Used within an xsl:choose element to indicate the default action to be taken if none of the other choices matches. With XSLT 4.0 syntax enabled, it may also appear within xsl:switch.

Content: sequence-constructor
Permitted parent elements: xsl:choose




XPath expression. Experimental: available only if XSLT 4.0 constructs are enabled. Provides an alternative way of supplying the return value; if present, the contained sequence constructor must be empty.

Saxon availability

Available in XSLT 1.0 and later versions. Available in all Saxon editions. Available for all platforms.

Notes on the Saxon implementation

The select attribute is implemented from Saxon 10, provided syntax extensions are enabled.

Provided that syntax extensions are enabled, Saxon (from 10) allows the xsl:when and xsl:otherwise elements to return a value using a select attribute in place of a contained sequence constructor.


Note that forwards-compatibility mode in previous versions of XSLT does not handle the select attribute particularly well. If an XSLT 3.0 processor encounters an xsl:otherwise instruction with a select attribute, and the instruction has an effective version of 4.0, the select attribute will simply be ignored, which will generally give incorrect results.

Links to W3C specifications

XSLT 2.0 Specification

XSLT 3.0 Specification

XSLT 4.0 Specification

See also