Results of Our Survey on Converting Legacy Content to DITA

As you know, from October 2012 through February 2013, we were running an online survey on how technical writers convert their legacy documentation to DITA. We were interested to collect information on experience that documentation teams gained during the conversion process, challenges they faced, tools they used, and results they received.

We want to thank everyone who participated in the survey and shared experience with converting legacy content to DITA. We believe that the answers you gave and the comments you posted can help everyone who is still in the conversion process or is just planning to move to DITA.

The survey is now done, and today we are happy to share with you the results. You can download a complete report here.

Here are some highlights.

Legacy Content Format

First of all, we asked our respondents in what format their legacy content is stored (multiple answers could be selected).

Legacy Documentation Format

The State of the Legacy Documentation

Almost any conversion from unstructured formats is based on styles. As long as legacy documents are styled consistently and no manual formatting is applied, there is a good chance that the conversion will be fairly smooth.

To understand if the legacy content is consistently formatted, we asked our respondents to choose the statement that best describes their situation.

State of Legacy Documentation

Restructuring and Rewriting Legacy Content

In rare cases, conversion to DITA involves just wrapping existing documents to DITA elements. Quite often, legacy documents have to be rewritten or restructured to fit DITA requirements in terms of content organization and writing principles. We asked our respondents to select the statement that best describes their situation.

Restructuring Legacy Content


To understand whether the conversion was smooth or painful, we asked our respondents about challenges they faced (multiple answers could be selected).

Legacy to DUTA Challenges

Conversion Tools

Conversion needs tools, and we asked our respondents about the tools they used (multiple answers could be selected).

Legacy to DITA Conversion Tools

What If…

There is always “what if” in such cases. So we asked our respondents if they would do the conversion now, when they already know all pitfalls and issues, what they would do differently (multiple answers could be selected).

What You Would Do DifferentlyFor a complete report, including answers to the rest of the questions and comments that our respondents posted, please download the report here.

One Thought on “Results of Our Survey on Converting Legacy Content to DITA

  1. Pingback: DITA News for February 14, 2013

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