About FOP
Release Notes
How to get Help

Running FOP
Output Formats


Getting involved


About the FAQ

Here we have some answers to common questions about FOP. This only covers general information about getting started with FOP and pointers to more information.

For up to date information or more details please visit the Fop FAQ site.

Any problems with the FAQ itself or new answers for the FAQ should be mailed to

More general questions about FOP should be directed to one of the mailing lists.

What is FOP?

FOP is a print formatter for XSL formatting objects.

It can be used to render an XML file containing XSL formatting objects into a page layout. The main target is PDF but other rendering targets are supported, such as AWT, PCL, text and direct printing.

How does FOP interact with other Apache Projects?

The mime type for PDF is "application/pdf".

What is XSL (FO)?

XSL is an XML format that is used to specify a pagination and other styling for page layout output. XSL can be used in conjunction with XSLT to convert from any XML format into a paginated layout ready for printing or displaying.

way pages are set up. The contents of the pages are filled from flows which. There can be static flows that appear on every page and the main flow which fills the body of the page.

What can I do with FOP?

FOP is an application or library that converts an XSL FO document into the paginated output. It is possible to render the output to different targets, the main target is PDF. FOP can be run from the command line or embedded into your Java application.

The XSL FO can be delivered to FOP with XML(XSL FO), XML+XSL or SAX events.

How can I contribute?

There is always plenty of things to do.

How do I author XSL documents?

Often XSL FO is created from XML and XSLT. There are some standard XML markups such as Docbook that can be converted into XSL FO and other XML formats.

There are some XSL authoring tools that may help you to author XSL FO documents or the XML and XSLT documents.

How can I insert special character "X"?

All the characters you need are available at If you need a character it will be there. Once you have found the hex document. It will be in the form &#<decimal value>; or &#x<hex value>;.

You must have a font that supports the character you need otherwise it will replace it with a "#" in the output.

How can I see a demo?

There will be a Java Webstart demo sometime in the future. This will use the AWT viewer to display FO documents.

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