The <searchtitle> element is used to specify a title that is displayed by search tools that locate the topic. This is most useful when the topic has a title that makes sense in the context of a single information set, but might be too general in a list of search results; for example, a topic title of "Markup example" might make sense as part of a guide to DITA, but when found among thousands of unrelated topics, a search title of "DITA markup example" is more useful.

When a topic is rendered as XHTML, the contents of the <searchtitle> will typically appear in the XHTML's title element, which used in the result summary for many search engines. This element might not be supported for output formats that do not support distinct search titles for topics.

Content models

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


"- topic/searchtitle " when used in topics, and "- map/searchtitle " when used in maps.


In the following example, the general title "Programming Example" is likely very useful in a set of information about XSLT basics; however, the same title is not helpful among a set of search results from the entire internet. In that case, "Example of basic programming in XSLT" will be much more helpful.

<task id="progexample">
 <title>Programming Example</title>
  <titlealts><searchtitle>Example of basic
             programming in XSLT</searchtitle></titlealts>
 <taskbody> . . . </taskbody>
When <searchtitle> is used in maps, the element provides a new search title for the topic when used in a specific context. For example, the if the following map includes information about programming in many languages, searches among that information set will be most useful when they return "Example of programming in XSLT":
<topicref href="progexample.dita">
    <navtitle>Programming example</navtitle>
    <searchtitle>Example of programming in XSLT</searchtitle>


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

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