DITA (online self-study elearning) training course

dita elearning course screen

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.


“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.


Cost of course

The cost is £36 per delegate (ex VAT)/month.

You can also pay in US$ or EUROS.

No VAT is charged to people outside of the EU.

You can stop when you want, and the subscription will finish at the end of that month. You will be able to cancel any future payments if you submit your request using the “Cancel your subscription” link in your accounts page prior to your next scheduled payment date.


This course is part of WriteLessons

WriteLessons, from Cherryleaf, provides you with access to a range of courses in technical communication. When you subscribe to this course, you also have access to all the other WriteLessons courses.

Subscribe to WriteLessons from Cherryleaf


Professional certification as a technical communicator

certified member logo

Cherryleaf’s training courses can help you become a Junior, Certified Member or Certified Fellow of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC). The ISTC is the national professional body for technical communicators in the UK. It has members around the world.

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). Cherryleaf’s courses can help demonstrate you are extending and updating your skills.


Free sample

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



 On site courses

contact cherryleafUse our training services contact form to tell us more.

If you can’t see the course you want, we may still be able to meet your needs.