The  titlealts element

When you need more than just the regular title as the text for links to your topic, the name to call is titlealts!

Titlealts can push a  shorter version of the title into your navigation when needed, and provide a more specific version of the title for search results. It’s like having your own personal butler, keeping your linked appearance spiffy in all situations. Read more about The Children of Titlealts in the upcoming sequels, navtitle and searchtitle.

Standard disclaimer: titlealts is only a container, and must be used with either navtitle or searchtitle children or both to be effective. May not produce sensible results for PDF output. Unsafe for continuous underwater use. Not to be used while driving heavy machinery or spewing whatever you are drinking at this moment.

Did you know?

From the DITA Open Toolkit documentation: For PDF output, setting ${args.draft} to “yes” will also cause the contents of < titlealts > to appear below the title. (This setting is useful when inspecting draft printouts for information that normally appears only in HTML output versions.)

Deep Dive

3 thoughts on “The  titlealts element

  1. Karen Lowe says:

    Thanks for this, Don. I like your “Did you know” section, because I didn’t know! Your post pointed me in the right direction so I could override this behaviour (I took out the if statement so the alternate title wouldn’t show up on the topic). However, my PDF output (via RenderX) didn’t show the Navtitle in the TOC listing. Any hints?


    • Don Day says:

      Thanks, Karen. Titlealts and its contents are aimed at HTML functionality; they don’t typically apply to a PDF output model, although I can see how you might want to use navtitle as you described. The “Ant properties” topic in the DITA OT documentation has this obscure tip: “For PDF output, setting ${args.draft} to “yes” will also cause the contents of < titlealts > to appear below the title.” And DITA OT owner Robert Anderson explains that tool’s behavior here, Other production tools such as Omni Systems’ DITA2Go allow you to configure the use of navtitle around the standard PDF behaviors. You might check the latest release notes for DITA OT to see if someone may have slipped in this override since Robert’s comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *