The <topicgroup> element groups <topicref> elements for common treatment without affecting the structural hierarchy of the map, as opposed to nesting <topicref> elements, which does imply a structural hierarchy. The <topicgroup> element can provide linking relationships and shared, inherited attributes to the set of elements that it contains without affecting the resulting table of contents or navigation.

Beginning with DITA 1.2, you are able to specify a <navtitle> element within the <topicmeta> element inside of a <topicgroup>. The <topicgroup> element is meant as a non-titled grouping element, so adding a <navtitle> element to the <topicgroup> element has no defined purpose, and processors MUST ignore the title. Processors MAY issue a message when ignoring the title.

Content models

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


+ map/topicref mapgroup-d/topicgroup


Each <topicref> element in the following example inherits the @audience and @linking attributes. In this way the common attributes are set for the entire group of <topicref> elements without affecting the navigation hierarchy.

<topicgroup audience="novice" linking="none">
  <topicref href="this.dita"/>
  <topicref href="that.dita"/>
  <topicref href="theother.dita"/>


The following attributes are available on this element: Universal attribute group, Attributes common to many map elements, and outputclass. Although @locktitle is available as part of Attributes common to many map elements, it has no defined purpose for this element.

The @scope, @format, and @type attributes from Link relationship attribute group are also available.

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