How to Create an XSLT File from Python

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to effortlessly generate an XSLT file using Python. By leveraging the lxml library, you can efficiently process XML and XSL documents to transform XML data into diverse formats using XSL stylesheets.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

To create an XSLT file from Python, we can utilize the powerful lxml library. This library offers robust support for handling XML and XSL documents, enabling us to seamlessly convert XML data into various formats by applying XSL stylesheets. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily create a customized XSLT file tailored to your specific requirements.


from lxml import etree

# Create a new XSL stylesheet with a template that matches all elements
xslt_root = etree.XML('''
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"

<xsl:template match="/">
      <table border="1">
        <tr bgcolor="#9acd32">
        <xsl:for-each select="catalog/book">
            <td><xsl:value-of select="title"/></td>
            </td><xsl:value-of select="author"/></td></tr>


# Save the stylesheet to a file named 'output.xslt'
with open("output.xslt", "wb") as f:

# Copyright PHD


In the provided code snippet: – We import the etree module from the lxml library for working with XML and XSL documents. – A new XSL stylesheet is defined with a template specifying how XML data should be transformed. – The generated output contains HTML markup structured according to the rules defined in the XSL template. – Finally, we save this stylesheet as ‘output.xslt’ using the open() function.

    How do I install the lxml library?

    You can install lxml using pip by running pip install lxml.

    Can I apply multiple templates in an XSL document?

    Yes, you can define multiple templates within your stylesheet based on different matching criteria.

    What if my XML structure is complex?

    For complex XML structures, you may need to create more elaborate templates in your XSL document.

    Is it possible to include parameters in the transformation process?

    Yes, you can pass parameters from Python code to your XSL stylesheets for dynamic transformations.

    How do I test my generated XSLT file?

    You can test your generated XLST transformation by applying it on sample XML data through tools like OxygenXML or online converters.


    This tutorial provides comprehensive guidance on dynamically generating customized views of XML data through styling mechanisms like those offered by CSS-like syntax of .XSD (XHTML Stylesheet Definition). By utilizing libraries such as lxml alongside detailed tutorials available at, users can proficiently craft succinct yet powerful solutions tailored to their specific needs.

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