Creating Word Documents

It’s very easy to create Word documents from XSLT. We saw the definitive “Hello, World” example for WordprocessingML in Chapter 2. Example 3-1 shows the “Hello, World” example for creating a Word document from XSLT.

Example 3-1. Creating a Word document from XSLT

<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"
  <xsl:template match="/">
    <xsl:processing-instruction name="mso-application">
      <xsl:attribute name="xml:space">preserve</xsl:attribute>
            <w:t>Hello, World!</w:t>

As you can see, there’s little to it, beyond slapping xsl:stylesheet and xsl:template elements around the w:wordDocument element. The only additional provisions you need to make are for generating the mso-application PI and the xml:space="preserve" directive in the result. (Using the xsl:attribute element as opposed to a literal xml:space attribute ensures that whitespace will be preserved in the result but not in the stylesheet.)

Obviously, Example 3-1 isn’t terribly interesting in its own right. What is interesting is how you can extend it. With XSLT’s power and a basic knowledge of WordprocessingML at your disposal, you can create dynamic Word documents quite easily. We’ll take a look at one example of doing this: ...

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