topic — A modular unit of documentation not part of any particular narrative flow.


topic ::=


Common attributes and common linking attributes.

Additional attributes:

  • label
  • status
  • type

Additional Constraints

  • If this element is the root element, it must have a version attribute.


The topic element is a general-purpose container designed to be semantically neutral with respect to any narrative flow. Like most “component level” elements in DocBook, it can hold block elements optionally followed by one or more sections.

Topics are most often associated with topic-oriented authoring methodologies. Topic-oriented authoring is discussed in more detail in Chapter 6, DocBook Assemblies.

Processing expectations

Formatted as a displayed block. Sometimes topics are numbered.


Common attributes and common linking attributes.

any attribute

Any attribute in any other explicit namespace


Specifies an identifying string for presentation purposes


Identifies the editorial or publication status of the element on which it occurs


Identifies the topic type


These elements contain topic: appendix, book, chapter, part.


The following elements occur in topic: address, anchor, annotation, bibliography, bibliolist, blockquote, bridgehead, calloutlist, caution, classsynopsis, cmdsynopsis, constraintdef, constructorsynopsis, danger, destructorsynopsis, enumsynopsis, epigraph, equation, example, fieldsynopsis, figure, formalgroup, formalpara, funcsynopsis, glossary, glosslist, important, index, indexterm (db.indexterm.endofrange), indexterm (db.indexterm.singular), indexterm (db.indexterm.startofrange), info (db.titleforbidden.info), info (db.titlereq.info), informalequation, informalexample, informalfigure, informaltable (db.cals.informaltable), informaltable (db.html.informaltable), itemizedlist, literallayout, macrosynopsis, mediaobject, methodsynopsis, msgset, note, orderedlist, packagesynopsis, para, procedure, productionset, programlisting, programlistingco, qandaset, refentry, remark, revhistory, screen, screenco, screenshot, sect1, section, segmentedlist, sidebar, simpara, simplelist, simplesect, subtitle, synopsis, table (db.cals.table), table (db.html.table), task, tip, title, titleabbrev, toc, typedefsynopsis, unionsynopsis, variablelist, warning.


 1 |<topic xmlns='http://docbook.org/ns/docbook' version="5.1">
   |  <title>Troubleshooting</title>
 5 | 
   |<para>If your <citetitle>Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive
   |Sunglasses</citetitle> become opaque, do not be alarmed. That's more
   |or less the point.</para>
10 |</topic>