The Extensible Stylesheet Language Family (XSL)

XSL is a family of recommendations for defining XML document transformation and presentation. It consists of three parts:

XSL Transformations (XSLT)
a language for transforming XML;
The XML Path Language (XPath)
an expression language used by XSLT (and many other languages) to access or refer to parts of an XML document;
XSL Formatting Objects (XSL-FO)
an XML vocabulary for specifying formatting semantics.

An XSLT stylesheet specifies the presentation of a class of XML documents by describing how an instance of the class is transformed into an XML document that uses a formatting vocabulary, such as (X)HTML or XSL-FO. For a more detailed explanation of how XSL works, see the What Is XSL page.

XSLT is developed by the W3C XSLT Working Group (members only) whose charter is to develop the next version of XSLT. XSLT is part of W3C's XML Activity, whose work is described in the XML Activity Statement.

XPath is developed jointly by the XQuery and XSLT Working Groups.

The XSL-FO work at W3C was taken over by the XML Print and Page Layout Working Group which has now been closed.

  • XSLT WG list, main public list for XSLT Working Group
  • XSL-List, main public list for discussion about XSL
  • xsl-editors: comments/discussion on XSLT 1.0
  • www-xsl-fo W3C list about Formatting Objects
  • XSL-FO: a Yahoo Groups list on XSL-FO.
  • If you find an error in a specification, see the Scope section of that document for how to report the error.


2017-06-08: XSLT 3.0 is a W3C Recommendation

XSLT 3.0 is a W3C Recommendation.

2017-03-21: XQuery 3.1, XPath 3.1, XDM 3.1 etc W3C Recommendations

XPath 3.1, XQuery 3.1, XQueryX 3.1, and supporting documents now W3C Recommendations.

2014-04-12: XQuery 3.0, XPath 3.0, XDM 3.0 etc W3C Recommendations

XPath 3, XQuery 3 etc now W3C Recommendations.

2011-05-04: Liquid XML Editor New 2011 Functionality

Liquid XML Editor 2011 now features an advanced XSLT debugger and an XSLT-aware editor with validation, supporting XSLT 1 and 2.

2011-01-30: LIBX adds sequences and functions to libxml

LIBX* is a project to implement XPath 2.0 and XSLT 2.0 based on the libxml2 and libxslt Gnome C libraries.

2010-10-10: MarkLogic Server 4.2 includes XSLT 2.0

MarkLogic Server 4.2 includes a C++ implementation of XSLT 2.0 that runs directly against documents stored in the database.

2009-11-12: oXygen XML Editor verson 11 released

oXygen XML Editor version 11 now lets you generate documentation for XSLT stylesheet components in XHTML, including comprehensive annotations and cross references.

2009-10-01: XSL-FO 2.0 Design Notes Published

Design Notes for XSL-FO 2.0 wsa published. It is an early draft, but we are very much looking for feedback.

2009-04-15: German documents available

data2type has made a range of documents available in German relating to XML, XSLT, XSL-FO and XPath.

2009-02-17: Altsoft Xml2PDF 2009 beta available

Altsoft s.r.o. has released Xml2PDF 2009 beta with complete HTML and DOC support, improved SVG and DocX support, digital signatures in PDF and XPS, and many other improvements.

Liam Quin (liam@w3.org), Alternate Team Contact for the XSLT Working Group
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