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Contributed by: Radu Coravu

The DITA standard can provide for you quite a large toolbox for reuse scenarios.

Besides the tips which are spread during this tutorial here is some additional advice for you:
  • Know a little bit about all these possibilities (at least know that they exist), you never know when one of them might come in handy.
  • For any given potential reuse situation you may find out that you can use multiple reuse strategies. So at a given time you could reuse a piece of simple text either via direct conrefs, indirect conkeyrefs or keyword keyrefs. Choosing one of the strategies will depend on the situation. For example if you plan in the future to also have inline elements in the reused text, you should go with either conref or conkeyref. If you reuse that content only in one or two places you can go with conref. But if you reuse it extensively you can define a key and use conkeyref.
  • Try to keep the reused content separately, in special folders. Writers will know that when they are editing resources from these special folders they might modify content which is potentially used in multiple places.
  • If you plan to translate your content to other languages try not to reuse inline elements (other than product name and constants which do not change when translated). Usually the translators need to translate entire block level-elements in order to have a good flow of translated content. The DITA 1.3 specs contains quite an useful recommendation for this: https://www.oxygenxml.com/dita/1.3/specs/index.html#non-normative/elementsMerged.html.