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10.6. XSLT Style Sheet Structure

The general order for elements in an XSL style sheet is as follows:

<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"

   <xsl:template match="...">

   <xsl:template name="...">


Essentially, this ordering boils down to a few simple rules. First, all XSL stylesheets must be well-formed XML documents, and each <XSL> element must use the namespace specified by the xmlns declaration in the <stylesheet> element (commonly xsl:). Second, all XSL stylesheets must begin with the XSL root element tag, <xsl:stylesheet>, and close with the corresponding tag, </xsl:stylesheet>. Within the opening tag, the XSL namespace must be defined:


After the root element, you can import external stylesheets with <xsl:import> elements, which must always be first within the <xsl:stylesheet> element. Any other elements can then be used in any order and in multiple occurrences if needed.

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