XSL is a stylesheet language used to format elements created in XML. Therefore, XSL is typically written by hand using a stylesheet editor. XSL is supported by most major Web development tools, including Dreamweaver and Microsoft’s Visual Web Developer. Stylesheet generators are freely available on the Web. However, it is a simple matter to create an XSL stylesheet that prints all XML elements in your document.
Create a new XSL file using your XML/XSL editor.
If it has not been automatically inserted by the XML editor, create a <stylesheet> declaration as follows:
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform">
Set your output method to XML as shown:
<xsl:output method="xml" />
Create a template that copies all of the elements in your document:
<xsl:template match="@* | node()">
<xsl:apply-templates select="@* | node()"/>
Add your closing </xsl:stylesheet> tag.
Save and test your file. The resulting transformation will display the content from every element in your XML file.
Tips & Warnings
- If you receive errors, ensure that your XSL file is both valid and well formed.
- Not all XML processors require an <apply-templates> element. Microsoft technology, however, requires this statement.
- Some visual tools will allow you to map your XML elements and generate XSL automatically.
- The relationships between XML, XSL, and software development environments can be complex. Ensure that you can successfully run a basic example in your environment before attempting more complex transformations.
- Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images
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