Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) Version 1.3 Part 2: Technical Content Edition

OASIS DITA Technical Committee

The glossSurfaceForm element specifies an unambiguous presentation of the glossterm that might combine multiple forms. The surface form is suitable to introduce the term in new contexts.

The glossSurfaceForm element is most often used for terms that also specify the glossAcronym element. In that context, the glossSurfaceForm element contains the term in a manner that introduces both the term and the acronym, so that later references to the term can be replaced with the acronym alone. See the abbreviated-form element for a full description of how the surface form is used together with acronyms.

Content models

See appendix for information about this element in OASIS document type shells.


- topic/p concept/p glossentry/glossSurfaceForm


The following topic defines the term "Anti-lock Braking System". Within the topic, the glossSurfaceForm element provides a version of the term that combines both the primary term and the acronym. This allows references to the topic from abbreviated-form to different versions of the term in different contexts.

<glossentry id="abs">
  <glossterm>Anti-lock Braking System</glossterm>
    <glossSurfaceForm>Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)</glossSurfaceForm>


The following attributes are available on this element: Universal attribute group and outputclass.