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Displaying XML with XSLT


With XSLT you can transform an XML document into HTML.


Displaying XML with XSLT

XSLT (eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) is the recommended style sheet language for XML.

XSLT is far more sophisticated than CSS. With XSLT you can add/remove elements and attributes to or from the output file. You can also rearrange and sort elements, perform tests and make decisions about which elements to hide and display, and a lot more.

XSLT uses XPath to find information in an XML document.


XSLT Example

We will use the following XML document:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<breakfast_menu>

<food>
<name>Belgian Waffles</name>
<price>$5.95</price>
<description>Two of our famous Belgian Waffles with plenty of real maple syrup</description>
<calories>650</calories>
</food>

<food>
<name>Strawberry Belgian Waffles</name>
<price>$7.95</price>
<description>Light Belgian waffles covered with strawberries and whipped cream</description>
<calories>900</calories>
</food>

<food>
<name>Berry-Berry Belgian Waffles</name>
<price>$8.95</price>
<description>Light Belgian waffles covered with an assortment of fresh berries and whipped cream</description>
<calories>900</calories>
</food>

<food>
<name>French Toast</name>
<price>$4.50</price>
<description>Thick slices made from our homemade sourdough bread</description>
<calories>600</calories>
</food>

<food>
<name>Homestyle Breakfast</name>
<price>$6.95</price>
<description>Two eggs, bacon or sausage, toast, and our ever-popular hash browns</description>
<calories>950</calories>
</food>

</breakfast_menu>

Use XSLT to transform XML into HTML, before it is displayed in a browser:

Example XSLT Stylesheet:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<html xsl:version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform">
<body style="font-family:Arial;font-size:12pt;background-color:#EEEEEE">
<xsl:for-each select="breakfast_menu/food">
  <div style="background-color:teal;color:white;padding:4px">
    <span style="font-weight:bold"><xsl:value-of select="name"/> - </span>
    <xsl:value-of select="price"/>
    </div>
  <div style="margin-left:20px;margin-bottom:1em;font-size:10pt">
    <p>
    <xsl:value-of select="description"/>
    <span style="font-style:italic"> (<xsl:value-of select="calories"/> calories per serving)</span>
    </p>
  </div>
</xsl:for-each>
</body>
</html>

Transform the XML Document with XSLT »

If you want to learn more about XSLT, find our XSLT tutorial on our homepage.



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