Cooking the Books: Easy Styling and Publishing of DITA Content to Word and PDF

Publishing brand-compliant Word and PDF documents from the DITA Open Toolkit usually means paying a consultant thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of dollars, to develop a customization. Further changes needed to the style and layout of the documents means spending even more money.

But now, DITA InPrint makes it easy for non-technical users to design publishing templates that conform to corporate brand standards. And it enables users to easily publish DITA XML content with those templates to fully styled Microsoft Word and PDF documents.

In this demo session, attendees will use Apache OpenOffice Writer to design their own publishing templates — easily and quickly modifying page layouts, paragraph and character styles, table styles, and even styles for tables of contents and indexes. Before the session is finished, they will use their new template to publish DITA XML content to Word and PDF from DITA 1.2 standard maps, bookmaps, and topics.

What you’ll need to bring

All you will need is your laptop! Each attendee will be provided with a USB memory stick from which they will install a 30-day trial version of DITA InPrint, and OpenOffice 4.1 (required). Then presenter Tim Grantham will introduce the attendees to DITA InPrint, provide a quick overview of its powerful features, and guide attendees through hands-on exercises.

Meet the presenters

Rob Hanna

rhannaHeadshot3Rob Hanna is President and Chief Information Architect of Precision Content Authoring Solutions. Rob is a professional technical communicator and leading expert in structured XML authoring, DITA and content management. Over the course of his career, Rob has consulted to or worked for several Fortune 500 companies including Cisco Systems Inc., Xerox, and Canadian Tire. In 2014, Rob was awarded the rank of Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) and earned the Enterprise Content Management Specialist (ECMs) designation from AIIM. Rob is a member of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee working on the Technical Documentation Subcommittee. As a chef, Rob’s favourite ingredients include DITA XML, SharePoint, and VBA.

Tim Grantham


Tim Grantham has thirty years of success at making people and organizations more productive, most recently as Director of Publishing Solutions at Precision Content Authoring Solutions. Tim focuses on designing, developing, and deploying publishing platforms that deliver high-value, structured content to knowledge portals, online help systems, web sites, and printed documents. Tim is also an award-winning journalist (over 300 published articles, one national award), an information products developer and manager, and a highly rated trainer. In the technology-kitchen, Tim is a content-gourmet! DITA XML published with the tools he has developed for Word®, SharePoint®, and the DITA Open Toolkit not only look good, they are good for you, too.

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