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Arbortext DITA DTD customization error


Arbortext DITA DTD customization error


I made some DITA dtd constrants for figure and table. When I updated with arbortext editor changes not reflecting in editor. Do I need to change .acl and .dcf file in arbortext? Anybody can help?



Hi Roopesh,

You might want to force a recompile by typing compile_doctype at the command line.
You will then need to specify the Document Type Path and the top level DTD tag within the Compile Document Type dialog.

Then see if the new changes you have made to the DTD are reflected in the Editor.

This normally works for me.


Hi Roopesh--

Actually, I would *not* recommend trying to compile a modified DITA doctype. In Arbortext, XML DTD's don't need to be compiled, and in fact I've run into problems with compiled XML DTDs that don't happen if you use the DTD without compiling. (Uncompiled DTDs use a different parser, one that works better with complicated XML doctypes like DITA.)

Modifying DITA is a fairly elaborate process. There are specific "hooks" in the DTD to allow specialization (the DITA term for modifying the doctype), but it's not as simple as just opening up *.dtd files and making changes. There are some complicated inclusions, entity reference cascades, and so on that make it challenging if you aren't making your changes in the way DITA expects.

If you want to specialize DITA, I'd recommend finding an online guide to how to do it. You could start with

Hi Clay,

Thank you for your valuable suggestions!!

I tried with compiled dtd, It did not worked.

If you don't mind I will let you know my requirement briefly!!

I am trying to make optional alt tag to mandatory using below steps

I saved this file as imageconstraint.mod and integrated with new concept dtd(newconcept.dtd) also I updated catalog file to pick this dtd from application folder(AppData\Local...\DocTypes).

When I tried to insert image through arbortext editor "<image><alt></alt></image>" is not appearing. Still alt tag is showing optional I need to insert separately.

There some dcf,fos and acl files are coming along with arbortext.. My doubt is do I need to update those files?

It looks like your syntax might be wrong.
I don't know if your DTD content is pasted or typed in to the email, but when you declare an ENTITY in a DTD you must have some white space between the % and the first character of the ENTITY name. IN other words, I think it should be "

Dell - Internal Use - Confidential

While pasting space has been removed. I question is after changing DTD is it mandatory to update arbortext supporting files? with out any arbortext files changes my dtd changes will reflect in arbortext editor?

I am not a DITA expert, nor do I play one on TV.
Supporting files do not need to be updated, unless you are adding new elements to define special behaviors, such as graphics and links. In these cases you must add the new elements to the DCF file so that the Editor will know that the new elements affect graphic and link, etc. behavior.
However, the DITA doctype is very complicated, with references to external files and ENTITY declarations and references.
New ENTITY declarations that have the same name as an existing ENTITY will over-ride the existing ENTITY if the new ENTITY declaration occurs prior to the existing one in the DTD. If they don't occur prior to the existing reference, then they will be ignored. This can be complicated by external references to other files.
All I can say is to be careful when messing with DITA. Like Clay said, get some expert advice.


I am getting IndexTerm error in Arbortext Editor. Please find attached the screenshot of the error. What will be the problem? Is this DTD related or any other Arbortext style error?

Roopesh Navath
Software Dev Assoc Engineer
Dell | PG - Information Development, India (BDC)