Processes

You can organize related task topics (procedures) into high-level processes.

This is a valuable construct for complex or multi-part activities.

Each of these approaches to creating processes has its advantages and disadvantages. For more information, in the Technical Content Development Guide, see Process Topic.

You can create processes by:

Create a Process with the Collection-Type Attribute

You can create a process to organize a sequence of task topics.

Important: Linking created by adjusting the collection-type attribute is compatible only with the DITA Open Toolkit publishing scenarios with the args.rellinks parameter set to all.
Do the following:
  • Create a task topic that you will use as a process topic.
  • Create or find existing task topics (procedures) that you will use as process steps.
  • Create or find an existing map to which you want to add a process.
  1. Open the map you want to add a process to.
  2. Add the required topics to the map:
    1. Add the process topic to the map.
    2. Add the task topics (procedures) under the process topic.
    For more information, see Insert Existing Content to a Map.
    Tip: To easily reuse processes, you can keep the process topic and the task topics in a dedicated process map and reuse the process map in multiple publication maps.
    Figure 1. Procedure Topics Appended to a Process Topic
  3. Add content to the process topic.
    You can add elements like an abstract element, short description element, prerequisite element, and context element.

    For more information, see Insert an Element to a Topic.

    Figure 2. Process Example.

    In the following example, a short description element and a prerequisite element was added to the process topic.

  4. Set the collection-type attribute value of the process topic:
    1. In the topic editor, in the pane on the left, right-click the process topic and select Edit element attributes.
    2. In the Edit Properties window, from the collection-type drop-down list, select sequence and click Save.
      The sequence value causes the child task topics to appear as a numbered list in the parent process topic.
Publish the map that contains the process.
Figure 3. Rendered Process Topic

Create a Process with Cross-References

You can create a process by linking to procedures (task topics) with cross-references.

Do the following:
  • Create a task topic that you will use as a process topic.
  • Create or find existing task topics (procedures) that you will use as process steps.
  • Create or find an existing map to which you want to add a process.
  1. Open the map you want to add a process to.
  2. Add the process topic and task topics (procedures) to the map.
    Tip: If possible, add the task topics (procedures) under the process topic. This way, the process topic reflects the topics' hierarchy in the map.
    For more information, see Insert Existing Content to a Map.
    Figure 4. Procedures Appended Under a Process
  3. To the process topic, add steps, links to task topics (procedures), and other necessary elements.
    For more information, see Insert an Element to a Topic.
    Figure 5. Process Example