so important. Just to name a few: – Based on common information types.- It implies strict rules for writing, no matter who the technical writer is!- Content is modularized and reusable.- Automatically generated various outputs from the same DITA source;- Content can be personalized, and so on.Section 2: 5 Quick Steps to Writing in DITA XML – 50 minBy the end of this section you will be able to:- Apply the 5 steps for creating the content of a user guide;- Explain what is a DITA map;- Create the 3 most frequently used DITA topics types: Task, Concept, and Reference;- Create DITA maps;- Reference topics in a map to construct a deliverable (user guide) using Oxygen XML Author;Writing in DITA is easy. Do not let the diversity in tags and the huge number of DITA capabilities confuse you. All you need to write your first guide is a strategy (what you want to deliver) and a set of simple steps to follow to construct your guide (explained in this section of the course)!Section 3: DITA Elements – 25 minBy the end of this section you will be able to:- Name the most commonly used DITA topic elements (DITA tags); – Describe a strategy for using topic elements in the context of a specific topic;- Open, search through, and select the needed topic elements in a topic;- Use the list of topic elements in the context of a Task topic;DITA comes with a huge number of tags to use. With them comes great flexibility for writing content. But where do you start? And which elements are a “must-know” vs. “optional-to-know”? This is what you will learn in this section to get a steady start with your content. Section 4: Reusing Content in DITA – 50 minBy the end of this section you will be able to:- Describe the benefits of reuse;- Reuse content on map level (mapref);- Reuse content on topic level (topicref);- Reuse content on a topic element level (conref);- Reuse entire table rows (conref – conrefend);Reuse of content on all these levels allows you to dramatically reduce the time you have to spend writing documentation. This is one of the most important benefits of DITA.  Allow me to give you an example: you can use reuse on the topic element level to define the name of your software product as a reusable topic element. You then use this element across your entire document. Later on, when the product name changes, you update the value of the reusable topic element and it gets automatically updated in all occurrences in each and every document! Compare this to the time it takes you to search and replace a product name in a Word document or Wiki page! Section 5: Profiling (conditioning) Content in DITA – 60 minBy the end of this section you will be able to:- Describe the benefits of using profiling in your content;- Profile content on map level;- Profile content on a topic level;- Profile content on a topic element level;- Profile table rows;Today everyone talks about the personalization of the user experience with the software. How about the personalization of the user experience with the software documentation? The profiling functionality allows you to personalize the content for your target audience, without disrupting the authoring process. The personalized end-user guide is automatically generated in the end, based on the rules set by the author. Something that is close to impossible for any non-structured way of writing content in DITA happens in a few clicks! Section 6: Information Architecture for Technical Communicators – 50 minBy the end of this section you will be able to explain:- What is information architecture?- Who is an information architect?- What to consider to become an efficient information architect?As of this section, we are raising the stakes! This course is not only for people who want to learn to write in DITA but also for those of you who want to grow in your careers. What’s the name of the next level in technical writing? It’s called “information architecture”. But what is information architecture? What are you supposed to start doing today, to become an information architect? That is what is explained in this section. Information architects possess a higher level, broader, and more holistic view of the content creation process. You are no longer focused on the neatly greedy details of the single-user guide. Instead, you look at the big picture, where and how your content is organized, and how it fits the end-to-end customer experience.  In this section, you will learn the basics of information architecture, and open the gates to the next stage in your career as a technical writer. Section 7: Information Architecture for DITA Authors – 90 minBy the end of this section you will be able to explain:- How to govern the usage of profiling values by technical writers in the scope of a dedicated DITA map- What are DITA subject scheme mapsIn this section, I am touching upon an aspect not realized by many technical writers. Usually, that is the difference between being a technical writer and being an information architect in DITA. I will explain how to use DITA to control how different authors can profile content in your map, reducing profiling mistakes and ensuring a better quality of the finally produced personalized documentation. Section 8: How to Create Interactive Images in DITA – 80 minBy the end of this section you will be able to:- Describe the rules for using images in technical writing;- Name the tools to use for creating graphics;- Explain what are interactive graphics  and image maps in DITA;- Describe the benefits of using interactive graphics;  – Create an image map for an image in your documentation;Section 9: Linking in DITA – 77 minDITA XML comes with great functionality that can help the technical writer and information developer to organize the documentation in an optimal way. Any proficient technical writer will tell you that you must create and insert links to external content, such as websites, but also to reference other topics from your DITA map to have a documentation deliverable that provides excellent navigation capabilities for your readers. But does it mean