Introducing the most important authoring tool since FrameMaker.

DITA-based writers gain numerous advantages using this powerful, single-source, document solution. Indeed, I think of DITA as the Holy Grail of technical documentation, the object for which many a manager has sent me on long, fruitless searches in the past, only to return with half-hearted recommendations for a combination of tools that required hours of manual tweaking to reproduce a document in just one alternative format.

Today, I can tell my manager that the Grail has been found, and I can produce a handful of different document output types simultaneously. This is a breakthrough technology for technical writers. In industry jargon, "single source" has previously meant writing in FrameMaker, then importing your source into another expensive application to produce a second output format, typically online help. To gain just a second format from the source often required tedious hours, sometimes days, massaging the text after it had been "translated" into an online help system. DITA-OT allows technical writers to produce seven output formats at the same time.

However, several technologies make this magic happen. Motivated, or just curious, writers will want a more advanced understanding of what makes DITA tick. To do so, you will need to learn how to write Ant build scripts for the DITA-OT and invoke them from the command line.

Hopefully, this guide will motivate you to study DITA-OT further and encourage your publications team to implement a single-source, DITA-based documentation solution.