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XF Designer
Developer(s) Ecrion Software Inc.
Stable release 8.5 / January 2015; 1 year ago (2015-01)
Written in C++
Operating system Windows
Type Desktop publishing
Website www.ecrion.com/Products/XFDesigner/Overview.aspx

XF Designer is a document layout editor based on XSL-FO. Its primary purpose is to eliminate the complexity of building XSL-FO templates by providing a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) way to do this.

XF Designer uses the same XSL-FO formatting engine as Ecrion XF Rendering Server, a cross-platform engine compliant with XSL-FO 1.1.


The first version of XF Designer was released in 2006. In 2008 a major rewrite of the application brought a Microsoft Office like appearance, and many new features including working with components and translations. Starting with 2010, developers can choose between working with an XML file as a data source (the default), a XSD schema or a Data Aggregation diagram.


  • XF Designer 2007: January 8, 2007
  • XF Designer 2008: December 18, 2007
  • XF Designer 2009: February 24, 2009
  • XF Designer 2010: November 3, 2009
  • XF Designer 2015: January 2, 2015

XSL-FO editing[edit]

XF Designer is primarily a XSL-FO editor that looks and works like Microsoft Word. Whenever the user types text, inserts tables or performs any other editing action, the corresponding XSL-FO fragment is inserted in the document. This is transparent to the end user; however at any time the XSL-FO text behind can be viewed using the text mode command. Standard XSL-FO attributes[1] which are notoriously hard to edit are handled visually using commands from the Ribbon, for example:

  • changing text attribute (font-size, font-style, color, background-color)
  • changing table attributes (number-rows-spanned, number-columns-spanned)
  • working with keeps and breaks (keep-together, keep-with-next, keep-with-previous)
  • inserting images (including base64 embedding) in all major formats including JPEG, SVG, TIFF and more
  • inserting Barcodes, 3D objects and more
  • working with PDF forms

XML templates[edit]

The Designer can also create templates based on XSL-FO[1] to present any XML data. Editing templates is entirely visual (WYSIWYG) but access to the XML behind is also provided. For the purpose of presenting XML data, the designer provides dynamic features such as:

  • repeated elements - present XML data that occurs in a repetitive manner
  • conditional sections - show specific sections of a document if a certain condition is met
  • formatting patterns - format date, time, currency with support for language specific formatting
  • conditional formatting - set object properties based on certain conditions
  • dynamic attributes - set object properties from the input XML


External links[edit]