DAG Tutorial

The Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG) is a complementary resource to DoD Directive 5000.01 and DoD Instruction 5000.02 that provides the acquisition workforce with discretionary business best practice that should be tailored to the needs of each program.

The Guidebook is intended to be an electronic reference source rather than a "book." The "reader" "navigates" the information instead of "leafing" through hundreds of physical, collated pages. "Navigation" is electronic movement through the reference system. [For more detailed background on the DAG, please review the DAG Foreword.]

The DAG Tutorial has been created to assist you, the user, with “navigation” by providing an overview of the functionality of the tool, as well as instruction on how to access, review and optimize the content within each Chapter.

Navigating the DAG Site

The latest DAG revision restructured content into a framework consisting of 10 Chapters and a Foreword. The DAG homepage or “landing” page, as it will be referred to within this document, has also been updated to reflect these changes. The landing page is comprised of three distinct sections: DAG Chapters, Associated References and Related Tools.

Screenshot of DAG Landing Page

DAG Chapters

You can access the DAG Foreword and/or Chapters using links in the navigation menu or the images on the landing page.

To access the navigation menu, click on the “hamburger” icon in the top left corner of the site.

Navigation View 1: Hamburger Icon

Screenshot pointing users to hamburger icon

The “hamburger” menu displays the site navigation for DAU.mil. The links that are available to you are determined by (1) whether or not you are logged into the site, and (2) your assigned user permissions. The hamburger menu is available to you from any screen or navigation level within the DAU.mil or DAG site. If you get “lost” at any point, you can always return to the DAG landing page or appropriate Chapter using a link in the hamburger menu.

Navigation View 2: Expanded Hamburger Menu

Screenshot showing expanded hamburger menu

You can also click on the corresponding Chapter image/link in the main body of the landing page to access the desired content.

Navigation View 3: Landing Page Images

Screenshot showing users they can link to the chapters by clicking on image(s)

DAG Viewer

When you click on a Chapter link, they will be redirected to the “DAG Viewer”. This “viewer” is a web-enabled (html) version of the MS Word source document, or DAG Chapter. You are seeing the “web” display of this content, enabled with enhanced functionality for ease of use. Details on the viewer features and functionality are outlined in the following sections.

Note: Viewer works best when browser display is set to a (“zoom”) magnification of 100%.

Table of Contents

Within each Chapter, you will see a web-generated Table of Contents (TOC) featured on the left-hand side of the viewer. The TOC provides links to every paragraph, table and figure within the Chapter.

TOC View 1: Default TOC

Screenshot pointing to TOC

Chapter Paragraph Links

The viewer defaults to a “collapsed” TOC outline, where only the first-level paragraph titles are displayed; however, you can click on the paragraph link to expand and access all the subparagraph and other links as needed.

TOC View 2: Expanded TOC

Screenshot of expanded TOC

The TOC is viewable to you regardless of where they are in the document. This allows you to easily navigate back and forth between specific paragraphs within the Chapter without having to search for a page or section.


Tables and figures are dynamically linked throughout the document. You can access the tables and/or figures through the Table of Contents, or by scrolling to the specific content area. The title for each table and figure contains a link that allows you to view the source image in its original format (picture, PowerPoint, etc.). Click on the link to open the source image in a new window. To return to the DAG, simply to close the window/source image file.

Table/Figure View 1: Table/Figure link

Screenshot showing active document link to table

Table/Figure View 2: Table/Figure Open in New Window

Screenshot showing how table (or source document) will open in new screen when clicked

Content Links

You can open/navigate to any link within the DAG Chapters. The links will open in either the same window or a new tab depending on the where the link is directing you, i.e., an internal or external site. Once these links have been accessed, there are several options for you to navigate back/return to a prescribed place in the DAG.

  • To return to the DAG landing page from inside a Chapter: Use the global navigation menu or Defense Acquisition Guidebook link listed above the DAG Chapter viewer to return to the Guidebook section.

Screenshot showing how to navigate back to DAG Home from within a Chapter

  • To return to a previous DAG Chapter: Many of the Guidebook's internal links open other Guidebook sections or Chapters in the same window. You can usually return to the section you were viewing by selecting your browser's Back button.
  • To return to the DAG from external links: When you click on a link to external DAG content, the system should open a new tab in the your browser in order to (1) display the additional content and (2) allow the you to easily return to the DAG when ready.

