DITA2Go converts DITA files to HTML/XML, Help, and Word

DITA2Go is a Windows software tool that converts DITA content to these and other formats:

  • HTML and XML (XHTML, Flat XML, DITA, and DocBook)
  • Microsoft Word RTF (for Word 6, 97, 2000, XP, 2003, 2007, and 2010)
  • On-line Help: Microsoft HTML Help, Eclipse Help, JavaHelp, Oracle Help for Java, WinHelp
  • OmniHelp, a browser-based Open Source cross-platform Help system (hosted on SourceForge).

DITA2Go works on any Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8 system with an Intel-compatible Pentium-level processor and at least 1GB memory.

DITA2Go is free; click Download DITA2Go Software at left. Peer support is available on the dita-users list.

What is DITA?

DITA is the Darwin Information Typing Architecture, an OASIS Standard. It is an XML architecture designed for publications and used by increasing numbers of technical authors throughout the world. It provides a presentation-neutral, portable way of creating and organizing document content. You can view the DITA 1.2 Specification in OmniHelp format (produced by DITA2Go) or download a zip of it (7.8 MB) for local viewing.

Since DITA deliberately excludes presentational information, DITA authors use various tools for creating deliverable documents from their DITA content. The primary tool since DITA's inception has been the DITA Open Toolkit, the DITA-OT, which is free Open Source software contributed and largely maintained by IBM engineers. The DITA-OT is the "reference implementation" of tools for DITA presentation. It is written in XSLT and Java, and is available from SourceForge. Another XSLT processor with a FOSS license that many prefer is the XMLmind DITA Converter (ditac for short).

While the DITA-OT is very good for showing what is possible as a "proof of concept" for DITA use, it has some significant drawbacks for commercial use. It can be challenging to configure, even to create a custom cover page with a company logo on it. Most changes require writing and editing XSLT, and often Java too, a task that many technical writers are ill equipped for and find daunting. It is also rather slow; a large project can take an hour to complete on a fast machine. So a few other development groups have taken on the challenge of creating a tool that writers can use more easily, and that can deliver results many times faster. DITA2Go is such a tool.

While DITA2Go is a two-year-old addition to the DITA output world, the code is largely based on mature, well-tested code from Omni Systems' other main product, FrameMaker plugin Mif2Go. DITA2Go fully supports the DITA 1.1 specification, plus almost all DITA 1.2 features, including keyref and conkeyref. We will support DITA 1.3 when it is released; it is still a ways off.

Unlike the OT, DITA2Go does not assume that technical writers are XSLT and Java programmers. Many customizations that require creating a plugin for the DITA-OT can be made with simple settings in DITA2Go. If a customization you need is not already settable that way, tell us; we listen to our users and often make such enhancements on the spot.

DITA2Go converts many projects in under a minute, processing DITA code at over 2MB per minute (roughly 250 printed output pages per minute). DITA2Go includes a simple GUI Project Manager, for those who prefer interactive to command-line operation, and easily integrates with XML editors such as oXygenXML.

Complete DITA2Go documentation, produced from a DITA bookmap by DITA2Go itself, is publicly available at the Download User's Guide link to the left.

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