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Altova StyleVision 2020 Basic Edition

The main product features of StyleVision are listed below:


General product features

Given below is a list of the main high-level features of StyleVision.


Enterprise and Professional editions are each available as separate 64-bit and 32-bit applications.



SPS designs can be based on XML Schemas and DTDs. A design uses other source files, such as XML and CSS files. The following additional features concerning sources are supported:


HTML documents can be converted to XML.



Given below are some general GUI features:


Multiple SPS designs can be open simultaneously, with one being active at any given time. Each SPS design is shown in a separate tab.

Template filters allow you to customize the display of the design document. With this feature you can disable the display of templates that are not currently being edited, thus increasing editing efficiency.

Hide Markup in Design View: Markup tags in Design View can be hidden and collapsed, thus freeing up space in Design View.

While designing the SPS, output views and stylesheets can be displayed by clicking the respective tabs. This enables you to quickly preview the output and the XSLT code.



Various output formats are supported depending upon the edition that has been installed. The following output-related features are supported:


XSLT versions 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 are supported.

In the Enterprise and Professional Editions, multiple output formats (HTML) are generated from a single SPS design.

Both XSLT files and output files can be generated and saved, either directly from within the GUI or via StyleVision Server.

Altova has developed a special PXF File format that enables an SPS file to be saved together with related source and data files. This enables entire SPS projects to be transported rather than just the SPS file.

ASPX Interface for Web Applications: With this feature, HTML web pages can be quickly updated. StyleVision generates, from an SPS, all the files necessary for an ASPX application. When the web page (a .aspx file) is refreshed, the source data (including any updates) is dynamically transformed via XSLT to the web page.


SPS design features

Given below is a list of the main StyleVision features specific to designing the SPS.


The SPS can contain static text, which you enter in the SPS, and dynamic text, which is selected from the source document.

Dynamic content is inserted in the design by dragging-and-dropping nodes from the schema source. Design Elements (paragraphs, lists, images, etc) can also be inserted first, and an XML node from the schema tree can be assigned to the Design Element afterwards.

Dynamic content can be inserted as text, or in the form of a data-entry device (such as an input field or combo box).

The structure of the design is specified and controlled in a single main template. This structure can be modified by optional templates for individual elementsknown as global templates because they can be applied globally for that element.

Global templates can also be created for individual datatypes, thus enabling processing to be handled also on the basis of types.

Multiple Document Output: The output generated by the SPS can be designed to be split into multiple documents. In the design, New Document templates are created and content placed in them. Each New Document template generates a separate document in the output.

User-Defined Templates: A template can be generated for a sequence of items by an XPath expression you specify. These items may be atomic values or nodes. An XPath expression enables the selection of nodes to be more specific, allowing conditions and filters to be used for the selection.

User-Defined Elements: This feature is intended to enable presentation language elements (such as HTML, XSLT, and XSL-FO) to be freely inserted at any location in the design.

User-Defined XML Text Blocks: XML Text blocks can be freely inserted at any location in the design, and these blocks will be created at that location in the generated XSLT stylesheet.

Design Fragments enable the modularization and re-use of templates within an SPS, and also across multiple SPSs (see modular SPSs), in a manner similar to the way functions are used.

SPS modules can be added to other SPS modules, thus making objects defined in one SPS module available to other modules. This enables re-use of module objects across multiple SPSs and makes maintenance easier.

XSLT Templates: XSLT files can be imported into the generated stylesheets. If a node in the XML instance document is matched to a template in the imported XSLT file and no other template takes precedence over the imported template, then the imported template will be used. Additionally, named templates in the imported XSLT file can be called from within the design.

New from XSLT: An SPS can be created from an XSLT-for-HTML or an XSLT-for-FO. Template structure and styling in the XSLT will be created in the SPS. You can then modify the SPS components and add content and formatting to the SPS.

User-Defined XPath Functions: The user can define XPath functions which can be used anywhere in the document where XPath functions may be used.

Layout Containers: A Layout Container is a block in which Design Elements can be laid out and absolutely positioned within the block.

Blueprints: Within a Layout Container an image of a form can be used as an underlay blueprint for the design. With the help of a blueprint, an existing design can be reproduced accurately.

A common feature of XML documents is the repeating data structure. For example, an office department typically has several employees. The data for each employee would be stored in a data structure which is repeated for each employee. In the SPS, the processing for each such data structure is defined once and applied to each relevant node in turn (the employee node in our example).

Multiple tables of contents can be inserted in XSLT 2.0 and 3.0 SPSs.

Repeating data structures can also be inserted as dynamic tables. This provides looping in a structured, table format, with each loop through the data structure producing a row (or, if required, a column) of the table.

A repeating element can be sorted on one or more sort-keys you select, and the sorted element set is sent to the output (HTML).

Variables: A variable can now be declared on a template and take a value that is specified with an XPath expression. Previously, the value of a variable was limited to the selection of the node on which it was created. Variables in the 2010 version allow any XPath expression to be specified as the value of the variable.

Nodes can be grouped on the basis of common data content (for example, the common value of an attribute value) and their positions.

The conditional templates feature enables one of a set of templates to be processed according to what conditions in the XML document or system environment are fulfilled. This enables processing that is conditional on information contained in the source document or that cannot be known to the SPS document creator at the time of creation (for example, the date of processing). The available conditions are those that can be tested using XPath expressions.

Auto-Calculations enable you to manipulate data from the source document/s and to display the result. This is useful, when you wish to perform calculations on numbers (for example, sum the prices in an invoice), manipulate strings (for example, change hyphens to slashes), generate content, etc. The available manipulations are those that can be effected using XPath expressions. Native Java and .NET functions can be used in the XPath expressions of Auto-Calculations.

Images can be inserted in the design. The URI for the image can be static (entered in the SPS), or dynamic (taken from a node in the source document), or a combination of both static and dynamic parts.

Images from inline data: Images can be generated from Base-16 and Base-64 encoded text in the XML document. Consequently, images can be stored directly in the source XML document as text. An SPS can now decode such text and render the image.

Two types of lists can be created: static and dynamic. In a static list, each list item is defined in the SPS. In a dynamic list, a node is created as a list item; the values of all instances of that node are created as the items of the list.

Static and dynamic links can be inserted in the design. The target URI can be static (entered in the SPS), or dynamic (taken from a node in the source document), or a combination of both static and dynamic parts.

Static bookmarks can be inserted. These serve as anchors that can be linked to with a hyperlink.

Parameters can be declared globally for the entire SPS. A parameter is declared with a name and a string value, and can be used in XPath expressions in the SPS. The parameter value you declare is the default value. It can be overridden by a value passed via StyleVision Server.

With the Input Formatting feature, the contents of numeric XML Schema datatype nodes can be formatted as required for output display. Input Formatting can also be used to format the result of an Auto-Calculation.

JavaScript functions can be used in the SPS to provide user-defined functionality for Authentic View and HTML output.

A number of predefined HTML formats are available via the GUI and can be applied to individual SPS components.

A large number of CSS text formatting and layout properties can be applied to individual SPS components via the Styles sidebar.

Additionally, CSS styles can be defined for HTML selectors at the global level of an SPS and in external CSS stylesheets. These style rules will be applied to HTML output, thus providing considerable formatting and layout flexibility.

Styles can also be assigned using XPath expressions. This enables style property values to be selected from XML documents and to set property values conditionally.




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