you need to waste your time to manually craft and then maintain these links? As a technical writer focused on delivering the best possible information to your readers, your time is precious! Maintaining links instead of providing valuable instructions and content for your readers is not what you should do! How can DITA help you with that?!You will be surprised to find out how many technical writers do not even know that DITA XML supports automatically generated links. All you need to do is to activate the desired linking option and your links will appear automatically in the generated output!And it gets even better, the links will appear only when there is a valid linking target! What are the benefits for you then? Obviously:Less time you waste on inserting links. Fewer chances to have a broken link in the documentation – leading to higher content quality!Better consistency of the links – you choose a linking strategy and the links appear in a consistent style across your entire documentation deliverable. More time for you to focus on what matters most – high-quality information delivered to end-users!This is what you will gain once you learn how to use linking in DITA XML!In this course, we will cover the following subjects:Manually Created LinksYou will learn how to create a link to:a web sitea resourceanother DITA topicbetween sections on one and the same topic!Automatically Generated LinksYou will learn how to set up and trigger the automatic generation of links using the collection-type attribute. You will learn to create links of type:choicefamilysequenceThese are the subjects we will cover in this section, each of them accompanied by demos and exercises that you can perform using the Oxygen XML Author editor. Section 10: Customizing DITA XML Output – 60 minBy the end of this section, you will be able to:- Configure the look and feel of your HTML output, based on pre-defined (but, yet, customizable!) HTML output Why DITA?Structured writing in DITA XML is an advanced discipline for technical writers. You can find many authors with decent language and writing skills. But you already know that technical writing is so much more than just written text with no spelling mistakes, isn’t it? If you need your technical writers to:- Strictly follow your company or industry writing guidelines;- Be able to spend less time on the maintenance of old documentation and spend more time on value-added activities for the customer;- Offer information that can be reused on all levels – entire guides, chapters, topics, sentences, or even single words;- Maintain a very high content quality standard  with no broken links and missing content;- Produce as many different output formats as your customer needs – all from the same content- Use metadata to classify the content that was written and offer it for automated forms of information consumption;then most probably you are already evaluating DITA as an option for writing. DITA already offers all listed functionality and even more! Being a technical writer who knows how to use DITA can open the doors for you to start a career in some of the greatest IT companies in the world!Companies Using DITAHere are just a couple of company names that write their documentation using DITA XML:- Apple- IBM (they invented DITA, after all!)- Google- VMware- SAP SE and hundreds of other companies, many of which are in the IT and software development industry!What students are saying?”I value the comprehensive training, challenging practice assignments, and a variety of techniques used to improve and inform my writing!”- Devon Apple, Web Developer”If you want to know how to write using DITA go and check this course! The lecturer provides great explanations and tutorials, which are really helpful in practice.” – Karina Delcheva, Technical Writer”Very good and comprehensible introduction to the world of DITA and XML Author software. I would highly recommend this course for everyone who wishes to quickly understand the subject and start using it…”- Boris, a University studentIf you are looking for a way to advance in your career as a DITA technical writer, this is your course! I am sure that you’ve already seen just by searching Google, that a course like this costs way above 1000$ and takes at least a week of physical and/or online presence, travel expenses, and… usually does not even cover half of the material I present here! Thanks to Udemy’s policy for delivering the best courses to as many people as possible, we’ve managed to reduce the cost to only 199$, only here on Udemy! The course still comes with an interactive and community part – you will get access to a closed learning community on our JPDocu Learning Facebook page. You will have the chance to get in contact directly with the trainer of this course and receive personalized feedback on questions you may have about using DITA.You will get an invaluable certificate upon the successful completion of this course, that you can put on your CV, or share on Facebook and LinkedIn – do not underestimate the importance of this certificate – without it, you most probably will never make it on the shortlist for the job interview of your dream job!And maybe the most important part, which will allow you not only to get to but also to break through a job interview – your own work that you can use to demonstrate what you have learned and how you applied DITA to produce documentation!Enroll now and see how simple and beneficial technical writing with DITA XML can be! P.S. If you are looking for a job as a technical writer in a software development company – check 2 things: 1. Are they writing software documentation using DITA XML? 2. Which tool are they using for writing?Be prepared even before your job interview to showcase the DITA XML documentation you have written using Oxygen XML Author and prove how good you are at applying reuse strategies and advanced DITA techniques – profiling, automated linking, and image maps. P.S.S. Do not forget that the course comes with a 30-day full refund policy – no questions asked!


