XSLT Elements

This section of the Saxon documentation lists all of the standard XSLT elements in the http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform namespace, providing brief descriptions of their function, details about their structure and usage, and any information specific to the Saxon implementation. Many also have further detailed descriptions and examples. Almost all of the elements are supported in Saxon stylesheets, and any that are not supported are clearly labelled as such.

For information about the additional extension elements provided with the Saxon product, see Extension instructions.


Saxon implements the XSLT 2.0 Recommendation from the World Wide Web Consortium: see XSLT 2.0 Conformance. The information here is designed to give a comprehensive summary of the features, but for the full specification, consult the official standard.

New elements in the XSLT 3.0 Candidate Recommendation are also included. Saxon implements almost all features, and any exceptions are noted. XSLT 3.0 processing requires Saxon-PE or Saxon-EE. For more details see XSLT 3.0 Conformance.

XSLT Patterns

This section of the documentation also contains an informal description of the syntax of Patterns in XSLT 2.0 and the extensions in XSLT 3.0.

Standard attributes

There are a number of standard attributes that may appear on any XSLT element (or any literal result element, in which case the names of the attributes must be in the XSLT namespace): default-collation, default-mode, default-validation, exclude-result-prefixes, expand-text, extension-element-prefixes, use-when, version, and xpath-default-namespace. For information about these, see the xsl:stylesheet element.