The content of all topics, regardless of topic type, is built on the same common structures.
- Topic body
- The topic body contains all content except for that contained in the title or the short description/abstract. The topic body may be specialized to impose constraints appropriate for the specific topic type even when titles and prolog are generic, or the topic body may be generic where the topic title and prolog are specialized.
- Sections and examples
- The body of a topic may contain divisions, such as sections and examples. They may contain block-level elements like titles and paragraphs and phrase-level elements like API names or text. It is recommend that sections have titles, whether they are entered directly into the title element or rendered using a fixed or default title.
- Either body divisions or untitled sections or examples may be used to delimit arbitrary structures within a topic body. However, body divisions may nest, but sections and examples cannot contain sections.
- Sectiondiv allows for the arbitrary grouping of content within a section for the purpose of content reuse. The sectiondiv does not include a title. Content that requires a title should use section or example.
- Bodydiv allows for the arbitrary grouping of content within the body of a topic for the purpose of content reuse. The bodydiv does not include a title. Content that requires a title should use section or example.
- Block-level elements
- Paragraphs, lists, and tables are types of "block" elements. As a class of content, they can contain other blocks, phrases, or text, though the rules vary for each structure.
- Phrases and keywords
- Block-level elements can contain markup to label parts of a paragraph or parts of a sentence as having special semantic meaning or presentation characteristics, such as <uicontrol> or <b>. Phrases can usually contain other phrases and keywords as well as text. Keywords can only contain text.
- Images can be inserted to display photos, illustrations, screen captures, diagrams, and the like. At the phrase level, they can display trademark characters, icons, toolbar buttons, and the like.
- With the object element, multimedia information may be added to display, for example, diagrams that can be rotated and expanded. With the <foreign> element, media may be included within topic content, e.g., SVG graphics, MathML equations, and so on.