XSL-FO pause-before and pause-after Properties


Definition and Usage

The pause-before and pause-after properties are used only in Aural Stylesheets.

The aural rendering of a document combines sounds and voices to go through the content of a document. Aural presentation occurs often by converting the document to plain text and then feeding this to a screen reader.

Situations and markets for listening to information could be:

  • for blind people
  • in the car
  • help users learning to read

Azimuth and elevation are important properties for aural presentation. These properties are used to keep several voices apart. In real life, all the people do not stand in the same spot in a room.

The pause-before property specifies a pause to be inserted before speaking the content of a specific element.

The pause-after property specifies a pause to be inserted after speaking a content of a specific element.


  • Inherited: no
  • Percentages: yes
  • Media: aural

Property Values

Value Description
time Specifies the pause in seconds and milliseconds
% Specifies the pause in % of the speech-rate property (e.g. if the speech-rate is 120 words/minute and a word takes 500ms to read, then a pause-before of 100% means a pause of 500ms - a half second)