Note: The DAG links to several .MIL sites that require registration and login for access. When selecting one of these links, you will be directed to the corresponding login page. If you are not a registered user, you will be required to create an account to access the site. After you have completed registration and/or login, you MAY be directed to the intended Web page automatically. If this is not the case, go back to the Guidebook and click the link again. You should now see the target page.


You can adjust the way the viewer displays content on the page using a number of different features. As a reminder, the viewer works best when your browser is set to a (“zoom”) magnification of 100%.

Adjust Screen

The first is option is to expand the size of the viewing screen. You can do this by clicking on one or more of the arrows on the sides of the viewer. You can hide the left side, right side or both sides to customize the display of the web-enabled document.

Adjust Screen View 1: Left side hidden

Screenshot showing how to expand the screen by closing out the left nav pane

Adjust Screen View 2: Right side hidden

Screenshot showing how to expand the screen by closing out the right nav pane

Adjust Screen View 3: Left and Right sides hidden

Screenshot showing how to expand the screen by closing out the left and right nav panes


The DAG viewer is optimized for use on desktop and mobile devices, to include laptops, tablets and smart phones. The images below provides notional depictions of how content will be displayed on a mobile device. Note: Display may vary by brand or model of the mobile device.

Mobile View 1: iPad

Screenshot showing how DAG would notionally display on an iPad

Mobile View 2: iPhone 6

Screenshot showing how DAG would notionally display on an iPhone 6

Night Vision/Alternate Display

Although accessible from any device, another mobile-friendly feature is the “night vision” icon, which changes the view from day mode to night mode. You can click on the “light bulb” icon to switch between modes.

Screenshot showing how "night vision" or low light feature displays in viewer

Text Size

You can increase or decrease the size of the text within the viewer on desktop or mobile devices. To increase the size of the text, click on the large capital “A” icon as shown below.

Text Size View 1: Increase Size

Screenshot showing icon to use to increase text size

To decrease the size of the text, click on the small capital “A”.

Text Size View 2: Decrease Size

Screenshot showing icon to decrease text size

PDF and ePub Formats

The DAG is also available for download and viewing in PDF and ePub formats. To access these formats, click on the “PDF” or “ePub” icons in the top navigation of the viewer.

Screenshot showing icons that will enable users to download DAG in PDF and ePub formats

PDF Format

The screenshot below shows how a Chapter might display in PDF format.

Screenshot of what DAG Chapter would look like in PDF

Combining Chapters in PDF

Once the PDF for each individual chapter has been saved, you can “combine” them all using Adobe Acrobat. The easiest way to do this is navigate to the downloaded files on your computer, right click on one of them (preferably Chapter 1), then select “Combine files in Acrobat”. This will bring up a new screen that will allow you to select all the files you want to combine.

Depending on your version of Adobe, you can also combine the documents from within the PDF (Under “Tools”, select “Pages”, and then “Combine Files into PDF”).

ePub Format

The ePub version can be viewed on a mobile device with an ePub reader.


You can customize content by adding “bookmarks” to any of the Chapter paragraphs. To add a bookmark, you must first be logged into the site. Once logged in, you will need to highlight the desired content, then click the “+” sign next to “Bookmarks” in the right hand navigation pane. The system will automatically refresh to show the new bookmark. Unless you remove them, bookmarks are retained by the system for future use, which means you can return to and access the bookmarks any time they login to the site. The bookmarks do not affect or show up in the source document.

Bookmark View 1: Highlight Text

Screenshot showing user step 1 of bookmarking process (highlighting the text to bookmark)

Bookmark View 2: Bookmark Established in Navigation Pane

Screenshot showing users how bookmark will display in the viewer


You can also add “Notes” about the specific paragraphs or content in the Chapter. The Notes feature is accessible through the Notes icon provided to aid users in locating it in the viewer icon in the right hand navigation pane (next to the Bookmark icon provided to aid users in locating it in the viewericon).

To add a Note, you will need to first be logged into the site. After login, click on the Notes icon provided to aid users in locating it in the viewer icon, and then click the “+” next to “Notes”.

Notes View 1: Locating the Notes Feature

Screenshot showing users where to find Notes section

The system will generate a text blank text box titled “Notes”. You will need to type the text of the note into this box and then click “Save”.

Notes View 2: Notes Text Box

Screenshot showing the text box that is enabled when users select Notes

The system will automatically refresh, displaying the note in the right hand navigation pane. Similar to bookmarking, notes are retained by the system for future use. The Notes icon will be displayed above the first paragraph in the Chapter as a reminder to you that notes have been previously entered.

