DITA content is broken down into three main topic types:
|Concept||Provides conceptual information about something. Answers the question "What is...?"||Introduction to your Toaster|
|Task||Provides procedural information that tells you how to perform a task. Answers the question "How do I...?"||Cleaning your Toaster|
|Reference||Provides supporting information, typically in tables, such as specifications.||Toaster Technical Information|
Conceptual topics help readers tie their existing knowledge to a new product or task. If you provide instructions for "Installing the OS-XT29", your reader might wonder what the OS-XT29 is, how it differs from other versions, what it does, and more. Concept topics provide those missing pieces of information.
This concept is used as an introduction for a toaster manual:
Classic Toaster Introduction
The basic task structure goes as follows:
- Title: Name of task
- Pre-requisite: What the reader needs to know prior to performing the task
- Task steps: Step-by-step instructions
- Result: Outcome of completing the task
Here's an example of a task topic in the toaster manual:
Toast bread to the perfect doneness using your Classic Toaster.
You will need: Sliced bread, the toaster, an outlet, and a spread (if desired).
Plug toaster plug into outlet.
Insert sliced bread into bread holes located at the top of the toaster.
Adjust the timer for how long you want to cook the toast.
Press the lever down.
When toast pops up, remove from the toaster and place on a plate.
Use desired spread on top of toast.
Your toast is ready. Eat it before it gets cold!
Reference topics provide supplemental or technical information on a product.
You can use reference topics to provide information such as product dimensions, equipment lists, parts lists, required tools, or the functions of a product or service.
Here's an example of a reference topic used in a toaster manual:
Classic Toaster Technical Information
Classic Toaster dimensions, weight, and other technical information.
|Capacity||1 or 2 slices|
|Output per hour||30 slices|
|Dimensions (cm)||36 x 21 x 22|
|Materials||Cast aluminum ends, stainless steel body|