XSLT <template> Element

XSLT is all about being able to select one or more nodes from your XML document and transforming or replacing its content with something else.

A node could be any of the following: elements, attributes, text, namespaces, processing-instructions, and comments.

The <xsl:template> element is what you use to select a node from your XML document and transform its contents.

To select an element, you use the match attribute. To transform its contents, you simply place the new content between the opening (<xsl:template>) and closing (</xsl:template>) tags.


In this case, I'm selecting the root node (i.e. tutorials). By selecting this node, the template element tells the XSLT processor how to transform the output.

What I'm doing here is telling the processor to replace the root node (i.e. the whole XML document) with what I've written between the <xsl:template> tags.

In this case, I have written the contents of an HTML document inside the <xsl:template> tags. When a user views any XML document that uses this XSL document, they will simply see the line New content... and the browser's title bar will read My XSLT Example.

Selecting the Root Node

In the example above, we selected the tutorials node which happens to be the root node of our XML document. Another way of selecting the root node is to use a forward slash in place of the node's name. The following example results in the same output as the above example.