DITA webhelp customisation using ditac

DITA webhelp customisation using ditac

XMLMind’s ditac test converter is a free, open source software to generate production quality deliverables out of the box. Using command line utility you can supply number of parameters supported by XSLT stylesheets. Here is a small demonstration on customising webhelp output by using various jquery themes.

Generate DITA webhelp output using ditac

Using following command-line you can generate web help output.

ditac -format webhelp out/sample_webhelp/_.html taskbook.ditamap

command-line option -format specifies output format, here we have need webhelp output format.

Make sure you specify desired output directory along with _.html to specify the file extension of generated files for webhelp output. For this example we will use taskbook.ditamap that is available as a sample ditamap.

The default output as a result of a ditac command-line mentioned above is shown on left.

Now, lets change the look of webhelp output by using different jquery theme. You can use command-line parameter wh-jquery-theme to specify which theme you want to see your generated output in?

ditac -format webhelp -p wh-jquery-theme redmond out/sample_webhelp/_.html taskbook.ditamap

Bydefault ‘smoothness’ jquery theme is used for webhelp output.Here, we have changed it to ‘redmond’. Take a look at the change in the output.

Similarly you can use any of jquery themes listed here

Here is result of swanky-purse jquery theme!

Now, you may need to create your own theme that matches with corporate identity of your company.

Create your own custom jquery theme

All you need to do is create your own custom jquery-css and specify the path of that jquery-css as a parameter while generating webhelp output using ditac command-line.

ditac -format webhelp -p wh-jquery-css resources/my_jquery.css out/sample_webhelp/_.html taskbook.ditamap

Remember, when wh-jquery-css parameter is used wh-jquery-theme parameter will be ignored. Moreover, place your custom jquery css into resources subdirectory of your output directory to make everything portable.

Finally, do not forget to copy all the images used in the source dita files into the output directory by using -images as follows

ditac -format webhelp -p wh-jquery-css resources/my_jquery.css -images img out/sample_webhelp/_.html taskbook.ditamap

-images option will copy all the images from source file into the img subdirectory of output directory.

Krishna Meet is a technical writer and UX designer having core interest in analytical dashboard designing. Majority of her career span was into tech-writing. However, she thrives by intersecting multiple skill-sets : DITA documentation, script writing for tech-videos, business analysis, and UX design. She is a voracious reader and possesses Masters degree in Computer Science. Her interest in agile methodologies and user-centered design has landed her a techno-functional role at Brevitaz.


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