New Feature in the Upcoming Version of DITAToo: Conversion between Information Types

First of all, I’d like to take this chance to wish everyone a healthy, wealthy, and prosperous new year! The world is rapidly changing, and the world of technical publications is not an exception. There’re a plenty of new opportunities out there, and we’ll be happy to help you use them to make your life and work easier.

As I’ve already mentioned in one of the previous discussions (see this post, for example), we are about to release version 1.6 of DITAToo. The major addition is the ability to create and manage publishing profiles.

However, there’s one more new feature that I’d like to tell you about. It’s small, but we find it quite useful. It’s a kind of these little helpers that allow us to focus on really important things. As many other features, we’ve added this one based on our own experience and pains we ourselves used to have when working with DITA.

Suppose these scenarios:

1. You’ve converted legacy content from an unstructured format (say, from Word) to DITA using an automatic conversion tool, It might be the built-in DITAToo converter from Word to DITA or any other conversion tool you decide to use. We all know that sometimes even the most sophisticated automatic tools do make mistakes. So that tool converted a piece of content to a DITA concept while you expected this content to be a task (or vice versa).

Now you have to open this topic in a DITA editor and begin to replace concept-specific elements with task-specific ones. Depending on the amount of topics to be redone, this boring job might require a lot of time.

2. You started authoring a topic thinking it should be a task. Then all of a sudden you realize that actually it should be a concept. Now you need to stop and replace task-specific elements with concept-specific ones.

3. You just want to rewrite your content to make it more task-oriented and you want to redo concepts as tasks. Of course, nobody will rewrite it for you, but at least some initial help in converting concept elements to task elements as a first step would be appreciated.

(if you have other scenarios in mind, please post them here – I guess it’ll be interesting for everyone).

In version 1.6, all you’ll need to do is to select a topic in the repository, right click it, select the Convert option in the context menu, and click the information type to which you want to convert the topic. DITAToo will do the rest for you.

Stay tuned and you’ll learn about more features we’ve prepared for you very soon!

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