This article is a guideline for stylesheet developers and localization managers, summarizing which new elements and attributes in DITA 1.2 are likely to need special styling, usually in the form of strings that are inserted by the processor/stylesheet. The elements in the list below should be displayed either with generated text, or some other styling that is distinctive enough to convey the purpose of the element type. For these element types, the default class-based styling will probably not meet the expectations of users, given the intended element semantics.

It is not critical for every stylesheet to use exactly the same string for a given element, however, we recommend that stylesheets follow conventions for whether or not to display a string. For example, if a stylesheets doesn't insert text such as "Skill level: " for the <perskill> element, then writers using this stylesheet will write "Skill level: " into their content to make it appear in output. Writers who use a different stylesheet which automatically inserts generated text for <perskill> will probably not write "Skill level" into their content. The result will be that content from the two groups of writers cannot be displayed correctly using the same stylesheet.

Basic topic elements

Body elements

Task elements

Glossary elements

All glossary elements must be styled in such a way that authors do not have to write anything to convey the meaning of the element contents.

Hazard statement elements

Machine industry task elements

Learning and training topic elements


Learning and training interactions domain elements


Other learning and training elements


DITA 1.2 Elements which Need Styling (last edited 2011-02-11 00:51:29 by su-laine.yeo)