XSL-FO Development

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2 days practical workshop for up to 12 people.

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This is a highly practical training course for developers who need to use XSL Formatting Objects to produce sophisticated screen or print output from XML source data. The training course does not rely on any specific toolset. Both open source tools and XML Spy can be used for the delivery of this training course.


This training course combines lectures with practical exercises that help the delegates to put what they have learned on the training course into practice. The exercises specifically build on what has been recently taught and are built up as the training course progresses.

Training Course Objectives

  • Be able to create XSL-FO documents
  • Understand the XSL-FO document structure
  • Understand and create pages and sequences of pages
  • Work with areas and position areas
  • Create tables of contents and indexes

Who it is for

Basic XML, XPath and XSLT experience is assumed. Those with some background in programming/scripting (any language) would best assimilate the concepts presented.

Training Course Prerequisites

  • A good understanding of XML technology, including namespaces, well formedness and valid XML
  • A good grasp of XSLT processing, and the basic structure of an XSLT stylesheet


Chapter 1 Introducing XSL-FO

  • An XSL-Overview
  • XPath, XSLT and XSL-FO
  • The XSL-FO Processor
  • Output from the Processor (PDF, Postscript, RTF)
  • About Shorthand, Short Form and Inheritance
  • The Structure of an XSL-FO Document

Chapter 2 Basic Document Work

  • About Pagination - Simple and Complex
  • Working with Page Sequences
  • Working with Areas
  • Area Types, Area Components
  • Area Positioning
  • Block and Inline Elements
  • Tables and Lists
  • Working with Graphics and Color
  • Character Properties and Fonts

Chapter 3 More Advanced Document Work

  • Cross Document Links
  • Creating and Index
  • Creating a Table of Contents
  • Working with Headers
  • Page Layout and Flow
  • Stylesheet Considerations