abstract

Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) Version 1.3 Part 3: All-Inclusive Edition

version
1.3
author
OASIS DITA Technical Committee

The abstract element occurs between the topic title and the topic body. It is presented as the initial content of a topic. The abstract can contain paragraph-level content as well as one or more shortdesc elements which can be used for providing link previews or summaries.

The abstract element cannot be overridden by maps, but its contained shortdesc elements can be, for the purpose of creating link summaries or previews.

Use the abstract element when the initial paragraph of a topic is unsuitable for use as a link preview or for summaries, because, for example, it contains lists or tables, or because only a portion of the paragraph is suitable. Note that when the initial paragraph is suitable as a summary, that content should be placed in a shortdesc element rather than in an abstract element. The abstract element allows for a wider range of content in your initial paragraph, such as lists and tables, and allows you to identify portions of the abstract content as useful for previews or summaries by embedding the shortdesc element within abstract.

When the contained shortdesc occurs within phrase-level content, it is treated as phrase-level content and should not create a separate paragraph on output of the topic. When the contained shortdesc occurs as a peer to paragraph-level content, it is treated as block-level content and should create a separate paragraph on output of the topic. When multiple shortdesc elements are included in an abstract, they are concatenated in output of link previews or summaries (separated by spaces).

When a shortdesc element occurs in a DITA map, it overrides the short description provided in the topic for the purpose of generating link previews, but does not replace the shortdesc in the rendered topic itself. This means that generated links to this topic will use the short description from the map for purposes any link previews provided with the link, while the rendered topic continues to use the short description inside the topic. If the topicref element in the DITA map also specifies the copy-to attribute, the content of the shortdesc element in the DITA map also overrides the short description provided in the topic. In this case, the rendered topic itself will display the shortdesc contents from the map in place of the shortdesc originally specified in the topic. Processors might not implement this behavior.

Content models

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

Inheritance

- topic/abstract

Example: abstract with phrase-level short description

<abstract>The abstract is being used to provide more complex content. 
	<shortdesc>The shortdesc must be directly contained by the abstract.</shortdesc>
The abstract can put text around the shortdesc.
</abstract>
Topic output
The abstract is being used to provide more complex content. The shortdesc must be directly contained by the abstract. The abstract can put text around the shortdesc.
Preview/summary output
The shortdesc must be directly contained by the abstract.

Example: abstract with block-level short description

<abstract><p>The abstract is being used to provide more complex content.</p> 
	<shortdesc>The shortdesc must be directly contained by the abstract.</shortdesc>
<p>The abstract can put text around the shortdesc.</p>
</abstract>
Topic output

The abstract is being used to provide more complex content.

The shortdesc must be directly contained by the abstract.

The abstract can put text around the shortdesc.

Preview/summary output
The shortdesc must be directly contained by the abstract.

Example: abstract with multiple short descriptions

<abstract>The abstract is being used to provide more complex content. 
	<shortdesc>The shortdesc must be directly contained by the abstract.</shortdesc>
	<p>The abstract can put text around the shortdesc.</p>
	<shortdesc>There can be more than one shortdesc.</shortdesc>
</abstract>
Topic output

The abstract is being used to provide more complex content. The shortdesc must be directly contained by the abstract.

The abstract can put text around the shortdesc.

There can be more than one shortdesc.

Preview/summary output
The shortdesc must be directly contained by the abstract. There can be more than one shortdesc.

Attributes

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