<xsl:apply-templates> Element

Directs the XSLT processor to find the appropriate template to apply, based on the type and context of each selected node.

  select = Expression
  mode = QName


Can be used to process nodes selected by an expression, instead of processing all children. The value of the select attribute is an Expressions, which must evaluate to a node-set. The selected node-set is processed in document order, unless a different sort order has been specified.


The mode attribute allows an element as specified by its Qualified Names to be processed multiple times, each time producing a different result. If <xsl:template> does not have a match attribute, it cannot have a mode attribute. If an <xsl:apply-templates> element has a mode attribute, it applies only to template rules from <xsl:template> elements that have a mode attribute with the same value. If an <xsl:apply-templates> element does not have a mode attribute, it applies only to template rules from <xsl:template> elements that do not have a mode attribute.

The <xsl:apply-templates> element first selects a set of nodes using the expression specified in the select attribute. If this attribute is left unspecified, all children of the current node are selected. For each of the selected nodes, <xsl:apply-templates> directs the XSLT processor to find an appropriate <xsl:template> to apply. Templates are tested for applicability by comparing the node to the XPath expression specified in the template's match attribute. If more than one template satisfies the match pattern, the one appearing with the highest priority is chosen. If several templates have the same priority, the last in the style sheet is chosen.

The following topic provides an example of the <xsl:apply-templates> element.

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