Software & Apps File Types What Is an XSLT File? How to Open, Edit, & Convert XSLT Files by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on June 22, 2020 File Types Design Cryptocurrency MS Office Windows Linux Google Drive Apps File Types Backup & Utilities View More Tweet Share Email A file with the XSLT file extension is an Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations file. It's a language that uses XSL instructions to transform and style an XML file. How They're Used An XSLT file is a text file and provides rules that an XML file should follow. Among other functions, it can be used for sorting and arranging different parts of the XML file and hiding some elements from displaying altogether. W3Schools.com has some XSLT examples you can look at. When these files are used with XML files, the original XML file isn't altered in any way. Instead, a new XML file is created. In fact, XSLT files can be used to "transform" not only XML files, but also many other structured documents. A lot more information about how these files are structured, and examples and tutorials on using them, can be found at W3Schools and in the official XSLT specification documentation. How to Open an XSLT File You can open an XSLT file in any text editor since it's a text-only file. Windows Notepad is the text editor built-in to Windows and can be helpful if you need to quickly make a change, but it's probably not the best program for doing heavy editing. Use one from our list of the best free text editors to open and edit the XSLT file. It structures the file in a way that makes it much easier to edit and read than with the most basic text editors like Notepad. Microsoft's Visual Studio is another XSLT opener and editor that simplifies the whole editing process. While you're making changes to the file, you can view how the transformations will look in the resulting file through the XML menu. Although they're not free, XMLSpy XSLT Editor and Liquid Studio are some other good options. You might also be able to open the file in a web browser for viewing the code, but doing that won't let you make any edits. How to Convert an XSLT File If you open an XSLT file in an editor like Visual Studio, you'll be able to save the file to a number of other formats like XSL, XSD, XML, DTD, CONFIG, and others. What you may be looking for instead of converting an XSLT file is a way to actually use it for its intended purpose, which is to transform XML files. XSLT files build documents by combining the instructions of an XSL file and the code of an XML file. You can use FreeFormatter.com's XSL Transformer for this purpose. It supports pasting the XML and XSL values in the website as well as uploading these files from your computer. Still Can't Open the File? If you can't open your file with the programs linked above, you're most likely confusing another file extension for this one. Some are so similar that it's easy to misread it, thinking you're dealing with an XSLT file. For example, XLSX, XSPF, and XSLIC (XenServer License) look like they could be related in some way to XSLT files. But if you try opening those files in one of the programs above, it will probably display an error.