Notes View 3: Note Established in Navigation PaneScreenshot showing how Notes display in nav pane


To “find” specific text within a Chapter, type the term or phrase into the “Find” field in the top right of the DAG viewer. This will return only results specific to the Chapter currently open in the viewer. The results will be highlighted in yellow throughout the Chapter.

Find View 1: Find a Term in Viewer

Screenshot capturing "Find" and how results are highlighted in the text

Alternatively, you can also locate all instances in which the term has been referenced in the Chapter by selecting “Ctrl” + “F” on your keyboard. This will prompt your browser to display another navigation level/text box, located just beneath the URL field (https://www.dau.mil...).

Find View 2: Find a Term Using CTRL + F

Screen shot displaying how to "Find" using CTRL + F

Type the text you would like to “Find” in the text box and hit “Enter”. You will notice that this also highlights the same returns as the previous “Find”; however, using this functionality, you can also “scroll” through the results using the “Previous” and “Next” options. The query also identifies how many times the term appears within the Chapter.

Find View 3: Find Results (CTRL + F)

Screenshot showing "Find" related features, to include scrolling buttons and highlighted results


To “search” the DAG, type your search term or phrase into the search box at the top of the page and select the Search button.

Search View 1: Enter Term or Phrase

Screenshot showing where to locate the Search field

You will be redirected to a new page that will display the search results.

Search View 2: Results Page

Screenshot displaying Search results

Note: The “Search” field allows you to tailor your search to (1) the DAG site, referred to as “This site” (default search) or (2) the full DAU.mil site, referred to as “All DAU”.

Search View 3: Limiting Search to “This Site”

Screenshot showing the search drop-down/selections

Associated References

“Associated References” contains links to supporting DoD policy. Each of these links directs you to the source document, rather than a local copy that might not be as up-to-date. Please note that these links should open in a separate tab within your internet browser and may require login/authentication to access. Close the reference tab when you wish to return to the DAG.

Screenshot of the AR section of the DAG landing page

Related Tools

“Related Tools” is a set of DAU-sponsored products that support the overall use of the DAG. These products, which are accessible from the DAG landing page, include the following:


You can submit questions, comments, or suggestions about the DAG or the site using links provided in the hamburger menu and footer sections of the landing page.

Screenshot of available feedback options on the DAG landing page.

While you can submit feedback through any of these channels, it is important to better understand the purpose and intent behind each one.

Please note that all feedback is very important, and will be addressed in a timely manner, regardless of the method in which it is submitted for consideration.

DAG Chapter Feedback

The DAG Feedback section of the hamburger menu provides links that will allow you to submit content-related questions or suggestions directly to any of the Chapter Editors, as well as the DAG Support Team.

DAG Feedback View 1: Chapter Links

Screenshot of Chapter feedback links

A link has been established for each DAG Chapter, so simply click on the link of the Chapter for which you wish to submit your feedback. A pop-up security message will appear, asking for permission to access Microsoft Outlook (or your local e-mail system). When you see this pop-up, click “Allow”.

DAG Feedback View 2: Chapter Links/Security Pop-up

Security Pop-up Screenshot

Once you “allow” access, another pop-up will appear, this time in the form of an e-mail template. The “To” field will be populated with the e-mail address/alias of the selected Chapter editor; the “Subject” line will be “DAG Chapter Feedback”, again with selected Chapter inserted. The example below features the e-mail template for DAG Chapter 3 Feedback.

DAG Feedback View 3: Chapter Feedback E-mail

Chapter Feedback Email Template screenshot

You can type your content suggestions in the blank body of the e-mail. Attach any supporting documents, tables or links as needed. When you have completed entering your feedback, click “Send”. The e-mail will be automatically routed to the Chapter Editor(s) for review.

DAG General Feedback

You can also submit general comments, inquiries or issues, not otherwise suitable to submit to an individual Chapter Editor, through the “DAG General Feedback” link.

DAG Feedback View 4: General Feedback

Screenshot showing link to DAG General Feedback

The process is identical to the one for submitting feedback on the individual Chapters; however, the e-mail for this feedback will be routed to the DAG/Guidebook Support Team.

DAU/DAG Site Feedback

The final option for submitting feedback is through the footer link, which routes feedback to the DAU Helpdesk. This link is intended to be used when you need to request assistance with/report technical issues (site access, outages, etc.). When you click on “Feedback” here, the system will generate a pop-up e-mail template with “DAUHelp” in the “To” field.

Screenshot showing email template that appears when you click on the Feedback tab in the footer of the landing page