Section 1: Introduction

Lecture 1 How to Use This Course?

Lecture 2 Slides Used in This Section

Lecture 3 How to Get Started Writing in DITA?

Lecture 4 Installing a Tool for Writing with DITA

Lecture 5 Installing Oxygen XML Author

Lecture 6 Introduction

Lecture 7 Course Instructor

Lecture 8 About This Course

Lecture 9 What is DITA?

Lecture 10 Who Defines DITA?

Lecture 11 A Sneak Peek Into the DITA 1.3 Specification

Lecture 12 A Note on the DITA Specification

Lecture 13 Benefits from Using DITA XML

Lecture 14 Learning DITA

Lecture 15 Single Sourcing in DITA

Lecture 16 Scale Large Documentation Volumes

Lecture 17 Specialization or Generalization of DITA Content

Lecture 18 Define Own Content Templates

Lecture 19 Personalization of Content

Lecture 20 Defined Semantic Meaning for Each DITA Element

Lecture 21 What’s Needed to Support the DITA Benefits?

Lecture 22 Authoring Based on Information Types

Lecture 23 Content Structure Organized Using DITA Maps

Lecture 24 Strict Rules for Writing

Lecture 25 Modularized and Reusable Content

Lecture 26 Writing Context-Free

Lecture 27 information Architecture Requirements in DITA

Lecture 28 Linking Strategies

Lecture 29 Filtering and Flagging Based on Profiling

Lecture 30 Controlled Vocabularies

Section 2: 5 Quick Steps to Writing in DITA XML

Lecture 31 Slides Used in This Section

Lecture 32 5 Quick Steps to Writing in DITA XML

Lecture 33 Step 1: Create a DITA Map

Lecture 34 What is DITA Map?

Lecture 35 Topics Usage in DITA

Lecture 36 How to Deliver Topics in Deliverables?

Lecture 37 What If a Topic is Not Referenced by a Map?

Lecture 38 Exercise: Create DITA Map

Lecture 39 Step 2: Choose the Appropriate Topic Types

Lecture 40 Common DITA Topic Types

Lecture 41 Step 3: Create the Topic

Lecture 42 Demo: Creating a Task Topic Type

Lecture 43 Step 4: Reference the Topic from the Map

Lecture 44 Step 5: Transform the DITA XML into Actual Output

Lecture 45 Sample DITA Source Files

Section 3: DITA Elements

Lecture 46 Slides Used in This Section

Lecture 47 Introduction

Lecture 48 Common Elements in Documentation Topics

Lecture 49 Corresponding DITA Topic Elements

Lecture 50 Exercise: Use Topic Elements in a Topic

Lecture 51 How to Think About Topic Elements?

Lecture 52 Using Topic Elements in a Task Topic

Lecture 53 Let’s Recap! Topic Elements in a Topic.

Lecture 54 How to See Which Topic Element to Use in a Topic?

Lecture 55 Tables and Table Elements

Lecture 56 DITA Maps and DITA Map Elements

Lecture 57 Demo: DITA Map Elements

Section 4: Reusing Content in DITA

Lecture 58 Slides Used in This Section

Lecture 59 Benefits from Reuse in DITA

Lecture 60 Reuse on Map Level (mapref)

Lecture 61 A Hint on Using Maps for Organizing the Team Work

Lecture 62 Reuse on Topic Level (topicref)

Lecture 63 Reuse on Topic Level – Demo

Lecture 64 Reuse on Topic Level – Exercise

Lecture 65 Reuse on Topic Element Level (conref)

Lecture 66 Reuse on Topic Element Level – Exercise

Lecture 67 Reuse of Table Rows (conref – conrefend)

Lecture 68 Reuse of Table Rows – Demo

Lecture 69 Reuse of Table Rows – Exercise

Section 5: Profiling in DITA

Lecture 70 Slides Used in This Section

Lecture 71 Introduction to Profiling (Conditioning) in DITA XML

Lecture 72 Overall Profiling Process

Lecture 73 Preparing the Editor to Use Profiling

Lecture 74 Preparing the Editor to Use Profiling – Continued

Lecture 75 Profiling a Reference to a DITA Map (mapref)

Lecture 76 Profiling on a Topic Element Level

Lecture 77 Profiling Tables and Table Elements

Lecture 78 Generate Profiled Output

Lecture 79 Generate Profiled Output – Example

Section 6: Information Architecture for Technical Communicators

Lecture 80 Slides Used in This Section

Lecture 81 Information Architecture in Technical Communications

Lecture 82 Information Architecture Thinking Patter for Technical Writers

Lecture 83 Applying Information Architecture Principles When Designing the Documentation

Lecture 84 Exercise

Section 7: Information Architecture for DITA Authors

Lecture 85 Slides Used in This Section

Lecture 86 Information Architecture for DITA Authors

Lecture 87 Develop the Correct Content for you DITA Subject Scheme Map

Lecture 88 Benefits from Using a Taxonomy: Achieve a Common Understanding

Lecture 89 Controlled Vocabularies, Aggregations, SEO

Lecture 90 Tools for Designing a Taxonomy: xMind

Lecture 91 Governance of Profiling Values using Subject Scheme Maps

Lecture 92 Customizing Profiling Attributes

Lecture 93 Demo and Exercise: Customizing a Profiling Value

Lecture 94 What if You Want to Scale?!

