A Quick Start to Technical Writing with DITA

Get started writing in DITA XML in less than 2 hours!

3.64 (110 reviews)

A Quick Start to Technical Writing with DITA


1.5 hours


Jan 2021

Last Update
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What you will learn

Learn to write using DITA XML

Create DITA maps

Create DITA topics

Produce documentation deliverables

Write using Oxygen XML Author tool


Do you want to learn how to write documentation using DITA XML? If yes, I can help!

My name is Jordan Stanchev. I have built my career in the field of technical communications in the last 18 years.

Starting off my carrier as a Java developer, I have then become a technical writer and information architect. At present, I lead the development of DITA XML-based infrastructure projects, as well as the group of the DITA information architecture experts of a Fortune 500 company.

I have vast experience to share in structured writing and information architecture using DITA XML content management systems.

For a modern technical writer looking to build his or her career in the field of technical communications, knowing DITA XML simply is a must!

You must learn DITA if you are involved in any way with software documentation.

Knowledge of DITA is relevant for you if you are:

  • technical writer

  • part of a tech publications team

  • information architect

  • people manager, managing technical writers in the team

  • user experience designer

  • business analyst

  • project manager

The course 'A Quick Start to Technical Writing with DITA' is designed for beginner level technical writers who want to quickly learn what is DITA, create a simple guide, and deliver it using a non-customized output using Oxygen XML Author tool. 

It will take you around 2 hours from the start as an absolute beginner, go through this course and deliver a small and simple guide in PDF and HTML output format.


If you are looking for a more deep dive into DITA Course, consider the more advanced "How to Write Using DITA XML", which is for technical communicators, already familiar with DITA.

What will you learn?

This is a course I use to teach my students about what is DITA and how to get started with DITA.

That is why it provides:

  • Basic knowledge and understanding of what is DITA;

  • How to get started writing software documentation using DITA;

  • What is a DITA map and how to use it;

  • What is a DITA topic and how to use it;

  • A quick explanation of commonly used DITA topic elements, that are causing confusion for the novice DITA authors;

  • How to construct a deliverable using Oxygen XML Author;

  • How to produce a final deliverable ready for shipment to your customers.

The tool that is used in this course is one of the most popular tools for writing in DITA: Oxygen XML Author.

Your instructor will supply you with a trial license for the Oxygen XML Author, should you need one to practice your DITA writing skills.

What is NOT COVERED in this course:

As this is a getting started course, I shall not deep dive into DITA XML markup. To learn DITA, it may take years of experience. The goal of the course is to provide you with a quick getting started! That is why:

  • This is not a comprehensive DITA XML course. Do not expect such a deep-dive level here.

  • I do not provide details on linking, chunking, nesting, profiling, sophisticated delivery strategy, and so on.

  • I do not provide information about DITA specializations, DITAVAL files, DTDs, and so on. This is not covered in this course.

  • OTK is not covered or even mentioned in this course.


Structured writing in DITA XML is an advanced discipline for technical writers. You can find many authors with decent language and writing skills. But you already know that technical writing is so much more than just written text with no spelling mistakes, isn't it?

If you need your technical writers to:

  • Strictly follow your company or industry writing guidelines;

  • Be able to spend less time on the maintenance of old documentation and spend more time on value-added activities for the customer;

  • Offer information that can be reused on all levels - entire guides, chapters, topics, sentences, or even single words;

  • Maintain a very high content quality standard  with no broken links and missing content;

  • Produce as many different output formats as your customer needs - all from the same content

  • Use metadata to classify the content that was written and offer it for automated forms of information consumption;

then most probably you are already evaluating DITA as an option for writing. 

DITA already offers all listed functionality and even more!

If it is a quick start into DITA what you are looking for, this in your course!  Enroll now and see how simple technical writing with DITA XML can be!

P.S. Do not forget that the course comes with a 30-day full refund policy - no questions asked!




Basics of Structured Writing

Getting Started with This Course

How to Use This Course?

Installing a Tool for Writing with DITA

Prepare Your Documentation Deliverable

Get Started with DITA

Understanding DITA. Authoring Perspective.

Understanding DITA. Information Architect Perspective.


What is a DITA Map?

How to Create a DITA Map?

DITA Topics

What is DITA Topic?

How to Create Concept, Task or Reference DITA Topic?

How to Write in a DITA Concept Topic

Common DITA Topic Elements

How to Enter a New Paragraph in a Concept

Creating a Bullet List Item

How to Write a DITA Task Topic

How to Insert a Link Between Topics

Output Production

Producing a PDF File from a DITA Map

Producing Multiple Outputs - HTML5 and PDF

Final Assignment

Bonus Section



Ben7 May 2021

Its been frustrating. The audio is not consistent and can be very quiet even with volume up full. The instructor also moves too fast through unfamiliar menus so it's tough to keep up.

David29 January 2021

This is a basic but excellent introduction to DITA, but also to the Oxygen XML CCMS. In both cases, its easy to lose the wood for the trees but Jordan cuts to the chase and gives you no more than what you need to know to get a good "gut feeling".

Jessica18 January 2021

Yes, so far the course has been very informative and has managed to focus on all the key areas and topics.

Tatjana8 January 2021

This course is perfect for beginners. The most important concepts are covered comprehensively, and also some theory and background are provided. Plenty of practical exercises complement the good overall experience. I strongly recommend this course as well as the other courses on Technical Writing by Jordan Stanchev.

Kusha2 December 2020

Content is ok but the example files should be better. Like u have made concepts and tasks but none of those are properly filled with content . Even the final output files are without content. Just the headings are there. This becomes very difficult to relate to. A proper output with concept, tasks and references should have been shown.

Anthony31 October 2020

Content is fine; presentation is lacking--slides with too much content, staying on the same slide for over 5 minutes, and so forth. The presentation could benefit greatly from chunking.

Anna29 June 2020

I was really worried that I wouldn't be able to master DITA quickly and Jordan taught me how it easy it is and accessible. Thank you so much!

Sudeep16 May 2020

The course is good for beginners. As you would have guessed, it provides a basic introduction to DITA XML.

Tami20 April 2020

It was a good overview, but not enough instruction on how to use Oxygen UI to accomplish our assignment. I also would have liked an overview of the extensions to the standard, in particular, the Learning and Training templates.

Siju20 April 2020

Arranged properly so that a person without any prior experience on DITA can easily understand the basics. Very well explained the steps with the use of Oxygen Author tool.

Jonathan10 March 2020

Spelling errors, such as "hard" instead of "heart" are off-putting for a technical writer. Otherwise, I was expecting a female presenter because of the marketing for the course on International Women's Day.

Sruti6 February 2020

I am changing my review as the teacher is thoughtful and takes the time out to explain any doubts we have. Glad I took this course! Definitely gave me the foundation for DITA!

Darryl13 January 2020

This course was a good match for me to learn about DITA. I learned a lot and now have a desire to learn more.

Tanvi23 October 2019

It would be nice to have some examples, screenshots or graphic illustrations to immediately relate to what the trainer is trying to explain, as this section is theoretical.


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