Publishing with XML - Herong's Tutorial Examples - v4.02, by Dr. Herong Yang
What Is XSL-FO (XSL Formatting Objects)
This section provides a brief introduction of the XSL-FO (XSL Formatting Objects) technology.
XSL-FO: An XML based markup language that defines how the embedded information should be formatted for viewing or printing. XSL-FO is very similar to TeX, which was a very popular language 15 years ago for writing well formatted scientific documents.
Main features of XSL-FO:
1. XSL-FO is XML based. So an XSL-FO document is also an XML document.
2. XSL-FO documents requires to an XSL-FO processor to comile them into new output formats that are suitable for viewing or printing. Common XSL-FO output formats are text, PDF and PS files.
3. XSL-FO can be embedded inside XSL transformation stylesheet files. In this case, the content source XML file will be processed in 2 steps in order to get the viewing or printing output files:
The 2-step process can be viewed as in this diagram:
Content source (XML format) | | XSLT stylesheet with XSL-FO statements | | | v |<- XSLT transforming | v Content with XSL-FO statements (XML format) | |<- XSL-FO processing | v Printing document (PDF format)
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