Lecture 95 Benefits from Subject Scheme Map in DITA XML

Lecture 96 Why You Need a Subject Scheme Map?

Lecture 97 Governance of Profiling Values

Lecture 98 Predefine the Profiling Dialog for Users

Lecture 99 Prerequisites for Using a Subject Scheme Map

Lecture 100 Creating a Subject Scheme Map

Lecture 101 Step 1: Create the Subject Scheme Map and Declare Taxonomy Values

Lecture 102 Step 2: Declare Taxonomy Values

Lecture 103 Step 3: Bind the Newly Defined Values to an Attribute

Lecture 104 Step 4: Hide Obsolete Attributes

Lecture 105 Step 5: Reference the Subject Scheme Map from the DITA Map

Section 8: How to Create Interactive Images in DITA

Lecture 106 Slides Used in This Section

Lecture 107 Introduction to Graphics

Lecture 108 Agenda

Lecture 109 Why Using Graphics?

Lecture 110 When to Use Graphics in Software Documentation?

Lecture 111 Types of Graphics in Software Documentation

Lecture 112 Accessibility of Graphics

Lecture 113 Using Appropriate Colors

Lecture 114 Typography

Lecture 115 Remember the Style Guide!

Lecture 116 Translation Aspects

Lecture 117 Using Microsoft Power Point to Create a Graphic for Documentation – Part 1

Lecture 118 Using Microsoft Power Point to Create a Graphic for Documentation – Part 2

Lecture 119 Using Google Slides to Create a Graphic for Documentation

Lecture 120 Other Tools to Create a Graphic for Documentation

Lecture 121 What is Interactive Graphic? What is an Image Map?

Lecture 122 What Will You Learn?

Lecture 123 Step 1: Create the Infographic

Lecture 124 Step 2: Download the infographic

Lecture 125 Step 3: Reference the Graphic as an Image in a DITA Topic

Lecture 126 Step 4: Create an Image Map and Define Linking Targets

Lecture 127 Step 5: Generate Output with Interactive Graphic

Section 9: Linking in DITA

Lecture 128 Slides Used in This Section

Lecture 129 Introduction

Lecture 130 What Will You Learn?

Lecture 131 Sample Sources Used in This Course

Lecture 132 What is Linking?

Lecture 133 Types of Links in DITA XML

Lecture 134 Manually Created Links

Lecture 135 Web Link in DITA XML

Lecture 136 Link to Another DITA Topic

Lecture 137 Link to a Resource

Lecture 138 Demo and Exercise: Manual Links

Lecture 139 Link a Location in the Same Topic

Lecture 140 Link a Location in the Same Topic – Sample DITA Source Code

Lecture 141 Demo and Exercise: Link a Location in the Same Topic

Lecture 142 Automated Links

Lecture 143 Types of Automatically Constructed Links in DITA XML

Lecture 144 Automatic Generation of Links

Lecture 145 Collection Type “choice”

Lecture 146 Exercise – Step 1

Lecture 147 Exercise – Step 2

Lecture 148 Exercise – Step 3

Lecture 149 Reminder: Before Triggering the Transformation!

Lecture 150 Exercise – Step 4

Lecture 151 Exercise – Step 5

Lecture 152 Exercise

Lecture 153 Collection Type “family”

Lecture 154 Exercise

Lecture 155 Collection Type “sequence”

Section 10: Customizing DITA XML Outputs

Lecture 156 Resource Download: Slides Used in This Section

Lecture 157 Resource Download: Customized Template, Created in This Section

Lecture 158 Customizing DITA XML Outputs

Lecture 159 Prerequisites

Lecture 160 Understanding DITA XML Transformation

Lecture 161 What Will You Learn?

Lecture 162 Oxygen XML Author – Output Sample Result

Lecture 163 5 Steps to DITA XML Output

Lecture 164 Demo and Exercise: Step 1

Lecture 165 Demo and Exercise: Step 2

Lecture 166 Demo and Exercise: Step 3

Lecture 167 Demo and Exercise: Step 3.1: How to Add Company Logo

Lecture 168 Demo and Exercise: Step 3.2: How to Add Company Web Site Link to the Logo

Lecture 169 Demo and Exercise: Step 3.3: How to Hide the Entire Menu

Lecture 170 Step 4: Use Your Customized Template to Generate the Output

Lecture 171 Demo and Exercise: Step 5: Deliver the Output

Section 11: Bonus Section

Lecture 172 Students Example of a DITA Guide – Elian K.

Lecture 173 Students Example of a DITA Guide – Devon

Technical writers who want to advance their knowledge in DITA

Course Information:

Udemy | English | 9h 43m | 5.32 GB
Created by: JPDocu School of Technical Writing

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