The <glossAlternateFor> element indicates when a variant term has a relationship to another variant term as well as to the preferred term.

The <glossAlternateFor> element is available inside the <glossAlt> element, which is a container that provides a variant for the primary glossentry term. In some cases, the variant may also be an alternate for another term. In the example below, the abbreviation "stick" is a variant of the primary term (USB flash drive). The <glossAlternateFor> element indicates that "stick" is also a variant of the synonym "memory stick".


Note: These models represent only the default document types distributed by OASIS. Actual content models will differ with each new document type.
Doctype Content model
ditabase, glossary, glossentry, glossgroup no content

Contained by

Doctype Content model
ditabase, glossary, glossentry, glossgroup glossAlt


- topic/xref concept/xref glossentry/glossAlternateFor


Figure 1. The glossary term "USB flash drive" with additional information
<glossentry id="usbfd">
  <glossterm>USB flash drive</glossterm>
  <glossdef>A small portable drive.</glossdef>
    <glossPartOfSpeech value="noun"/>
    <glossUsage>Do not provide in upper case (as in "USB Flash
Drive") because that suggests a trademark.</glossUsage>
      <glossUsage>Explain the acronym on first occurrence.</glossUsage>
    <glossAlt id="memoryStick">
      <glossSynonym>memory stick</glossSynonym>
      <glossUsage>This is a colloquial term.</glossUsage>
      <glossStatus value="prohibited"/>
      <glossUsage>This is too colloquial.</glossUsage>
      <glossAlternateFor href="#usbfd/memoryStick"/>
      <glossStatus value="prohibited"/>
      <glossUsage>This short form is ambiguous.</glossUsage>


Name Description Data Type Default Value Required?
href References a term for which the current variant is an alternate (in addition to the primary term of this glossentry topic). The reference will often be to another glossAlt element within the same glossentry topic, indicating that the current variant is an alternate for both the primary term and the referenced alternate term. CDATA #IMPLIED No
type Describes the target of a reference. See The type attribute for detailed information on supported values and processing implications. CDATA #IMPLIED No
format The format attribute identifies the format of the resource being referenced. See The format attribute for details on supported values. CDATA #IMPLIED No
scope The scope attribute identifies the closeness of the relationship between the current document and the target resource. See The scope attribute for more information on values. (local | peer | external | -dita-use-​conref-​target) #IMPLIED No
univ-atts attribute group (includes select-atts, id-atts, and localization-atts groups) A set of related attributes, described in univ-atts attribute group      
global-atts attribute group (xtrf, xtrc) A set of related attributes, described in global-atts attribute group      
class, outputclass, keyref Keyref provides a redirectable reference based on a key defined within a map. See The keyref attribute for information on using this attribute. Class and outputclass are described in Other common DITA attributes      

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OASIS DITA Version 1.2 -- OASIS Standard, 1 December 2010
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