A DITA Compare result file contains the information needed to determine the changes between two revisions of a document but in itself, it is not able to display those changes in a meaningful way. The next task is to utilise this information in the publishing step for the document so that the changes can be highlighted in formats such as HTML, PDF or even a WYSIWYG editor.

Please note that auto-numbered items such as sections or list items in a document displaying changes may not use the same numbering as in the latest version of the document. This is because deleted items are still given a number. For example, a list that originally had three numbered items but had the middle one deleted will still contain three items in the result but with the middle marked with status="deleted". When this is converted into a published document, the middle deleted item will be item 2 with the final item being item 3 (rather than 2 as it would be in the latest version of the document).

oXygen Editor

When editing DITA files using a WYSIWYG editor, it is possible to use status attributes to highlight changes. For example the oXygen editor from Syncro Soft SEL has an Author view which uses CSS to display a DITA document similar to that of a word processor display. With oXygen it is possible to customize the CSS used to display the document in order to use status values to highlight change.

The samples directory samples/resources/css includes sample files that can be used with various versions of the oXygen editor for change highlighting and display in both DITA Topics and Maps. The instructions for doing this are provided in the Using CSS styling for Topics and Maps in oXygen XML editor page on the website.


A DITAVAL file is used for both conditional processing and flagging of DITA content in a publishing pipeline. Flagging is a limited form of styling based on attribute values. It is possible to make use of the rev attributes added by DeltaXML DITACompare for flagging the output via a DITAVAL file.

The samples/resources/ditaval directory contains a deltaxml.ditaval file with some flagging and changebar suggestions. Comments at the top of this file describe how it can be used.