XSL-FO region-start Object

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Definition and Usage

The <fo:region-start> object defines the left region of a page (left sidebar).

XSL-FO uses the following elements to define the regions of a page:

  • <fo:region-body> defines the body region
  • <fo:region-before> defines the top region (header)
  • <fo:region-after> defines the bottom region (footer)
  • <fo:region-start> defines the left region (left sidebar)
  • <fo:region-end> defines the right region (right sidebar)

Note: region-before, region-after, region-start, and region-end is a part of the region-body. To avoid text in the region-body to overwrite text in the other regions, the region-body must have margins at least the size of these regions.

Note: According to version 1.0 of the XSL-FO Recommendation, the padding and border-width properties must be 0.




Property [A-B] Property [C-Z]
background-attachment clip
background-color display-align
background-image extent
background-repeat overflow
background-position-horizontal padding-after
background-position-vertical padding-before
border-after-color padding-bottom
border-after-style padding-end
border-after-width padding-left
border-before-color padding-right
border-before-style padding-start
border-before-width padding-top
border-bottom-color region-name
border-bottom-style reference-orientation
border-bottom-width writing-mode


XSL-FO uses page templates called "Page Masters" to define the layout of  pages. Each template must have a unique name:

<fo:simple-page-master master-name="intro">
  <fo:region-body margin="5in" />

<fo:simple-page-master master-name="left">
  <fo:region-body margin-left="2in" margin-right="3in" />

<fo:simple-page-master master-name="right">
  <fo:region-body margin-left="3in" margin-right="2in" />

In the example above, three <fo:simple-page-master> elements, define three different templates. Each template (page-master) has a different name.

The first template is called "intro". It could be used as a template for introduction pages.

The second and third templates are called "left" and "right". They could be used as templates for even and odd page numbers.


This is an extract from an XSL-FO document:

<fo:simple-page-master master-name="PaperSize"
page-width="297mm" page-height="210mm"
margin-top="1cm" margin-bottom="1cm"
margin-left="1cm" margin-right="1cm">
  <fo:region-body margin="3cm"/>
  <fo:region-before extent="2cm"/>
  <fo:region-after extent="2cm"/>
  <fo:region-start extent="2cm"/>
  <fo:region-end extent="2cm"/>

The code above defines a "Simple Page Master Template" with the name "PaperSize".

The width of the page is 297 millimeters and the height is 210 millimeters.

The top, bottom, left, and right margins of the page are all 1 centimeter.

The body has a 3 centimeter margin (on all sides).

The before, after, start, and end regions (of the body) are all 2 centimeters.

The width of the body in the example above can be calculated by subtracting the left and right margins and the region-body margins from the width of the page itself:

297mm - (2 x 1cm) - (2 x 3cm) = 297mm - 20mm - 60mm = 217mm.

Note: regions (region-start and region-end) are not a part of the calculation. As described earlier, these regions are parts of the body.

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