Cherryleaf’s online DITA self-study elearning course

This online training course teaches the basic skills in how to create content using the DITA XML technical writing standard. The ten learning modules in this course contain videos of the trainer with supporting slides and images. The course includes exercises and model answers for the delegates to complete and review.

If you’re not sure what DITA is, and why you’d want to use it, download our free illustrated guide to the business benefits of DITA.

dita elearning course screen

“The Cherryleaf DITA course ticked a lot of the boxes for me: good content, good value, and available without having to travel to the South East. The introduction to the key DITA areas was presented very well – I have read similar information in books and online, but I was able to absorb it much better through the e-learning course.” Craig Wright.

Who is this course for?

If you need a solid understanding of the basics of DITA, this affordable training course is ideal for you. We’ve designed the course for anyone who wants a solid understanding of DITA.

 Course outline

  • Introduction
    • Introduction – What is DITA?- In plain English
    • Introduction – What DITA is not
    • DITA – What it looks like
    • Which problems is DITA trying to solve?

    DITA Fundamentals

    • Topic-based writing
    • Fundamentals – Topics
    • Fundamentals – Maps
    • Fundamentals – Information Typing
    • Fundamentals – Specialisation
    • DITA and reuse
    • Granularity
    • Transformations

    Introduction to Topics

    • Topic-oriented writing
    • Compulsory elements and attributes
    • High-level topic elements
    • Body elements
    • Sections
    • Block level elements
    • Phrase level elements
    • Table elements
    • Images and figures

    The base types of topics

    • Concepts
    • Tasks
    • References
    • Metadata
    • Constraints

  • What are maps?
  • Relationships in a map
  • Collections
  • Map elements
  • Grouping content together in a map


  • Linking and reusing topics
  • Cross references – pros and cons
  • Related Links
  • Relationship tables
  • Conrefs
  • Conditional content
  • Ditaval syntax
  • Indirect linking

Transforming and publishing DITA

  • Transforming DITA
  • Why transform DITA?
  • What is XSLT?
  • What is the DITA Open Toolkit?
  • What is Ant?
  • What is FOP?
  • Running transformations
  • Creating other outputs

Using tools with DITA

  • Publishing tools

Duration and delivery format

The course comprises ten modules in total, which you can complete at your own pace. The course will take delegates approximately 1 day to complete.

The course modules are delivered via the Web in small, manageable modules. With the exercises, each delegate will need to allocate around seven hours to complete the course.

You can pause the modules at any time and return to the course, for a period of six months (we can extend this on request).

How much does it cost?

The course costs £50 per delegate ex VAT (£60 including VAT).

Buy now

Ordering is simple. Just click the BUY NOW logo above. You will be taken straight to our ordering system. You can pay using credit card or debit card. Prices ex VAT.

The modules are password protected. If you wish more than one delegate to complete the course, then please contact us.

Want to pay in US $, EUROS or another currency?

Your credit card company will pay us in £ and convert that amount to your local currency. This means the converted amount appears in your local currency on your credit card bill.

As a rough guide to how much you’ll pay in your local currency, you’ll find the current rate for £50 from Yahoo Finance below:

87.83 USD / 78.85 EUR / 114.62 CAD / 122.23 AUD / 5,902.92 INR

Buy now

You can pay using credit card or debit card. We now accept payment by American Express. The ordering system is secure and safe, via Sage Pay. Your Credit Card Statement will show an entry entitled “Cherryleaf”.

SagePay accepted payment methods

Professional certification

certified member logoIf you want to become a Junior, Certified Member or Certified Fellow of the technical communicators’ national professional body - the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) - Cherryleaf’s training courses can help. Junior Members, Members and Fellows are certified by the ISTC through a vetting process, with Members and Fellows entitled to use the initials MISTC or FISTC after their names. All ISTC members have a responsibility to maintain their professional competence through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) , and Cherryleaf’s courses can help demonstrate you are extending and updating your skills.

How do I login to the course?

You will be emailed details on where and how to login to the course once you have paid. This usually takes three to four minutes.

Free sample

Complete the form below, and we’ll email you a link to a sample from the course:

Special Offer!

 On site courses

contact cherryleaf

If you'd like more information about Cherryleaf's training courses, including options for courses for groups in a single organisation, contact us using our training services contact form. If you can’t see the course you want, contact us, as we may still be able to cater for your needs.